- Fear can trigger a wide range of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, phobias, heart damage, and lack of confidence.
- Communicating about issues at home as they arise instead of waiting and allowing resentment to build is one way to face fear.
- Another fear-busting strategy is to use one’s adaptation skills to alter goals as needed to meet extraordinary circumstances like COVID-19.
- Facing fears reminds the brain how it can move through impostor syndrome to the next level of one’s development.
One of the core techniques I use in my practice as a therapist is facing our fears. Fear can trigger a wide range of mental health issues, such as the inability to relax, anxiety, depression, phobias, heart damage, lack of confidence, worsening memory, survival instincts (fight-or-flight response), and missing simple things, like scheduling regular mental checkups.
It remains extremely difficult to manage our fears of the pandemic and the outside world. We have the freedom and option to follow the scientific evidence and guidelines, such as getting vaccinated, wearing masks, self-isolating when mandated, using common sense, and not risking our exposure unnecessarily.
However, we can adjust in the way we internalize and deal with our fears. I’ve developed different tips that you can use at home and work that can hopefully lessen and minimize your fears during these tumultuous times.
Facing Fears at Home
We must protect and keep our homes as comfort zones that will keep our loved ones mentally and emotionally safe and stable. Here are four tips on how to use fear as your sous chef to encourage stronger feelings of safety and security amongst your family at home.
- Communicate about issues at home as they arise instead of letting resentment build. Don’t try to pre-determine outcomes. Continue to talk it out. Sustained communication is more important than getting expected responses.
- Be sensitive and patient when communicating with family members. Select times when they’re likely to be active listeners and most responsive. This creates a safer communication environment, even if you must endure discomfort to find the right time.
- Embrace compromise and agree to disagree. Understand there isn’t always a winner or loser. Merging views on topics and outcomes shows your respect for each other. Facing that fear will strengthen and allow for the person to feel more secure holding onto their opinions.
- Avoid jumping the gun and personalizing issues that are inherently confrontational. Focus on coping until you have reliable evidence that your assumption that awry issue is legitimate. Try to manage your fear by reducing narcissistic miscalculations that can lead to unnecessary arguments.
Facing Fears at Work
Using these six tips to face your fears can prevent stagnation, encourage growth, and build your confidence at work, whether you’re working from home or returning to an office setting.
- Challenge yourself to talk to your supervisor about promotions and bonuses. Although this may be a challenging task, it’s important to put financial value on your time and effort. If you’re a woman, there is a socio-normative message that affects women in the workplace. It often causes women to give more of their time without expecting a return on investment. Seeking and earning raises and a competitive salary helps to build more confidence in your self-worth, regardless of your gender.
- Face discomfort and speak up in meetings and avoid allowing yourself a chance to use the excuse, “That’s what I was going to say,” which will haunt you and erode your confidence.
- Set aside time to practice public speaking, which will increase feelings of competence and self-respect.
- Embrace opportunities for mentorship and interviewing. Learning how to implement effective strategies reminds your brain of how to move through imposter syndrome to the next level of your skill development.
- Challenge yourself to use your adaptation skills by altering your goals as needed for extraordinary circumstances like COVID. Set yourself up for success instead of succumbing to the idea you face impossible odds. Facing these fears builds hope.
- If you’re a student and you’re suffering from long-haul COVID that is lowering your performance levels, ask your teacher or professor for special academic accommodations. Putting your ego aside could lead to more long-term success and better grades. Facing your fear is an action that is the bedrock of courage—not shame.
Keep in mind that altering your behavioral patterns is a process. You must remain committed to your goals, believe in yourself, exercise mental flexibility, and rely on a dose of bravery to enjoy success in your journey.
“How Fear Impacts Your Health,” by Eren, Facty.com, May, 2019