Recently the question was posed to me, “What do you fear?”
Like many others, I’ve felt fear the last few weeks as COVID-19 has spread, but I hadn’t yet put words to what exactly I’m fearful of.
In truth, I have many fears around what we’re all facing. I’m scared for the health of the essential workers on the frontlines, as well as those that are high-risk, including my own parents. I worry that after a challenging 2019 my family is going to struggle financially. I fear both the immediate and long-term impacts to the economy. I’m scared of the many unknowns: How long will this last? How many will suffer? And, how long will it take for us to get back to some semblance of normalcy?
Articulating these fears naturally increased my stress levels, but it also had a surprising positive effect. After having a moment where I felt the fear rising within me, I took a moment to exhale, and with that release, I was able to feel some relief. Making myself fully aware of my fears, I feel more prepared to face them. Before, I couldn’t seem to overcome the general feeling of anxiety I was experiencing. Now that I understand my specific fears, I feel better prepared to deal with them.
While so much is beyond my control, I know I need to focus on what I do have power over - channeling my fear into as much positive as I can. For me, it’s remaining productive, creating an environment in my home that allows my two young daughters to have as much normalcy as possible, and offering help where and when I can.
Between social media and non-stop news coverage, it is easy to get swept back up in fear. It is incredibly challenging to not let it get to you, but for the sake of our families and ourselves, it’s critical that we do what we can to manage our fears.
Terri Maxwell, Founder & CEO of Succeed On Purpose, developed a process for facing and managing fear:
What are you most afraid of right now? Define it.
Don’t try to push it down. Have your feelings around that fear.
Confide in someone. Put words to that fear and express it. Look at it, feel it, make it conscious; bring it into your awareness.
To face the fear, access the God-given power of perseverance to PUSH through the discomfort of fear and resistance. Just search your body for the feeling of perseverance (it will feel the exact opposite of fear).
Facing and pushing through our fear, grows our faith, and with it are able to access more perseverance.
We are living in unprecedented times and trying to adjust to a new normal. Fear is natural. It’s uncomfortable. It can be intense. We may not be able to make it go away completely, but we can manage it so we don’t succumb to it.
If you, like so many others, are struggling with how to manage your fear during these difficult times, we invite you to watch our previously recorded Overcoming Fear Webinar. Learn to define your fear, manage it through uncertainty, and ultimately, grow through your fear.
Stephanie Renna has been working with Succeed On Purpose since 2012, and now serves as the brand leader. Her purpose is to bring joy.