Can you recall a time when you were startled? Maybe a sudden sound, someone unexpectedly walked up behind you and for a split second you were afraid. But, then once you were aware of your surroundings or the source of the sound, you calmed yourself, didn’t you? Well, you actually chose not to be afraid. The next time you heard that sound whether expected or not, you weren’t afraid. You may have even ignored it.
Yes, you can choose not to be afraid.
As a Public Speaker and Minister, I am regularly presented with opportunities to be afraid. Can you imagine speaking in front of 100 people or more? There was a time when I couldn’t eat before a presentation for fear of vomiting all over the stage. I was overwhelmed with thoughts of “what if’s”. What if I forget what I’m supposed to say? What if I start to stutter? What if I open my mouth and nothing comes out? The unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach was nearly debilitating.
Then one day I read one simple sentence in a book entitled, “From Panic to Power” and it occurred to me that I could CHOOSE not to be afraid or anxious. In the book, the author simply recommended that when feeling nervous, say to yourself “I’m not afraid. I’m excited!”
Yes, it is that simple.
You see, the human brain is a people pleaser. Well, actually it’s designed to please YOU. It will do what you tell it to do. And, the more you program your brain to respond a certain way, the more instinctively it will behave.
Yes, self-talk is powerful.
The language you use within yourself will either encourage you or discourage you. Motivational speaker and coach, Tony Robbins is a master at positive self talk. If you’ve ever watched one of his speaking events you know that his behind the scenes preparation includes motivational music, exercise and encouraging self-talk.
Can you imagine yourself being fearless? What would it look and feel like? What encouraging words would you say to yourself? How big is your smile? How warm does your skin feel? How is your breathing?
I know that the next time you are tempted to be afraid, you will choose instead to be FEARLESS.