I’ve got a lot of questions about fear lately. Fear of failure. Fear of making the right decision. Fear that comes from frustration in a long job search.
Fear is part of life — we all have some dose of it. It’s not the experience of fear that is so daunting, it’s more about how we respond to it. I have a personal survey in my book where I ask people to think about which fear response they run to most often — fight, flight or freeze. I did this to get us thinking about what kinds of habits we fall into when we’re scared.
So the first thing is to notice what you do when you’re wallowing in fear. In fact, it’s even a good idea to just plain notice you’re afraid. We’re pretty good at covering fear with all kinds of behaviors, from being overly-zealous do-gooders for others, to being pesky, annoying and anxious, without realizing it’s about fear.
I can’t give you THE answer to handling fear. It doesn’t exist. But I can tell you that some ways to deal with it include developing routines that create space for you to notice where it’s coming from. These could be exercise routines, journaling routines, time for friend-talk routines. Because noticing, paying attention is the door to dealing.