Burn off Fears using I.P.A.
As entrepreneurs, we all know how important physical fitness is to balance out our lives, but mental fitness doesn’t usually get too much attention. Do you lack confidence, become anxious, or fearful doing something as it relates to your business or life? If so, this may mean you need to do a few rounds at the mental gym to burn off your fears.
Fear is hardwired within us and is used as a survival mechanism. If there is physical danger fear is what tells us whether to stand our ground and fight or flee. As humans, we have the ability to learn, think, and create fear in our minds. For most of us, this is the fear that hinders our businesses, relationships, and everyday life. In many cases, this fear is self-generated but can be converted into a motivator and drive success.
The following three steps (I.P.A exercise) will assist you in burning off your fears.
This is the warm-up phase, write down the top fear that is holding you back in your life. Also, write why you fear it, and where in your body you feel the fear.
The fear may be deep-rooted, so think about a triggering incident in your life, it may be small as a playground incident or growing up around violence. As a result of negative life experiences, you weaved a story that is stored in your long-term memory. Anytime a new life experience occurs you view the negative experience through the story you created. This story is what generates the fear and blocks you from achieving your business and life goals.
This is the training phase. You will need to create a written plan that will address the fears directly.
Journal about the story you created for 10-15 minutes and how it is not based on facts, but your interpretation of the facts.
Talk to a partner, friend, family member or coach about how you are letting go of the story, and they can hold you accountable during the next phase.
Write out a detailed plan of how you would overcome the fear. For example, if you have some fear around public speaking, then maybe you start attending small sit down group discussions. Down the road, you can join a public speaking group to practice stand up speeches. At an advanced stage, you become a paid speaker.
Visualize those steps taking shape. There is a lot of power in visualizing your future self. Staying with the public speaking example; close your eyes and visualize walking into the room, meeting friendly people, being introduced, smiling faces in the audience, huge applause at the end of your talk, and people approaching you at the end of the talk to exchange contact info.
This final phase is the cooldown. You will take action on the written plan and visualizations that you practiced. Be very specific, methodical and consistent in carrying out your plan. Inform your accountability buddy about the actions you are taking. Sometimes our nerves act up while carrying out the plan. If you feel your heart is racing or sweaty hands, take some deep long inhalations and exhalations. You can choose to sit down and place a hand on your stomach. Feel the expansion of the stomach with every breath, and compression with the exhalation.
When you follow through with your plans, make sure to celebrate. It does not matter how big or small, reward yourself with a massage, a nice meal, or a gift. This will continue to reinforce the positive steps you’ve taken towards balancing your life.
Try out the I.P.A process for 45 days. Like anything else, you have to practice to become an expert at it, so stay consistent with the plan. Soon you’ll see your fears burning away.
Niraj Mendis is a Speaker, Author, and Coach who helps people unlock their true potential through the process of balancing your mind, body, and spirit. His decades of experience in corporate, transformational work and travel experiences have made him the person he is today. Join his movement to redefine success as empowered action, authentic relationships, and conscious impact.