The Six Best Ways To Overcome Fear
Fear always springs from ignorance.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Types of Fear and Anxiety
The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The antidote to fear is knowledge." In other words, we can overcome fear by learning its causes and cures. Fear raises its ugly head when it comes to public speaking, acting, musical performance or most anytime you are asked to appear in public.
One of my fears is walking alone to my car in the dark when I'm shopping. I'm working on this by learning skills to protect myself from possible danger. Another huge fear of mine is visiting the dentist. This possibly stems from my childhood experiences when visiting Dr. Pain, D.D.S.
When we take a test, get an injection, or go to the dentist we face a bad case of the jitters. But the #1 fear even before death is public speaking.
There are seemingly endless types of fear. Do any of these apply to you?
- The unknown
- Public Speaking/Singing/Performance
- Math Anxiety (me)
- Heights (me again)
- Not enough money
- Approaching People
- Loss of a Loved One
- Being robbed/attacked
- Driving on Freeways
- Risk Taking
- Certain Foods
As a vocal coach for over 45 years, teaching singers to overcome fear while performing for an audience, has been the biggest goal. I teach singer's to sing through their fear. Preparation is the key to success. We will never learn how to conquer fear by running from it.
Fear is a Cruel Thief
How To Fight Fear With These Six Helpful Tips
Everyone experiences fear in some way. The good news is we can all learn how to overcome fear. Here are a few tried and true tips to help you fight fear:
- Be Prepared. Whether you're facing a public performance, taking a test or interviewing for a job - the better prepared you are the more control you will have over the situation which reduces your fear.
- Face Your Fears. Do spiders freak you out? Well, they don't like you at all. In fact, spiders are anti-social. They don't devise some clever plan to crawl up to you and take a nibble. You aren't what's on their menu. So find a way to place them outside in their environment.
- Fear of Succeeding. Why would anyone be afraid of success? Well, if you procrastinate or believe you don't deserve it, you'll actually have a fear of success. To help to overcome this fear, make a list of things you're afraid of. Once you've identified these fears, start imagining what your life would be like if you were successful.
- Fear of Commitment. Give yourself plenty of time to learn about your partner. Becoming best friends first will bring you a feeling of safety and trust. Give the relationship about 2 years before committing. Trust your judgment.
- Fear of Rejection. Find reassurance within yourself instead of through others. Don't make the mistake of focusing on what you don't want. Instead, focus on what you do want. Your mind is a powerful ally.
- Fear of Failure. Tell yourself that failure is only a step to success. Failure is a necessary part of progress. Avoid beating yourself up. Change your perception of failure. Read about successful people who have faced failure time after time.
Acknowledge Your Fears
To Overcome Fear - Seek Knowledge
When we experience fear, our mind can become clouded or even paralyzed. How often have you heard the phrase "paralyzed with fear?" You may have experienced this feeling at one time. I certainly have and I'm hoping never to feel this way again.
We have a marvelous tool available to help us overcome fear. This tool is called knowledge and it provides protection from our fears. When we fear a certain something, this is the time to learn about that which we fear. Education is a powerful ally.
Learning requires many steps so begin slowly and continue to defeat your enemy - fear. Make use of the most powerful tool you have...courage. Refuse to give in to your fears by learning where the fear stems from. Study the thing you fear and learn as much as possible about it.
Knowledge is a powerful device.
Acquaint Yourself With the Master of Fear
Acquaint yourself with the master of fear
You will find where your own fear lies
Fear may come in different forms
It cleverly wears its disguise
Trembling limbs and a racing heart
Lips unable to speak
Bind the body in its place
And every part lays weak
Phobic situations result in higher fear
The same anxiety pattern
Leaves footprints with each year
Freudian hypnosis for under-lying cause
Failed its mark for we're not born with fear
Its confidence we bring with us
Fright has no power here
And yet at times we fear ourselves
Abilities lie dormant
Binding sticky fingers
Raging its own torment
Restrictive is the force of fear
To influence each life
Prevention from our own potential
Cutting like a knife
Fear raises its ugly head
and like a cruel thief in the night
robs us of our own success
once more we lose the fight
Is there no antidote for this
the threatning power of fear?
Ah yes, there is - as Emerson said
"Knowledge is the antidote to fear."
The "1 Fear is Facing an Audience
The #1 fear that plagues most singers is when they face an audience. Fear affects public speakers as well. It's the fear of being evaluated negatively that causes performers to shake in their boots. But it doesn't have to be this way. This type of fear can be overcome in time.
My article, " How to Sing Without Fear," takes the reader through the causes of singing with fear and the main cause for living with fear and stage fright. Outlined are 5 ways to control your fear.
Once you learn these five ways to control your level of fear, you will become the "Sage on the Stage." Only then, will you reach out and touch your audience.
Visualization Can Reduce Fear
Visualization Helps Conquer Fear
Visualization works best for me when I spend time in nature. I'm fortunate enough to live in the forest surrounded by tall welcoming pine trees and massive grandfather oaks which squirrels claim as their playground.
But there have been times in my long life where I lived in a concrete jungle and had to use my imagination to bring on the feeling of being surrounded by nature's gifts. I have a somewhat vivid imagination and whenever I wanted to be at the beach and smell the salt air, or in the forest and the sweet smell of pines, I could take myself to these places. Then, I would continue to visualize what I wanted.
You can do this too. The first steps are to take a few deep breathes and bring yourself to a calm state. Begin to empty your mind of all worry, doubt, and negativity.
Once you feel calm and at peace, begin your guided imagery techniques:
- See yourself, on stage, speaking or singing to a friendly audience. All fear and anxiety are replaced with inner confidence.
- Visualize yourself "owning" the performance area. The audience is your invited guests, sitting in your living room.
- Whatever your fear is, imagine that you, alone, are in complete control of the situation.
- Actually, visualize yourself making mistakes and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Even Thomas Edison made many mistakes on the road to his inventions and ultimately, success.
Recognize Your Fears
What are you most afraid of?
In Conclusion...Facing Your Fears
I have known fear and I have known failure. One day I just got sick and tired of being afraid and tired of dragging around the feeling of "not being good enough." One fear that I've carried inside of myself is going on fast rides at Disneyland. Oh, how I wanted to experience the fun that others had on these rides. But my fear took hold of me and I just couldn't do it.
I knew I had to face my fears so I immediately made a decision to go to an amusement park (Disneyland) and take a ride on "Space Mountain." Though my heart was beating so hard I thought it would leap out of my chest, I gathered up all my courage and went into the unknown. Much to my surprise I actually enjoyed it so much that I waited in line to ride it a second time.
I had conquered one of my greatest fears. I left Disneyland that evening with a feeling of elation and empowerment.
Fear can immobilize each of us. It can prevent us from becoming all that we can be. Overcoming fear and failure can also teach us things about ourselves that we otherwise would never learn.
Make yourself a promise to Overcome Fear and live a life of freedom.
Fear is the main source of superstition and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. - Bertrand Russell
He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
© 2012 Audrey Hunt