Overcoming fear is one of life’s biggest challenges. Whether it is fear of failure, fear of abandonment, fear of ridicule, or fear of criticism, fear is the pernicious gatekeeper that attempts to block your progress in efforts to reach your full potential.
Since I thrust myself into the public eye to promote my new book, What is Your Self Worth, A Woman’s Guide to Validation, I’ve experienced plenty of fear, due to feelings of intimidation and inadequacy.
I came face to face with one of my fears while taping an appearance on Larry King Live: a fear of public speaking. I was so intimidated by the surroundings that I felt I had lost all my brain cells at once. Though others may not have noticed my deer-in-the-headlights moment, I felt it like a postmenopausal hot flash. Fortunately, I got a grip during the first part of the interview, and had a very strong internal conversation with myself to get my “mojo” back.
When faced with fearful situations, I think having resiliency, which is defined as “the ability to cope and adapt to difficult and/or challenging situations,” is so important. Here are a few suggestions for achieving resiliency that have worked for me:
-- Take charge of your mind and body. Learn to manage and stabilize your emotions, health, and sense of well-being by reducing stress, exercising, eating properly, and getting an adequate amount of sleep.
-- Seek to solve problems in a productive manner. When you focus on the problem rather than the emotion dredged up by it, you’ll be using what psychologists call problem-focused coping. This skill helps you build resiliency muscles.
-- Foster a strong inner self and be proud of who you are. This is known as “positive self-concept,” and it can be strengthened by simple interventions such as repeating affirmations or upbeat self-talk.
-- Develop the ability to convert misfortune into fortune. Life is full of changes, turns in the road, and challenges – all of which can be seen as opportunities. Make a conscious choice to view them that way.
Life pitches all of us curve balls – we need to accept that. However, life also gives us some formidable internal resources to deal with them. Realize that you may miss a few swings, but don’t give up. Stand up to your fear. Turn your courage on, and instead of being terrified of defeat, be determined to learn how to hit those curve balls out of the park the next time.
Cheryl Saban will be speaking at The Women’s Conference on October 27th and signing copies of her book, What is Your Self-Worth? A Woman’s Guide to Validation at Night at The Village on October 26th.