Today I’m sharing part 3 in a 4 part series called Self-Care in a Time of Fear. In part 1 we dug deep and explored our attitudes towards people who are different than us and the fears that lie underneath the surface. In part 2 we explored the subtle shades of fear by learning some of its different names. You also explored how fear shows-up in your life to help increase your awareness. In today’s article we will continue our exploration of fear by identifying 3 strategies to help us minimize the impact fear has on our relationships.
Before we jump into the strategies however, it’s important for us to get an understanding of how fear impacts our relationships.
Fear affects our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. As a result, it impacts how effectively we communicate with and treat other people.
With this idea in mind, lets jump into our strategies to learn how to minimize its impact.
3 Strategies to Help Minimize the Impact of Fear
These 3 strategies are designed to work in partnership. For each strategy I decided to the use the example of a fear of bees to demonstrate. Alright, now onto the first strategy.Strategy #1 to Minimize the Impact of Fear In Your Relationships - Challenge Your Beliefs Click To Tweet
Strategy #1 – Challenge Your Beliefs
This strategy brings us right back to the first article in this series where I challenged you to get really honest about what you fear. When we fear something, there is often a set of beliefs that accompany that fear. For example, I’m afraid of bugs; bees in particular. I have a belief that if a bee flies near me, then it intends to sting me so I have to protect myself against it. To challenge this belief I can ask myself the following questions: “What if there is another reason why bees sting?“ “How can I find this out?” Basically, I’m playing the “what if” game to challenge myself to identify an alternative explanation. How can you use the “what if” game to help you identify an alternative explanation/perspective about your more difficult relationships?Strategy #2 to Minimize the Impact of Fear In Your Relationships - Shift Your Attitude Click To Tweet
Strategy #2 – Shift Your Attitude
Using the same bee example, I did a little research to help me find out why bees might sting. I learned that most of them could care less about stinging me. If they sting it is often to defend themselves against what they believe to be a threat. Getting the facts has helped me challenge my original belief. I now know that the bee isn’t out to get me, so maybe I don’t have to be so fearful of it. This can help me to actually soften my attitude towards bees. What are some ways that you can “get the facts” to help you shift your attitude about your relationships?Strategy #3 to Minimize the Impact of Fear In Your Relationships- Change Your Behavior Click To Tweet
Strategy #3 – Change Your Behavior
Now that I’ve challenged my beliefs and shifted my attitude, I am equipped to change my behavior. In my research I actually came across this website that had some helpful tips to avoid getting stung by bees. Knowing that the bee will only sting me if it feels threatened, I simply need to be proactive about avoiding any threatening behavior and remain calm. With increased knowledge, what can you change about the way you treat the people in your life?
Now that I’ve shared these three strategies with you, I want to encourage you to practice them. Think about one specific relationship in your life that you would like to see look differently. As you practice I want you to pay attention to what shifts you notice in how fear impacts your relationships.
Do you have another strategy that you’ve found helpful in minimizing the impact that fear has in your relationships? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Next week I’ll be back with the 4th and final installment of this series, Self-Care in a Time of Fear. I’ll be sharing some strategies to help you overcome fear by building your courage muscle.
Thanks so much for stopping by today.