When you think about overcoming fear, the first word that comes to mind might not be TRUST.
But when it comes down to it, trust is a huge factor that plays into fear.
For example, if you have to give a big presentation in front of 300 people, you might get terrified that you’re going to bomb it, forget what you were going to say, botch the delivery, etc.
When you boil it down, you don’t TRUST yourself to pull it off perfectly.
But what about external factors come into play, like the fear of going bungee jumping and the cord breaking?
That’s still about trust. You have to trust that the people who made the cord knew what they were doing, that the company holding the jump has maintained that cord properly, etc. And at the very heart of trust, you have to believe that all the other, non-human factors are just going to work.
When it comes down to it, a big component of overcoming fear is relinquishing control. When you learn to let go and believe that things are going to work, you might still feel the nerves and the rolling energy of the situation, but your brain spends less time imagining when will go wrong, and therefore you spend less time thinking about it.
My friend and counselor, Manish, used to coach me on approaching and talking to women. He gave me a great piece of advice. He said that we lie to ourselves all the time. When we imagine the worst possible outcome of a situation, we are trying to prepare ourselves by projecting what could go wrong. We then start to anticipate that outcome, sometimes even forecasting that outcome as though it were inevitable.
For example, if I saw a woman across a room and thought about going to talk to her, then immediately started to think about every which way she might reject me, I’m creating a negative outcome as a way of protecting myself. But if I say to myself that those outcomes are inevitable or even probable, I’m lying to myself. I have no idea what the outcome is going to be until I take action and find out what happens.
Instead, why not lie to yourself in the positive? Why not imagine that the only possible outcome is the one you desire? Manish said that, when those feelings pop up, that I should visualize the opposite — great rapport, smiles, laughter, and eventually getting a phone number.
This takes more effort, as you’re working to overcome an internal defense mechanism that’s trying to protect you from pain.
But practice makes perfect. The more you work to simply visualize the positive, and TRUST that you will attain the outcome you desire, you’re so much more likely to overcome your fears and get what you want.