Transcript: How To Overcome Fears

Welcome! This is a video transcript. To head to the blog page of this video, please see here or check out the video below.

 

Welcome to a new video it’s nice to see you all again! If you happen to watch for the first time, then – WELCOME to my home, I’m Alexandra and I like to make videos that help improve our every day lives – thank you so much for being here!

Today’s video belongs in the Personal Growth category but there are several other playlists you may be interested in, like Relationships, Beauty and Career, so if this is your first time here I encourage you to check some of the other videos that you MAY like, and before moving forward I really wanted to share some thoughts with you.

The full launch of this channel really actually happened 5 months ago and since then, this little community started forming and there have been several beautiful, kind people that have been supporting this series very passionately, many of them watching every single video that I make and…

… you know, all this started with the simple thought that if I can help change one person’s life, I’d be so happy. And then one happened, then two and three, and the numbers keep growing and …

I just want to say THANK YOU … all for your support. For your love! I’m so grateful, and I promise to continue listening to your feedback and ideas, trying to make these videos better, staying true to putting content out there that’s strong, and remain humble to you watching and thankful that we get to be on this ride together, because none of us is really lonely, and we- have each other.

So I wanted to say thank you to everybody watching and especially to the amazing souls that are there with me every day on social media and every week on my YouTube channel. So thank you!

 

 About today’s topic of getting over fears ... I did a facebook poll not too long ago where I asked you which topic you’d like me to make a video about and the answer that dominated was about facing and overcoming fears.

Now this is a very general canvas, because not ALL fears can be handled the same way but what I’ll do is I’ll give you some general but strong ideas that you can bring into your life and have an ability to tailor far more easily from there, to perhaps address more specific concerns.

I have to remind everyone that I am not a doctor or a therapist, and the only thing that I’m sharing, is what has worked for me. These are personal experiences that have successfully worked and continue to work for me, but they may not work for everybody so please be aware of that and consult with any appropriate figures before trying anything suggested here.

In many of my videos when dealing with any issue I always start with the idea of identifying what that specific issue is. I do that for a reason. I found on my own skin that success margins increase when there’s clarity of focus and an order to things that makes sense.

If you’re at a restaurant and you’re eating desert first, then the main course, followed by coffee and then the appetizer, you may not be able to finish everything off your plate and you could even get indigestion.

So to a certain extent, the same idea applies to the things we have to do in life. I wish there was a way to teleport ourselves to the finish line but there is no such thing yet and if we try to cut corners, or randomly do things, we may lose our way in the process and never really get to where we wanted to go, or as strong as we wanted to.

If that makes sense, then you’ll understand why I believe that the first step is to take your time and identify all of your fears. Don’t worry about putting anything in order yet, just start with a blank piece of paper and write everything that you fear. I’ll read you some of the fears I had written in 2013.

Fear of sharks. —– don’t judge!
Fear of rejection.
Fear of failure.
Fear of being alone.

Now the key for me was to not leave my list at that, but go further. Rejection of what, when, where, by whom? Fear of failure – of what – of relationship with whom? Of doing what specifically?

If we’re gonna take a brush to fill in some of the black spaces, we have to know where to put that brush, otherwise we’ll just be sitting in front of a canvas, taking a guess. And that’s not efficient.

So list everything you fear. From what I mentioned earlier, I had sharks and rejection on the same paper, so though you have physical fears, psychological fears, or any sorts of fear really, you should list it here.

Once you’re done writing all of them, we have to assign priorities, so go down the list and follow the good old elimination process. Ask yourself: Which of these is more important to me and would like to help fix first – sharks or rejection… Assign a number to each fear from one to 15 if you have 15 fears listed, or one through 6 if you have 6 fears on your list – But that number one will be the most important fear that you want to work on first.

Because overcoming fear is not as easy as baking, I recommend dealing with one at a time rather than getting too excited and trying to fix everything at once, because that almost never works. And that’s why I’m recommending you sort out the fears by order of importance. So take your time, and only when you become comfortable with one, should you start working on another.

