Recently I had to attend an over night work trip by myself. This is something that I would usually avoid like the plague unless my husband came with me, but this time it wasn’t an option. If I wanted to be part of an away day with one of my biggest contracts, then I would have to bite the bullet and go it alone. As it turned out, things weren’t as bad as I thought they were going to be. In fact, they were nowhere near.
Life really is too short to be afraid, so here are my top tips to help you overcome irrational fears;
Break it down –
Think about every aspect of your fear and break it down into bite size chunks. The problem will never seem as big and as scary if you think about it a little bit at a time. For example, I was terrified of heading into a train station alone, then boarding a train and finally staying in a hotel by myself. Each of these areas was easier to rationalise individually, rather than trying to tackle the whole shebang in one thought process. Break. It. Down.
Think about the worst thing that could happen, then work out the likelihood of it actually happening –
Take a deep breath and imagine the worst thing that could happen in your situation, don’t dwell on it though. Move swiftly on to working out the likelihood of the worst actually happening. The chances of a huge disaster occurring in your life are incredibly slim and this is what you have to focus on.
Plan, plan and plan some more –
I find that the best way to get through a difficult situation, especially if there’s irrational fear involved, is to plan what you have coming up to the nth degree. Some might see this as energy wasted, but if you have a thorough plan and you stick to it, things are less likely to go wrong and you’re more likely to get through unscathed.
Compartmentalise your irrational thoughts –
This isn’t always an easy task but if you can, lock your irrational thoughts away. It takes a long time to train your mind to do this and it doesn’t work perfectly every time, but banishing negative thoughts to one corner of your brain leaves more space for a positive mindset.
Think about the positives, without dwelling on the negatives –
There are negatives in every situation if you look hard enough, equally there are always positives. So focus your mind on what is good, what is fun and what you love about the situation you’re in. Positivity breeds positivity, so it’s worth putting your energies into the good things as much as is possible.
Enjoy yourself –
Just that. Don’t let irrational fears hinder your life experiences. Enjoy what you’re doing and leave what scares you behind!