Fear can be paralyzing, and we tend to be fearful when we face a new, usually unknown or uncomfortable, potentially conflictive or painful situation, person, place or change in our lives.
There is real and imaginary fear as there is pain and suffering: real fear allows us to be attentive and prepared, protect ourselves and that/who we love; imaginary fear is the anticipation of something that may or may not happen, may or may not be real.
Whether you are an activist, community facilitator, teacher, life or career coach, parent or friend and need to help others (or yourself) to overcome fear and use it to your advantage, you may find the steps below helpful.
Working with fear:
- Notice it – express it, make it visible
- Explore it – what is real, what is imaginary
- Ask “Dumb” Questions – so what if that happens?
- Make it huge – what is the worst that can happen, then what, agitate to anger
- Make a plan to deal with it– motivate
- Break it into with simple, small steps
- Identify what support is needed
- Get Commitment – easy, immediate, short-term tasks – focus on action to take
- Provide Support – build confidence
- Follow-up, Debrief, Learn