Monday, May 18, 2009

Dealing With Fear and Anxiety:

Have you read this famous article? In dealing With Fears and Anxieties, Molly Gordon explains it well : Fear and Choice, we can Choose! Haha...

First and foremost, understand that you always have a choice about how to respond to and deal with fear. You can cave into it, struggle with it, accept it, or work around it. You always have a choice, a choice you can make again and again or that you can change based on your assessment of what is best for you.

Redefining F.E.A.R.

Knowing that you have a choice about how to deal with your fears, consider the following reframe. Think of F.E.A.R. as an acronym for Fantasy Expectations Appearing Real. FEAR takes unsupported premises about impending doom, amplifies them, and presents the alleged results as inevitable failure.

I envision unsupported fears as hot air balloons. Once we grab hold of them, we are flung all over the countryside, terrified, out of control, anxious and powerless. Yet we fail to notice that no one forced us to grab onto the balloon in the first place. How would it be to stay put, safe on the ground, while the balloons go off on their merry, scary way?

If this image captures your imagination, play with it. Next time you have a fear attack, imagine a big hot air balloon touching down near you. Notice how tempting it is to grab on (or even to climb into) the basket, and then see yourself deciding to let it go. Watch the balloon careening over the landscape, while you remain, safe and sound, on the ground.
Dealing With Fear: Exercise

Make a list of all of your fears, writing as fast as you can to block the internal censor. Include EVERY fear, however small or irrational. Then read them aloud, suspending judgment. Allow yourself to feel the fear without grabbing onto the hot air balloon. Notice that being afraid does not have to mean losing ground.

If it feels comfortable, share your list with a friend. Before sharing your list, explain that you simply want a witness, that you are playing with how it is to acknowledge your fears without being pulled off center by them. Be clear that you are not asking for help and that you do not need advice. You do not need to be fixed. Ask your friend to simply listen, and to acknowledge you for being conscious of your fears.

Naturally, one of the most powerful ways to deal with the fears or anxiety you experience is to work with a coach either in individual private sessions or as part of a group.

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