Now – take that first fear and try to answer the following questions:
– Where did this fear begin? What’s the history behind it?
– For how long have you been affected by this fear?
– What are the elements that trigger the fear? In other words, when does this fear pop up? What triggers it?
– How has this fear affected your life?

What I’d like for you to please keep in mind is that if you fear something because of its dangerous nature, that fear is simply a natural evolutionary mechanism that keeps us out of harm’s way so you just have to figure out if the fear itself is there for a good reason, or if it’s only inhibiting you.

For example, if you fear going to the mall because of the large crowd but you’re in good health, then that fear is inhibiting, not so much a danger to your well being if that makes sense.

So before trying to work on anything, it’s good to know what you have to work with, work on and why. And that’s why this discovery phase is SO important!

Once I’ve identified all my fears, put my focus on #1 and started the process of looking for answers and understanding why it’s there, what I did next was figure out WHY I want to overcome it. Basically I wrote down all the reasons why I wanted to deal with my fear. How I’d feel once I regained control, what I’d experience or learn as a result, how my life would change, etc.

If you do that, you’re laying an emotional foundation that every time you hit a hurdle on the way will provide you with some motivation because you’ll be able to pull from those emotions, look at those reasons why you’re pushing forward and get some of that support you may need internally during the process and keep you moving toward.

After I wrote down why I want to overcome my fear, I then took that fear and conceptualized the ideal scenario. Meaning, what would I have to be doing as the end goal, to confidently acknowledge to myself that I HAVE faced my fear. For my fear of sharks, that would be diving in a shark cage. For my fear of being alone, that would be being single for 6 months. Does that make sense? If you don’t know what that marker will be, you might not realize your progress or acknowledge your success and never really know where you stand.

As you have that goal in mind, that moment that will serve as the recognition of having faced your fear, you need to outline the small steps you’ll need to take to reach that goal. So basically – I will need to do A this month. Push myself to do B next month. If I can’t do it the first time I’ll try again and again and again. Once B’s out of the way, I’ll need to C after that. And so on – small steps, continuously moving forward.

Now when it comes to these small steps, what I found that works for me is a cognitive behavioral approach. I recommend you research cognitive behavioral therapy or speak with a professional to understand more, but in a nutshell, this technique – and I’m going to quote a more simple Wikipedia explanation – “this technique acknowledges that there may be behaviors that cannot be controlled through rational thought, but rather emerge based on prior conditioning from the environment and other external and/or internal stimuli.”

So thinking happy thoughts to face fears may not always work, and that has been the case with many of my own fears, so one of the CBT approaches that I followed in my life has been dealing with the fears by gradually getting desensitized.

For my fear of sharks for example. And I keep bringing this one up because I think it’s funny but also very easy to understand as a concept, which you can then take this concept and apply it to more complex fears.

But, the fear of sharks is truly one of my biggest fears in life. I live in Southern California and I have never been in the ocean here. Not even to my knees. Partially too because the water is not clear so once you’re in it, if your feet no longer touch the bottom floor, odds are you won’t see what’s in the water anymore either and that adds to my freaking out.

But as silly as it may be, this fear has been inhibiting me from having fun in the water when everybody was in, exploring, so I knew I wanted to deal with it. I went through the discovery process and when it came time to setting my goal, I realized that in order for me to face my hear and get over it, the goal would be to get into a shark cage. And the legit way too. Scuba suit, cold water, dive deep down.

Like with most fears, I can’t go straight from not putting a tosey in the water to diving. I’d fail 100%.

So for the past year I’ve been desensitizing myself. First step was to get me in the water. Can I go straight into freaky dark water? No. So I started the process during our first vacation in the Dominican Republic.

hola a todos mis amigos que hablan español

The water is very clear there and for the first 3 days, I’d hold my husband’s hand real tight and get in little by little. First was to the knees and then I’d run back on land. Then every day I’d go in a little deeper. I made sure my husband was close to me at all times so that made me more comfortable, and I made sure I was in an area with a lot of spotters on the beach, just in case. By the end of the trip, I was in  neck deep.

