How to Deal with Fear and Escape Paralysis

Everyone deals with fear throughout their lives but what if there was a way that you could almost outsmart fear? Wouldn’t you want to know so that you could have more control of your life and not let the feelings of fear dictate your life’s decisions.

This concept is from Tim Ferris’ book 4-Hour Work Week. Tim mentions how when fear sets in it often controls us to a point of paralysis where we never take action and don’t do the things that we really want to.

So how do you deal with fear and learn to overcome it? Firstly, you have to learn to cut through the anxiety by looking at what your worst nightmare is. What are you so afraid of that is causing you to not take action? Take some time to sit down and really consider what the worst case scenario is.

Once you have defined the worst case scenario, rate it based on a scale of 1-10. 10 being you’re incredibly happy and 1 being your life couldn’t get any worse. Keep in mind that you’re being rational when considering the rating system and make sure you keep things in perspective and aren’t rating based on your current feelings. For example, if you want to ask your boss for time off to go to a friend’s wedding and you’re worried that your boss will say no, don’t rate that scenario a 2 because your life could be a lot worse. So remember to keep things in perspective.

Now, using the rating system, if you took action and the worst case scenario actually happened to you in your life how bad would it actually be? Once you have established that you can write how you would feel if this situation played out as you fear it might. You can also consider ways of dealing with this situation and how to overcome the obstacles presented.

When you have that out of your system you can begin the next phase; the best case scenario if you take action. Write out the best result of you taking action and how that would benefit your life. Then rate it on a scale of 1-10 based on that scenario happening. Once again, write about how you would feel if this situation went accordingly and how that might impact your life.

You can now compare the two scenarios and their outcomes. What are the ratings of each? You may find that you’re avoiding taking action that could have a permanent positive effect of 9 because of a temporary effect of 3. In your opinion, would that still be worth not taking action? Or do you have a new perspective that it’s actually worth overcoming the fear and doing what you want.

It’s easy to get caught up in how you feel and let fear control your life but wouldn’t it be nice to take back the control and live the life that you want? Lucky for you, you can put things into perspective and take back your life by doing these simple steps the next time that you recognise fear is holding you back.

Enjoy your new freedom.

By: Cortnie Bornyk

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