Face Your Fears Head-on

One of the greatest impasses to people getting what they want is fear. Fear tells you what not to do. It keeps you from seeking more from life. It is my job as a Personal Life Coach to assist the client in figuring out how they can move beyond their fears. It sounds simple, but when people have experienced fear on a primal level, their instincts tell them to protect themselves. Fear is the by-product of what has happened when you experience loss or rejection or something painful. Experiencing fear reminds you of the pain and uncertainty that you felt sometime in the past.

I encourage my clients to live by the motto, “Face Your Fears Head-on”. When they seem to be immobilized by fear, I either encourage them to practice a ritual that recreates the fear in a different way, or I ask them to produce a strategy that can move them beyond it, hopefully with a different response. Here are some great examples of what people have done when they have faced their fears head-on.

I had a client who was extremely fearful of dating. He was sure no one would agree to go out with him. Together we created a plan where this man was to go to a department store and stand at the bottom of an escalator. He was to practice looking each female customer in the eye, in a kindly way, and to say hello. I explained he needed to get more comfortable with rejection and not take it so personally. If the woman on the escalator smiled at him and said hello, it was considered a successful encounter and evidence that he was appealing. If she looked down and did not respond it was considered a rejection. Since he believed he would meet with many rejections, his assignment was to get 50 rejections before he left the department store.

After two hours of greeting customers at the bottom of the escalator he had only totalled 17 rejections and over 80 smiles! He called and left me a voice mail reporting he was no longer going to stand at the bottom of the escalator waiting for rejections. He got the message that although rejection was a normal part of life, it was interspersed with a lot of acceptance and acknowledgment as well.

I also knew a young woman who was an alcoholic. She had joined Alcoholics Anonymous and was “working her program”. As sobriety set in and she no longer had the alcohol to self-medicate, she recognized that she was afraid of making decisions because she feared failure. She had flunked out of school due to her alcoholism and she feared she was not good enough to succeed. The woman decided to parachute from an airplane to prove to herself that she could accomplish anything. On a videotape that was made in the airplane, she exclaimed, “I’m going to face my fears head-on.” and she gave the camera a thumbs-up. Within a year she started Occupational Therapy school and graduated with Honors. She now has over ten years of sobriety.

These examples may seen outrageous, but clients often need to think outside the box to get them past their old mindsets of themselves. Is fear holding you back? Imagine what assignment I might give you to move past your fears.

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