Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Conquer Fear In Four Easy Steps

In a situation:

1 -- DO NOT PANIC!
Panic can make a bad situation worse - FAST - it will render you unable to think on your feet and come to a quick decision, if that's what is needed.

2 -- WHAT'S THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO?
What will you do if the worst happens? Can you live with the outcome? Depending on the time frame that you have to make a decision, you may have to live with it, like it or not.

3 -- ACT ON THE BEST INFORMATION THAT YOU HAVE AT THE TIME.
If you've prepared as best as you can for the worst-case scenario, anything better than that is gravy, which it usually is. If you haven't prepared yourself, THINK, what advice would I give to someone else in this situation?

In situations where you may have a little more time to think, ask yourself what is the worst case scenario? How would I handle it? What resources do I have to deal with this problem? Is there an alternate way to handle this? Ask people you trust, if they are available, for advice.

4 -- GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO 'PANIC' ONCE ALL THE EXCITEMENT IS OVER WITH.
This has worked successfully for me - I've been postponing a nervous breakdown since 1991!
:->... Seriously, once it's all over with, you are not going to want to panic then, you'll be basking in the glow of quiet confidence because you handled something that you were afraid of with grace and aplomb :-).

5 -- (BONUS) After all the excitement is over, have some/do [insert favorite low-cal/no-cal reward here] to celebrate your victory over adversity/trouble!!

When it is all over, debrief:

Will this situation come up again?
How can I handle this if it does?
What resources do I have/can get to prevent this from happening again ('Ounce of prevention', and all that)?
What have I learned about myself and/or others because of this experience?
Is there anything else 'coming down the road' because of this experience that I can see that may cause more trouble?

Sometimes, you will find that the fear that you have is real and justified. But going through the exercise will help you find a solution, while keeping 'mind-death' at bay.


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