- Create an Action Plan to Prevent or Control Fear
Create an Action Plan to Prevent or Control Fear
Having a plan to combat fear is advantageous, so that when fear does rear its ugly head, you know exactly what you should be doing to combat it. You should be practicing your favorite fear fighting techniques every day, so that when the time comes, the process you use to beat fear back is so ingrained in your mind that it automatically kicks in.
An action plan to conquer fear is good to have when it comes to your future, your education, your job and in life as you will most likely be combating fear till the game of life is over. An action plan causes your vision or dream to seem a little more realistic and explains what you must do to move toward a goal. Once you know what to do and have a plan set in place, fear will naturally subside.
An action plan sets you up for success rather than allowing you to wallow in procrastination or a failure mindset. When you have an action plan, you are less likely to forget something and when you do have one, all the details of your vision are right there before you. You need to write your action plan once you decide once and for all that you want to conquer your fears and have tried several methods that have worked successfully to get rid of them.
Develop your action plan on paper and put it on your refrigerator or bulletin board, tape it to your closet door in the bedroom or put it on the wall in the bathroom. It needs to be somewhere that is out in the open and that you can see every day. Look at it every chance you get to reinforce the steps necessary so that they become familiar and ingrained in your subconscious. Memorize your action plan so that you can retrieve it any time that you need it. Once the plan is memorized, visualization is an incredible tool to utilize. Just picture yourself in the 3rd person, as if from a distance away, perfectly executing your action plan to conquer any fear that may be trying to take hold. The more you do this, the more of a pro you will become at fighting fear. The steps in your action plan need to be very specific and detailed. Avoid writing down just the title of the method. Instead, write the whole procedure and specifics of the method. Write down the steps and concentrate on the goal. You might even give yourself a time when this goal needs to be completed, but be realistic. If you make the time frame too small you could become discouraged because you aren’t reaching it as fast as you thought you would. A good technique to use when making goals is to add the words: “I will easily…” to the beginning of each goal.
An example of a good working action plan is as follows:
Create a goal - Maybe it is a long-term goal like “I will easily get on an airplane in six months and take a flight” or it might be “I will easily be able to stop my fear of confined places if I am forced to be in one”.
Step 1 - Start out with simple breathing exercises that work best for you.
Step 2 - Add the tensing method to your plan if you are in a convenient place to utilize it.
Step 3 - If going to your calm place helps to calm your fears, then go ahead and put this in the plan. Write a vivid description of your calm place so that you can bring it up even if you start to panic. When you write, the information goes right into the storage area of the brain and is easy to access when you need it. If yelling at your fears and calling them names works for you, then put this in the plan and yell your head off. Write a description of what you are going to do. Imagine the fear looking like a big black ball. Confront the ball and call it some choice names. Tell it to go away and never come back. Tell it how it is ruining your life and mentally catch the ball of fear and throw it as hard as you can over a cliff or into the sun.
Step 4 - Try to reason with your fear. Write questions you would ask to yourself like: Why are you panicking? Is there really a reason to panic? Is there a simple solution? Look for that simple solution by comparing, doing what is second nature or pulling from your past.
Step 5 - Take control. Throw out all negative thoughts and be proactive. Get yourself out of the situation or accept it and do the best you can. Then move on. Realize you do have control and use it.
Step 6 – Actively eat healthy, take good supplements, visualize regularly, use a hypnosis download daily, read the vision board daily, exercise, and watch and use some of the great “Tapping” videos on YouTube.
Step 7 - This is the best step of the whole plan. Celebrate once the fear subsides. Treat yourself because you deserve it. Celebrating enhances courage and confidence. When the situation arises and fear starts to take hold, you can concentrate on the celebration instead of the fear. Think about how you will celebrate. Maybe you will treat yourself to ice cream or a steak dinner. You might want to celebrate by going out with friends or relatives or you might enjoy taking the time to curl up with a good book or movie. Write whatever your celebration plan is down so your consciousness feels that it is more real than just words on paper.
Make at least one step in the action plan measurable so you can see progress. It might be, “I will be able to calm myself in 1 minute” or “I will be able to think rationally and disregard fear in 2 minutes”. Most action plans have time lines and you can add those to yours. Perhaps you want to be successful in breathing and tensing by a certain date. The only problem with this is that the fear situation might not crop up during that time limit. You are not working with something that happens every day. You can, however, put in that your practice of breathing and tensing will be successful in a certain amount of time or that you will practice your visualization daily.
Here is an example of an action plan for someone who is afraid of dogs. Dogs are mostly friendly, but they have a habit of jumping up on people to get their attention. This can put a fearful person into a tizzy.
Action Plan Goal: I will no longer be afraid of dogs as long as they do not growl or snap at me.
In the goal you are saying you will not be afraid of friendly dogs. It is important that you add a caveat here. Your fight or flight reaction will save you from danger when dealing with attacking dogs as opposed to friendly dogs that way. I would include a list of actions that would render the dog unfriendly:
Then I would add what to do if I encountered an angry dog like this:
Get to enclosed area or high space as quickly as possible.
Use whatever you have to keep the dog’s teeth away. Use a brief case, purse, lunch box, garbage lid, large branch, shoe to the face, etc.
While fending off the attack I will move toward an enclosed area or towards others who can help me.
When I see a friendly dog I will:
Start breathing exercises. I will breathe in through my nose using my diaphragm to the count of 8. I will hold my breath to a count of 8 and I will exhale out of my mouth to a count of 8. I will do this as long as it takes to calm myself.
I will start tensing exercises while I breathe. I will start by relaxing the muscles in my neck and gradually progress to my feet.
I will go to my calm place, which can be anything that is calming and relaxing to you. As a former pro gamer, my calm place is a magical kingdom where all evil has been eradicated, anything is possible and the forces of good prevail eternally. Be sure to come up with something that is compelling and relaxing for you.
I will reason with my fear and ascertain if touching the dog will cause harm.
Is the dog waging his tail? If he is wagging his tail, he does not feel threatened by me.
Does the dog look happy to see me? If he does, he must be friendly.
Is the dog growling? If he is, I should find something to protect myself, but if he isn't, I should stay calm.
Is the dog nuzzling me gently? If he is, he wants me to pet him and I will offer my hand with my palm down in a non-threatening manner for him to sniff. Then I will pet him.
I will take control and do what I have to make the situation better by:
Telling the owner I am afraid and have him remove the dog.
Extend my hand so the dog can sniff me.
Pet the dog.
Give the dog a treat.
I will celebrate by going out for an ice cream cone and pat myself on the back for not giving into fear. If I go a month consistently overcoming my fears, then I will treat myself to a professional massage.
It is as simple as that!