Be Afraid Of Inaction Rather Than Action
If you are afraid of doing something, if you are shy, if you would rather not be put in a certain stressful situation then you are experiencing a very real and valid perception of something very specific and something very general. Knowing what and why you fear doing something is vital so you know how to overcome it. It's not enough to say 'just get over it'. Embrace the fear so you can use it to get over what you are afraid of! Turn your fear into power. Here's how to do it.
Whatever you fear doing, whatever you prefer to shy away from, is a very credible emotion. Don't let anyone tell you it isn't real. You feel it and it feels like there's nothing you can do. Whether it is a fear of public speaking, certain situations or a fear of the future the emotion is very similar if not the same; we fear it because we fear something going wrong. How something 'goes wrong' is more specific to the fear you are experiencing but the similarity between your fear and everything else is that 'what if it goes wrong?' feeling. That feeling only grows if the perceived probability something could go wrong increases.
Whatever you fear is also linked to your ultimate fear. This is the idea of not so much being afraid of the monster but the mother of all monsters. For example a fear of public speaking can stem from a more deep rooted fear of being made a fool of in public which can stem from the root cause which is that you fear what other people think of you and that is a source of personal insecurity of your own being. The breadcrumbs of what you fear most of all lies in what you shy away from more specificaly. Even though it would be better to go for the mother of all monsters sometimes we need to slay smaller monsters in order to gather some momentum of bravery to show we can overcome something. Knowing your fear is deep rooted in something bigger shows that perhaps it is not what you fear externaly that is the problem but something within you. That's a good thing; because it means you have everything in your power to make it better.
Let's focus on the specific fear you have; something you shy away from, a situation you don't even want to be in let alone try to deal with for any stretch of time. It's OK to be afraid. We all get afraid. It's part of being human. Some say it's because of our hyper intelligence that we get afraid. Perhaps fear is a sign of intelligence? Who knows. What we do know is that you are afraid of doing something, being something, being put in a situation. Whatever it is, focus on what you fear. You know nothing is physicaly going to hold you back, only your thoughts. Your fear is you placing value in what could go wrong. That's OK. It also means you have created this fear yourself, and that is not something to blame yourself for. It's a real power. What you need to do is essentially diminish the value you have placed on what could possibly go wrong and turn it into something else.
You can't overcome fear in one big go. Anyone worth their salt will try to help you overcome fear not by exposing you to the very thing you fear but will expose you to incremental elements. For example if you are afraid of public speaking you might be asked to talk in front of one person, then two, then three, then four. If you are afraid of commitment taking it slow is the most obvious way of overcoming it. Slowly but surely you assign less value to fear not because you are being exposed slowly and surely but over time you see that what you fear is less likely to happen if you gain control over the situation mentally. You never get less afraid. The perceived threat is usually based on something that is real and true. What happens is you get braver. You don't gain control of the whole situation so nothing goes wrong, you are shown how much control you have over yourself if something does go wrong. You gain courage. This is the crucial middle step of getting over fear.
The final and some might say biggest driving force of overcoming fear, shyness and apprehension is to turn that fear against itself. Fear implies you care and that care doesn't go away. You care about yourself and your well-being so that is not going to go away. As you expose yourself more and more and become braver you find you can do more than you thought in a situation you would otherwise not even touch. The final kicker to overcome a fear is not to lose fear but to turn it against itself. Use your care for yourself and your desire not to be hurt by changing your motivation rather than to avoid something but as you become braver you should fear not displaying that bravery. Bravery in your life is what makes you feel so strong and powerful; it makes you feel amazing as an individual. It's what makes you feel that you are more powerful than you think and it seeps in to other parts of your life. Wouldn't it be awful if you didn't display that courage again? Wouldn't it be terrible if you hid your power you have created within yourself? This is how you never get afraid again, this is how you overcome being shy; fear not displaying bravery! Be afraid of inaction rather than action. This is the biggest power of all.
If you fear not doing something rather than doing something you would otherwise be afraid to do it is the signal that you have overcome your fear. Fear of inaction makes you do anything. This fear is what drives you to do amazing things. This fear is what forces you to into a better, greater and more meaningful life. You will feel so powerful. Remember, what we regret the most in life are the chances we never took. If you are more afraid not to take the chance your newly forged fear will make sure you never miss an opportunity you would otherwise be afraid to take. You will feel so powerful, independant and strong. Fearing inaction rather than action is what makes you able to live your life, free of fear and procrastination, free of fearing something that might never happen. You will always want to show just how brave and courageous you are. You will realise just how powerful you are and it will show in everything you say and do. It will make you stand out and be able to show just how amazing you are as an individual in the world.
No need to imagine people in their underwear. No need to take three breaths and cross your fingers. No need to rely on superstisions to get through things you fear. Fear not doing it, have that ultimate desire to prove just how brave you are and you will be free to live your life the way you want it.