If it is true that “old habits die hard,” then getting rid of your unrealistic fear habits is no different. Too often we fail to realize that the things we do on a continuous basis, be they good or bad, eventually become habits. We’ve already looked at the excuses that we always use, as well as the negative thoughts and self-talk, and continuously bringing up memories of the past. I don’t know about you but I used to spend an awful lot of time engaging in these activities. Getting unrealistic fear out of your life involves a lot of change. First, there needs to be a change in your communication; next a change in your posture; and then a change in your environment. Change, as we already know, will almost always trigger the fight-or-flight response.
Waldroop and Butler, authors of Maximum Success, in the chapter entitled “When Fear is in the Driver’s Seat”, state that a person exhibits the behavior pattern of a ‘pessimist-worrier’ if they are “terrified” of risk and change. This kind of person is only capable of seeing negativity, and will resist anything to do with change. The way to turn this behavior pattern around, Waldroop and Butler suggest, is to “make a regular practice of considering the positive aspect of the change—and the opportunities it presents—as well as the negative.” It’s all about shifting your position, or changing your posture to focus on the exact opposite of what you constantly dwell on.
Kicking the habit of fear isn’t easy but I believe you’re up to the challenge. Here is what you do.
- Stay focused on the goals you want to accomplish. Remember to spend time assessing the positive benefits that this accomplishment will bring you.
- Break your goals down into small, manageable actions. For example, as a new author, I focused on writing for at least two hours or more each day.
- Each day, even if you don’t feel like doing it, execute one action. Trust me, there were many days that I was not in the mood to write, or there was nothing creative in me to say, but still I did what I had to do.
- Don’t let anything or anyone distract you from finishing the action. Need I say more.
- Congratulate yourself upon completion of that action. Not only will this boost your self-esteem and build confidence, but it will also move you closer to success.
Do you think you can follow these five steps? If the answer is yes, then you are on your way to forming good habits. So don’t waste anymore time. Kick Fear Now. Today you begin to change those habits of resistance.
James Waldroop and Timothy Butler, Maximum Success: Changing the 12 Behavior Patterns that keep you from getting ahead, New York, NY: Currency/Doubleday, 2000