By Lily Friedman
“Maybe the hardest part of life is just having the courage to try.” – Rachel Hollis
This week’s Wellness Roundup is all about the feelings we often don’t stop to process: the fears that holds us back from experiences, the frustration of not speaking up your mind, the crippling anxiety when faced with complex decisions.
Scouring the internet each week as the social media marketer here at The Sanity Snack, I’m on a mission to deliver some of the best wellness and self-improvement advice on the web to our followers.
How exactly should you be handling the different types of fear in your life? How do you know when or how is a good time to speak up for yourself? How do you make decisions that lead to positive outcomes?
By following this week’s sanity tidbits, you just may find all the answers.
Handling the 3 Types of Fear in Your Life
We all have fear – this built-in mechanism to keep ourselves out of danger. While healthy fear is effective in alerting us of danger, real fear and illogical fear may hold us back from opportunities and experiences. If you can learn to understand and become aware of each type of fear, then you can break free of this self-made prison you’ve become so caught up in.
Author and self-proclaimed ‘change junkie’, Monica Berg defines each fear and leads you through ways of overcoming every kind in her article ‘There Are 3 Different Kinds of Fear- Here’s How To Handle Each One’ on mindbodygreen.com. “Healthy fear helps us discern safe situations from dangerous ones. This is the type of fear we need for our survival and protection,” Berg explains.
Real fear is not based on physical danger but based in reality. It can range from the fear of losing people we love to never achieving our dreams, and this fear can consume us to the point where we stop living our lives entirely. “Illogical fear resides on the opposite end of the spectrum from healthy fear. It feels the same, but it is typically triggered as a result of something hypothetical or altogether nonexistent,” Berg says.
Take a moment to reflect on how fear has shown up in your life and try to identify which type you’re feeling. Then try challenging these fear-based thoughts and exposing yourself to them. Break away from that conditioned fear. Don’t let it rob you of the joy you could be experiencing every day.
Speaking up for Yourself
We’ve all been in situations when we don’t agree with someone and maybe even feel like challenging them. How do you know if you can correct your boss when they make a mistake? Can you tell someone you love your deepest insecurities? How do you go about confronting those co-workers that always step on your toes?
Social psychologist Adam Galinsky answers these very questions in his TED Talks Daily podcast, ‘How to Speak up for Yourself.’ Galinsky opens the talk with two compelling stories. One of a time in which he failed to speak up when he should have, and another of a time when he spoke up but shouldn’t have.
Through personal experiences, Galinsky recognized that each one of us has something called a ‘range of acceptable behavior’, and it’s up to ourselves to find our own range (our power). When you lack power you have very little leeway and this can be referred to as the ‘low power double-bind’. This happens when you go unnoticed if you don’t speak up, but punished if you do speak up. So? We need to find ways to expand our range- and Galinsky has all the tools we need.
For instance, try perspective-taking or asking others for advice. Doing so flatters the other person and also expresses your humility. It also allows you to know where they stand, solving the ‘self-promotion double-bind’. “If we don’t advertise our accomplishments, no one notices. And if we do, we’re not likeable. But if we ask for advice about one of our accomplishments we are able to be competent in their eyes but also likeable,” he explains.
Improving Your Decision Making
It’s easy to feel crippled when faced with complicated life decisions. Whether it’s making the next best decision for your business, about changing your career after twenty years, or deciding on whether to get married, big decisions always equate to big outcomes. So it’s important to feel sure and be confident in the choices you make.
Steven Johnson, author and media critic, shares ‘3 Surprising Ways to Improve Your Decision Making’ with Inc.com. “If it’s a complex choice with serious ramifications, you don’t want to go into it after just mulling it yourself or having a couple of conversations about it,” Johnson says.
The first thing you can do? Don’t be too decisive. “Decisiveness is fine for simpler choices in life. But when you get to a really important crossroads, deliberation is far more important than decisiveness,” he says.
Follow Johnson’s useful strategies for making decisions that will help boost the likelihood of a positive outcome in your favor.