How to transform fear into peace and calm
People often ask themselves how they can prevent them from experiencing negative emotions such as fear, nervousness and anger, but the truth is that we do not. Anxiety and feelings of worry, nervousness and discomfort can turn our stomachs into knots, undermine our confidence and wellbeing, create stress, deprive us of a peaceful nights sleep, or even cause anxiety and depression.
Fear can show up in a whole host of different ways for entrepreneurs. Including fear of:
- being judged as not worthy
- being seen as a fake
- being vulnerable
- being seen
- even being successful
At any given moment one or a combination of these can show up for business owners, especially if they work alone.
Now the trick here is to understand the fear no matter how uncomfortable it is. Because that fear is telling you something. It’s telling you that something is out of alignment with either you, your business or even both. What I mean is not that you are doing anything wrong particularly but there is something in your nervous system trying to hold you back from action, and it’s using fear to do this.
The purpose of fear
Biologically fear exists to protect us. If you’ve ever burnt yourself, next time you get close to fire you’ll feel that fear as a warning to stay away, and the feeling is usually so powerful that it instantly stops you from taking action. It’s this instant power from fear that has helped our species survive. All living creatures experience fear, it’s a healthy part of existence and has been with us since the beginning of time.
But as we grow older the fears evolve too. Suddenly upsetting our friends and family or being reprimanded or seen as failing becomes the focus of our fear. We don’t want to upset our tribe, and potentially be banished for standing out. So for many of us, we try to blend in and be useful.
So, understandably for entrepreneurs who want to create personal brands, standing out can bring up every type of fear imaginable.
I certainly experienced this myself during my own entrepreneur journey. I consistently sought our partnerships with people who would be happy to be the public face. So I could do the actual guts of the work behind the scenes. I hated the thought of people ‘seeing me’ and it took many years of hard work to actually come to the conclusion that I had to put my face to my brand in order to truly deliver the message I was put here to do.
So I get it, it’s tough. But if you’re an entrepreneur with a personal brand, you really need to address these fears or your business will suffer.
The fear most of us live with today is entirely psychological and that fear leads to the biggest problem in today’s society – stress.
Stress causes so many issues with minds and bodies, it needs a piece to itself. But the long and short of it is that consistently living a stressed life is going to have a knock on effect on you, your family and ultimately your business.
So let’s get to it. If you’re constantly in a state of anxiety and fear and struggle to even sit still. This is your sign to take action. You’re one of those people who is so anxious about life in general that you are crippling yourself with the ‘what if’ feelings.
Some entrepreneurs manage this stress by overworking. By keeping constantly busy they don’t have time to deal with their anxiety. But this again is a short term solution, because it simply masks something much deeper going on.
The Fear Rationalizing Process
We need to understand that something is out of alignment. Your solution is to sit and write out what it is exactly that you are most frightened of? Try and be as specific as possible to understand what is going on. Then when you have identified the specific fear, work on an action plan to deal with this.
For example – if you fear that you’ll be judged, put into your action plan someone who supports you. Or perhaps you are anxious that you’ll fail, in this scenario know that every billionaire, millionaire, multi income stream, brand on the face of the earth failed!
See it helps to counteract the fear, don’t let it run around your brain like a spoilt child. Take control, and manage the fear. You know it’s going to come up at some point, it’s your duty to take control of it. By getting specific on counteracting the fear you can manage it. Fear thrives on the unknown, it’s a nagging feeling that something bad will happen but if you answer that nagging feeling with logic, it shifts the feeling, it probably won’t obliterate it, and we don’t want to eliminate fear completely but it will help to make it so much easier to manage.
Focused Breathing Exercise
Focused breathing is a great way to help to calm the reactivity of our nervous system and return to our natural physiological state of inner peace, even in the midst of adversity. Even if things are turbulent at the moment, those who overcome their fear do not forget peace. [Sources: 3, 13]
If you become overly anxious try using the following steps to help you calm down and regain control.
There’s a great breathing practice from the desk of Stanford Neuroscientist Dr Huberman says the fastest way to bring the autonomic nervous system is with a physiological sigh which instantly helps reduce stress and anxiety.
The pattern is this:
Two short inhales back to back through the nose – followed by an extended exhale through the mouth.
That’s a super quick way to help calm the nerves. Coupled with some regular meditation and mindfulness practice you can truly begin to turn that fear into a place of calm on a daily basis.
Just Breathe Meditation
It’s why I created my Just Breathe meditation for entrepreneurs, because using that simple practice when we need some calm can make all the difference in our businesses.
Another practice combines breathing with the fear rationalizing exercise.
Exhale The Fear Exercise
To change our relationship with fear and anxiety, we need to define what we are dealing with and use breathing techniques to calm our mind. So next time you are afraid to do something, take several long, deep breaths, list your fears and imagine you are exhaling them as you count them. Remember that letting go of fear will allow you to let go of fear when you let your breath flow and keep your chest open, and letting go of fear will bring you true health and inner peace.
Keeping a mindfulness journal can also help manage fear on a day to day basis. And help you rewire your brain, reboot your nervous system, and cultivate inner peace, happiness, and resilience.
Stick with it
Let’s be clear however, if you’re used to living with constant stress and anxiety It will be tough to retrain your brain, but if you commit to bringing about change, you will be able to overcome your fears and unknowns, and you will discover that fear. Is the catalyst that helps you embody what you really want in your life.
Explore and discover how to consistently defy fear, habit and addiction and how to prevent yourself from living with fear.
It is important to understand that the transformation of fear into calm is not about suppressing or denying the truth of your feelings. It is also reassuring to accept the reality of fear as a symptom of our body, rather than reacting with catastrophic thinking.
Each of the tools listed above can help you move fear into calm. Next time you’re feeling any kind of stress try one and see which works best for you.