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Monday, March 8, 2010

5 ways of overcoming your fear

My mom and my grandfather both are published authors and poets. I too write short stories, novels and poems when I am at my creative best. Although none of my fictional work has been published, and that is because of my own fear of rejection, a incident that happened to me in past.

When I was in high school, I wrote a short fictional novel on subject was close to my heart and worked hard on it to send it off to one of New York's publishing house, who were specially looking for teen's point of view stories. I waited patiently for any reply and none came. I finally took a courage to write them and ask what happened to my entry? I never got my copy back but I got short answer saying that my story style was not they were looking for that time and I should try again future.

Now, I am not saying I was great or even good writer as a high school student and nor I claim to be now. But, I know I enjoy writing my thoughts and I have vivid imagination. That rejection was so tough on me, as I had worked hard on it and it was my favorite piece of writing. I took it personally and took it hard. I still write but for my eyes only. It took me long time to share with Zenguy and few close friends what I wrote. It has been very slow change.

Thing to remember that even Jane Austen's first version of Pride and Prejudice called "First impressions" was rejected by a publisher. If she would stopped trying and writing, world would have missed some of the best and now popular story. Then again, I am no Jane!

While, I may not still be ready to publish my novel anytime soon as I am not ready for another heart break and rejection. Since then, I have written and published white papers on technical subjects and have published a few magazine articles all non-fiction, mostly at and during my corporate gig and now I am writing here on my heart and mind blog for public's eyes, on subject that is close my heart and to help my readers. My readers comments are the best yardstick for me, I can measure and improve my work!

Do you have any fears that is stopping you from living your life or living your dream? While many of us have many types of fears but if we follow a few simple steps, we can learn to conquer the fear that is stopping us to live the best life that we can live, and we got only one.

Why we need to do the hard thing? Because...
  1. Fear limits our opportunity, our living.
  2. Fear creates other fears.
  3. We do opposite things than we want because of fear
  4. We lose freedom 
  5. It is not real, but affects the real person
In most cases we fear things that are usually unknown to us, in my case, it was fear of known thing, repeating itself, a traumatic past experience. While we may have a fear of public speaking, losing loved ones, getting rejected or being laughed at, fear of being broke or not providing for kids and some fears actually motivates to do better, change our life style to improve our lives. Some fears may keep us alive from danger and it is good thing. But, fears that holds from being our best can not be good and we must change our brain thinking to slowly get over our fears that is/are holding us back by following a few simple steps.
  1. First thing to do is imagine a good future, be it approval of publisher, acceptance by loved one, keeping your job, whatever your fear might be, close your eye and imagine (really imagine) yourself in happier future.
  2. Another opposite approach is to practice crazy and silly asking game with some friend with only possible answer of "no". When you know in your heart that it is only a practice, it becomes fun exercise. If you liked this idea, can I ask you to come and fold my laundry please? :-)
  3. Get more knowledge about the subject that you are afraid of, sometimes knowing more is enough to get rid of the fear. For example, if you are afraid of dogs, knowing more about dogs and being close to friendly one helps you stay calm near a dog.
  4. Accept the inevitable. There are some things out of our hands and we have no control over it. For example, I am afraid of losing my loved ones, but there is nothing I can do to stop it. However, if I spend my happy moments with them and tell them I love them, will bring sweet memories of both of us, no matter who goes first. 
  5. Change your fear to a motivation, challenge and help others with their fear, either by sharing and working on it with someone else helps. Make it about others, for example, I know of a mom who lost her teenage daughter to a drunk drivers, is spending time educating other teens about safe driving. Her loss of daughter, fear has became a inspirational cause for her and others.
Do you have fear that is stopping you from your dream, the best you can be? I have many still and I am working on one at the small steps, would you like to join me? Do you have any other tips or suggestions that may help others? I would love to hear from you.

Now go and conquer your fears or else ..:-) I might do another post for you!!

Zengirl

5 comments:

jonathan said...

Great post! What books has your mom and grandparents written? Also we should do a post this week. Pick and choose the topic, i can send you my info on it and we can work from there.

Filip Matous said...

I really like the last point on turning what you fear into a opportunity to help others.

I have a bit of a mentor that I work with in the HR field who used to be an alcoholic coke-head musician. He ended up losing everything around him and finally found himself in rehab.

Instead of feeling woe for the lost time and the mistakes, he pulled himself together and now is a dedicated husband and father and a top billing trainer - pulling in over 1000 pounds a day training top companies about intrinsic motivation. On his off time he volunteers at AA meetings and if you could see the spark in his eyes with everything he does, it's awesome.

I can either succumb to the fear that I won't amount to much - or look it straight in the eye and realize if I don't face the fear I probably won't. That drives me out of bed each morning, knowing I have just one shot to give my life away in the best way possible in the short time I've been given.

zengirl said...

Jonathan,

Thanks for the comment. Both my Grandfather and mother have published in another country. My mom has a few articles in women's magazines here in US.
Do you mean like a guest post?

Filip,
Thanks for comment and sharing your co-worker's story here. As a human being, we tend to worry a lot, specially me, some fear are good, that keeps you safe however, most fear keep us from real us and our dreams.

Kamal said...

I like the one where you practice NO with a friend. That will get you going a lot. I am going to try that tomorrow at work. Wow! That will teach me how to tackle tough situations.

Where do you get all these ideas? You should write a book on how to get you going every moment. You have more on this blog than I have read in motivational books all my life.

zengirl said...

Kamal,

I think practicing with a friend "NO" with a friend is great idea, do let me how it goes.

I get my ideas from different places, by reading, thinking constantly and most of it my crazy imagination. Thank you for kind compliment, I am really flattered. It encourages me to write more such contents. Thank you.