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Kevin Hogan
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(612) 616-0732

Face and Shrink Your Irrational Fears
Take Back Control of Your Life

by Kevin Hogan

Facing Your Fears for Success

Consider fear...

The feeling of that adrenaline that often only comes on an airplane with "rough air."

The pilot calls it "rough air," or at least that's what he says when the intercom is on.

That adrenaline pumping is looping back to the brain that the body is not comfortable and desires to seek comfort as soon as possible. Flight/fight has "kicked in."

Unfortunately the body & brain can do absolutely nothing without an assist from the mind and even then, it's not simple to improve the survival response in the moment.

It's a paradox. Standing on earth, you would either hold your ground, adjust or move along elsewhere. (Run, fight, freeze.)

At 6.5 miles above the ground of Nebraska, you simply trust and hope.

Trust and hope do little to quell fear...

Cognitively, you and I both "know" that everything will probably be just fine. It almost always is...

Your body would be pumping the same adrenaline if you were in shark infested waters wouldn't it? More? Less? But the gravity of the situation would likely be more significant than that of rough air.

The notion of confronting and reducing fear is not about encouraging ridiculous silliness to test one's self for super power. There will be no walking off of bridges or standing in the midst of a basket of rattlesnakes. Those concerns are logical and biologically survival based.

Today the fears you and I look at are those fears that are generated biologically but are not helpful.

These are the fears that matter most in life.

These fears can be reduced, altered and often retired.

As you begin challenging your beliefs and expanding your potential, you will begin to face fear.

This is a bit scary because people are used to yielding in the face of unnecessary fear. They tend to avoid situations that make them feel uncomfortable, and I don't know of any situations more uncomfortable than those where fear is generated!

For the most part, fear is nothing more than a conditioned reaction to a perceived danger.

For most things you fear, there is no real answer to, "WHY are you afraid?"

Fear happens at the nonconscious level.

If you "believe," "feel" or "sense" that something is dangerous or harmful to you, you naturally will fear it. Simple enough.

What is the first answer to how you will defeat unacceptable fears after discerning there is no rational reason to be afraid?

Walk through the fear.


…and over and over again.

The fear WILL dissipate...then disappear over time.

People do this successfully every day. It's the most efficacious and quickest route to taking your life back.

But you might be so afraid of something that you have to take a less intense approach. Here are some good tips for you:

First, if it is a fact, persuade yourself that there is no actual danger.

The biggest fear aside from falling and loud sounds, is that of speaking in front of a group.

One simple way to loosen up the paralysis is by asking yourself, "What is the worst thing that could happen?" And, "Could I handle it if the worst did happen?" Most often, your answer will be affirmative.

12 years ago, I was working on an exercise I developed to test the real significance of fear.

I wrote out my 10 most impressive fears in my journal.

Over the next two years, three of them happened but SEVEN did not. That's a waste of some quality life points!!!

Plan ahead so you know what to do if the worst happens. If your fear is public speaking but you really want to (or have to) give a presentation, ask yourself what the worst possible occurrence might be if you go ahead.

You might answer, "embarrassment." Being embarrassed is no fun for anyone, but, you do live to see the next day. The interesting thing about embarrassment is that most often the only person that is aware you are embarrassed is you...

Consider well in advance, how you will handle such situations. Could you allow yourself to be part of someone laughing at you? The finest professional speakers experience many embarrassing moments over the expanse of a career. It is a simple reality. But when you make it your goal to allow the audience to laugh at your expense, you become much more comfortable in the moment.

With some exceptions, I encourage you to allow your audience to laugh, even if it is at you. Ultimately if someone laughs, the memory and experience is positive for the audience. And if no one laughs at all...during your presentation, you have successfully bored them to tears.

Visualize a different outcome. Whatever your feared outcome is, come up with an inner "script" that is in direct opposition to the fear and replay it over and over in your mind until it is familiar to you. Using the public speaking example from above, see yourself feeling energized, dynamic and confident as you step onto the stage. See the audience being interested in what you have to say, listening closely, laughing at the appropriate moments, and your words flowing smoothly and effortlessly with only occasional errors.

I experience aphasia and have since I was a kid. Aphasia happens when you try to verbally identify a common object like a chair or desk but fail to get the word to come to mind and out of your mouth. Now, instead of wondering IF aphasia will happen during a presentation, I tell my audience that I have aphasia and that it WILL happen and to watch for it. Then when it happens, it's perfectly accepted and understood and it STILL can be funny. The difference is, now it's funny for me as well!

BECAUSE of moments like that, you can begin to imagine the almost overwhelming applause as you conclude your presentation. You can imagine the incredible sense of elation you'll feel for conquering your fear.

Another useful strategy for approaching fear is an ancient NLP tool.

Shrink your fears in your mind until they vanish.

You often feel that your fears are so much bigger than you are. It feels like they LOOM over you, draining your power and diminishing your determination. Change this perception by imagining your fears shrinking, shrinking, growing smaller and less intense until they are no bigger than a bug on the ground before you.

Tell the fear, as if it were a person or part of your person, that you appreciate its attempt to protect you, but you don't need protecting.

Obviously this reduces the fear and doesn't eliminate it, but reduction might be precisely what is needed for you to walk through the fear and directly face it.

There are many more ways to challenge your fears, but the main point is to avoid letting fear control your life. Fear can be so pervasive that it SEEMS to be out of our control, but remember that a fear is nothing more than a feeling.

Whether you examine it closely, question it, challenge it, work calmly through it or push forcefully through it doesn't matter.

You don't need to let fear drive your life...

Now the fear is reduced and it is time to... Take Control of Your Life!

Take Control of Your Life: Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

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Kevin Hogan
Network 3000 Publishing
3432 Denmark #108
Eagan, MN 55123
(612) 616-0732

Photo appears under license with istockphoto/PIKSEL.

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