Then when I went back home I started swimming at the gym pool, to get more comfortable with my movement in the water and how to handle myself in it.

Can I go to scuba now? No! But the first step would be to snorkel. So I started snorkeling in the pool. Then 8 months ago when we went back to the Dominican Republic, I got adjusted to going deeper into the water a lot faster, and by day 3 I was ready to snorkel in it. And I did it. That has given me the strength to look into getting scuba certified. From there I met with an instructor, learned more about the process and I’m ready to start the classes. This small step for many has been a huge step for me.

And what I shared with you is basically what I mean by taking small steps to desensitize yourself. If you have a fear of spiders, start by looking at funny cartoons of spiders, to start getting yourself used to looking at them. When you can control your reaction, move on to photos. Then videos. Then ask a trusting friend or your spouse to let you clean a dead spider.

If you fear public speaking, start in your room, by yourself and speak as if you would address a large crowd. Do that for a while to practice. Then introduce a video camera and start recording yourself speaking. When you feel comfortable, do the same thing but in front of your significant other, a parent or a friend. Then, look at supportive learn-by-doing environments, like Toastmasters International.

If you’re afraid of change, start by making small changes in your daily routine. Like – wake up at a different hour, change up the time when you work out, etc.

You see, you’re working through all the different stages, you’re slowly desensitizing yourself and learning to realize that you are capable of handling different situations, not to mention how your confidence will increase with each step you take.

Now, in many instances fear also come alongside anxiety, and I’ve made a very complex video on how to deal with anxiety, like using the PROPER breathing techniques and more, and that video is linked below. Anxiety doesn’t give us the liberty to think clearly, so controlling the anxiety will get you one step closer to conquering your fears. That really helps!

Fears also become more manageable if we start looking at them as opportunities. Opportunities to grow, to maybe meet new people along the way, to strengthen ourselves and learn new things in the process.

Also a general rule when it comes to overcoming fears is you have to accept that you’ll never have all the information. So if you’re holding back from doing something because you need to know more, you might as well put a full stop to what you’re doing because all the information you want will most likely never come, so YOU have to decide if what you want is worth taking a chance more than never having tried it at all.

You also have to believe in yourself. And that’s when it gets tricky because we all have insecurities. You just need to have enough confidence to know that you will be able to deal with anything that could happen as a result of you finding your inner courage and I’ll post a link below to the personal growth playlist because there are a couple of videos in there addressing the many different things we can do to increase our confidence.

Never feed your fear by telling yourself you’re not capable of doing something. Start working on your self-confidence first and THEN decide if you realistically can or can’t do something.

Don’t let potential fear of failure to define who you are and never confuse fear with destiny. “I guess it wasn’t meant to be!” The truth is that you HAVE that control to steer yourself in many different directions and that includes the path you will take. So exercise your control.

Once you work on fear #1 and you’re making continuous process and then you’re ready to continue down the list, you can essentially follow the same track of ideas. I also think that you should celebrate every victory along the way. Don’t wait till you hit your big goal, give yourself thanks for making each milestone. Big walls are built using small bricks. So be proud of yourself and celebrate every cornerstone.

 

The morning of this video I sent out an email to the beautiful souls subscribed to it, with private access to a pdf file that you can print out. Everything that I mentioned here has been carefully put together on a spread sheet, making it a lot easier to follow the process. You can print that and set off on your journey.

Also part of the private content are affirmations to feel more courageous and motivated and some more ideas to help you overcome your fears. If you don’t know about my email, I send it once a week with the launch of a new video, so it adds more value to every video, it’s never spam, and it’s just full of tips and ideas that are not launched publicly – and if you’d like to join us, you can do so on my website and I’ll link to it is also in the video description.

Don’t forget that if you’re subscribed to my YouTube channel you’ll be entered to win in this week’s giveaway that ends today at 11:59 PM pacific time. The winner will be announced in the description of last week’s video and I’ll contact the winner same say. So good luck today and everyday, thank you for watching and for your support.  I love you very much and I can’t wait to see you in the next video. Stay in touch on social till then.

xoxo
Alexandra

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