overcoming fear

Foods for thought

Melissa Griffiths is a transgender authority and advocate who lives in Melbourne. As a diversity and inclusion consultant, Melissa has managed to get a gender identity policy introduced at various horse racing clubs including the BRC, MRC and VRC, and is a life coach, mentor and recognised thought leader.

Often we live in a state of concern or we worry about what others think of us when we want to try something new or make a decision which will make our lives better. Too often, we consider others first, when we should be considering what is best for us at the point in time in our lives. 

Do you ever second-guess yourself and begin to imagine what the worst possible scenarios might be? Letting this happen means we are allowing fear to take control of our lives and control how we think and feel… which is not a good thing for our sake or for those around us!

Fear and Obstacles

If we let fear take control, then not only do we not see obstacles that are there, but we also see ones that are not. We begin to imagine obstacles or create false ones and think that they will appear real. Suddenly we have little moments in our lives which seem to confirm these obstacles and our thinking. 

Instead, we should be looking at any obstacles in our way as an opportunity to grow and overcome them even if it will take awhile to overcome them. 

I have faced many obstacles in my life and still do, but I tackle them head on as best I can in that particular moment to face them and overcome them.

Objective Decision Making

By deciding to change your thinking objectively and with a common sense approach, you can overcome your fear. 

If you just decide to take control and not let your fear win then congratulations – you are already halfway there! 

The best thing to do is to ask yourself … “What is the best thing that can happen if I make this decision to do what is right for me?”, and then see the end result in your mind’s eye. By getting clarity over the situation, the next steps are easier for you to embrace and undertake successfully. 

Positive Steps

Take small, positive steps to overcome your fear slowly. 

For a fear of public speaking, you may like to enrol in a public speaking course or go to Toastmasters. Looking back on my journey, I remember the first time I spoke as the main speaker at an event, talking to a group of psychologists about gender identity while sharing my personal story. 

Whilst I had prepared as best I could for this event, I still remember standing up in front of the crowd feeling those sweaty palms and nerves at the beginning. But by actually just doing it and working through this, I overcame my initial fears of public speaking and now I love it! Having a goal beforehand was a key component to overcoming my initial fears.

A few basic steps for overcoming fear:

  • Acknowledge your fear
  • Realise that this fear can be overcome 
  • Acknowledge their may be obstacles in your way to overcome your fear
  • Realise that these obstacles can be overcome
  • Research what actions/steps you need to overcome your fear and any obstacles in your way
  • Set a meaningful goal to overcome your fear and develop a plan to do so
  • Follow through our on your plan and taking action to achieve your plan

Most importantly celebrate your success once you overcome your fear so it sets in concrete that you can overcome fear. After all, it is up to us because if we do nothing, then nothing changes.

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