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Mental Toughness 5 – Fear

If you’ve been following along with our posts on mental toughness, you are ready to start to use your mental toughness to overcome fear. You’ve developed the self-awareness you need to establish your values, and you’ve started to develop an unshakable happiness. So, let’s start removing fear from your life.

Fear Exists in the Future

First, understand that fear is a projection of something you predict may happen in the future. It is impossible to be afraid of something in the present. Fear is always something you think will happen. Therefore, a quick way to start fighting against fear is to realize you have no control over the future, and humans are terrible at predicting the future.

Four Ways to Control Your Fear

When we are relating fear to mental toughness, we are trying to control our thoughts. This will allow us to remain in control at any given moment, regardless of the circumstances. There are four ways you can develop mental toughness to control you fear:

  1. A Reserve Clause – When you decide to take action on anything, always reserve a small part of your expectation that you might not succeed. Again, you have no control over the future. Really, you have no control over the outcome of anything. Manage your expectations and be realistic. Do you best and accept that anything can happen outside of your control.
  2. Premeditate on Adversity – If you approach every situation with a reverse clause, then you are accepting that anything can happen. That means you can anticipate a whole range of setbacks that could happen. If you premeditate on potential adversity, you can essentially build emotion resilience by realizing most setbacks are no big deal. You can also develop contingency plans.
  3. Emotion Habituation – this are big words that basically mean desensitizing yourself to your fears. The more you expose yourself to what you fear, the less you will fear it. You can actually expose yourself. Or, you can do so in your imagination. The goal is to expose yourself until you no longer feel fear.
  4. The Inner Citadel – Accept that nothing is inherently good or bad. You judge situations as good or bad. The more you accept this, the more you can retreat into your head to regain control. Everything is changing constantly. Your current situation will also change. What is happening right now cannot influence you emotions. Emotions arise from within your mind as you judge the situation. Build the wall and protect your impressions.

A final practice that we like to engage in to help manage fear is journaling. If you are feeling particularly fearful over an upcoming situation, journal about that fear. Write down what you think is going to happen. Then, after the event has come and gone, go back to your journal. Did it happen as you predicted. Chances are it did not. The more you do this, the more you will realize fears are all in your head.

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