When I think about fear I imagine impending doom, my life being at risk or being completely alone to fend for myself. As I read through conversations about careers and life in general, I see many people hesitating out of fear.
To quote Leslie Chow in The Hangover 2, “But did you die?”
Not to sound like a jerk or to discredit your feelings, but how are your fears comparable to death? Is asking for a raise going to cause you bodily harm? Will making a career change be risking your life?
The answer is NO.
Let’s change the language of fear.
Are your fears really about accepting a challenge? Making a change in your life?
If you associate a strong word like fear with making necessary changes in your life, no wonder you’re afraid of change!
Try this: Stop saying you’re afraid. Say that you’re curious about how these changes will work. Curious invokes a lighter feeling than “scared.” Think of what you would tell your kids if they used the word “fear.” Tell yourself the same thing!
This trick is called cognitive defusion.
It helps you distance yourself from damaging thoughts.
What word will you substitute for “fear?”