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    FACING FEARS – Its something many of us try to avoid because fears are scary, challenging and often represent change and acceptance of ourselves and others.  But what if avoiding facing your fears means you feel trapped and are prevented from becoming the best version of you?
    What if there was a positive way to free yourself from your fears as you face them!?
    Fears are a type of anxiety, and anxiety is a normal and healthy part of being human and being adult.  Anxiety is an emotion, and a valid one at that, as it stems from our fight, flight or freeze survival make-up.  However, it can also become overbearing and that’s where small steps to understand the fear, and subsequent anxiety, where it comes from and how its triggered, are needed.  For some people, this is best done with the help of a professional, for example a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) specialist.
    However, what if your fears are niggling things that don’t overrule your life, but they stop you doing the things you want, or getting the things you want from life, for example; a happy and committed stable relationship, the ability to speak confidently to others about your business, or a fear of heights stopping you going to places you’d love to experience?
    This is where NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) can help you.  NLP is about making conscious the thoughts we have and then recognising the unhelpful language we use about ourselves.  Its about identifying those limiting beliefs and, once identified, finding alternatives that are more helpful, and positive, and repeating these over time and reinforcing them with actions.
    Lets bring to life the examples above.
    1. A happy and stable committed relationship – Whether this is something you crave or something you run and hide from, the first thing to do is write down a list of words that you associate with relationships.  Once you have your list, think about how many of the positives you bring and how many of the negatives.  Do you have unrealistic expectations of others (are you waiting for someone else to ‘sweep you off your feet’ and assume all the responsibility for you and them), do you try to take over, or do you keep withdrawn and try to hold onto a sense a power for fear of ‘losing control’? In order to help with this, reflect back on previous relationships and look for patterns.  Often with relationships the first place to look is within, and make the necessary changes there.   Recognise the traits that you find attractive in others and start to find ways to be the person to yourself.  Start a new dialogue with yourself.  If you like someone who takes charge, start to be that person for yourself.  If you fear losing control, start to give in to yourself.  Find little ways to let go when you are on your own.  Start small and start from the inside out.
    2. Speaking confidently about your business (or just speaking confidently) – If you are not speaking confidently about something its often because you don’t believe in what you are saying.  This is either because you don’t feel you know enough about a subject to be considered an expert – in which case identify at what point you would feel like you know enough and work towards that, make that your priority.  Or, its because you don’t believe in yourself.  If you don’t believe in yourself then we need to identify the thoughts and words being used by you about yourself.  Where did you learn to think about yourself like that?  Who’s voice is it really.  All negative thoughts are a learned behaviour and in the situation of not believing in yourself, we need to give ownership back to the person behind the voice so that you can choose a different, more positive, encouraging and rewarding set of beliefs about yourself.
    3. A fear of heights – this is quite a common fear, and perhaps because its more common people feel more able to share this fear without feeling they might be judged by others.  A fear of heights is a sensible and rational fear, until it stops you going to places and achieve things you want.  If a fear of heights stop you going skiing with friend s or seeing the view of New York from the top of the Empire State Building with your family then you begin to miss out and the fear is not allowing you to be the best version of you. With these types of fears it all about a positive framework of calming thoughts and words, perhaps even sounds and smells like help keep you calm and feeling in control of your fear.  Recognising that it is a fear but not one that is in proportion to the amount of ‘danger’ you truly are in.
    Overall, what we think to ourselves is a critical part of fears as fear comes from the mind and so this is where the fear most be address and then followed up with positive reinforcing actions.
    The beauty of facing fears is that with each step you take towards a more positive and fear-less future the more confidence and positive self-belief you will gain and so rather than everything spiraling downwards with the fear taking control, with the help of NLP everything builds into a positive framework and piece of evidence for all the amazing, and life changing things you can and have already achieved.
    And above all, take the time to recognise and celebrate each positive step along the way as this too will help keep you focused on your end goal, to fear less and live fearlessly!
    Wishing you a positive and confident day!
    For more information on NLP and how it might help you click here.
    Lydia x
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