Can You Identify When Fear is Holding You Down?

Follow these four steps to begin to determine if fear is holding you down.

1) Identify. Consider recent fears that have impacted your life. Those might involve tangible things (such as the anticipated loss of a business, job, spouse and health) or something different (such as the loss of your confidence, pride, dreams and more). Consider whether you have experienced any of the physical or cognitive reactions mentioned previously. Focus on your experience of fear and not on the actual events. As you think about a fear, pay attention to your reaction and see if you begin to experience any of the physical or cognitive reactions associated with fear.

2) Assess. Now ask yourself whether you are still experiencing fear in the same way recently. Does your heart start beating quickly? Do you feel tense or short of breath? As you think about what is causing or has caused you fear, can you clearly think about it or are you struggling to call details into your mind?

3) Notice. If you notice your reaction to fear has changed, lessened or you barely register it, you need to stop and ask yourself what has happened. Was there something you did to address or resolve the fear, or did it just change? People are, indeed, resilient and sometimes able to just push past a fear. But sometimes fear becomes invisible, and when that happens, it can be an insidious thing. If you are no longer reacting to fear normally but have not resolved it, the fear might have taken root and slowly begun breaking down your resilience.

4) Pay attention. If you have, indeed, lowered your set point reaction to fear, you need to pay attention to your body and psychological reactions to all of the situations and people. When you no longer have a healthy fear response, you are more likely to miss the warning signs of danger and can become vulnerable to errors in judgment and action.

If you have read through these four steps and are concerned you have lost your perspective on fear, you need to regain control of your ability to monitor and manage your emotional and physical reactions. Identify and enact tangible strategies that include lifestyle changes, meditation and mindfulness, and consider seeking out a professional such as a doctor, therapist or coach. It is not a weakness or failure to identify a need for help; it is a step in the process of making necessary changes to take back control of your emotional health. Once you begin this process of awareness, you can put yourself back in a position to manage your fears so they do not hold you down.

Other articles by Tara:
What You See Isn’t Always All There Is
Who are Your Influencers?
Fake It Until You Become It
Business Leadership For Uncertain Times
How to Enable your Connected Employees to Find Your Next Connected Employee
How Connected Employees Can Lead to Disruptive Change
How Connected Employees Can Boost Your Bottom Line
Can Disruptive Innovation Lead to Change?
3 Tips On Social Networks Vital for Business
Hiring Emotionally Intelligent Employees
Do You Maintain Composure in Business?
Hiring Better Fitting Employees

For more posts, see Tara’s mentor page

Tara Orchard is a coach, trainer and consultant who applies her insights into people and understanding of psychology to facilitate performance improvements for individuals, teams and business. Working with business owners and team leaders she uses personality typing and social and emotional intelligence assessment to consult on relationship and team management, employee development, screening and hiring, social networking and customer communications. She is currently working on a book about the psychology of successful social networking. Tara invites you to connect with her on LinkedIn, Career-coach Canada ( or Careeradex



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Tara Orchard
Tara Orchard is a coach, trainer, consultant and writer who applies her insights into people and Masters training in psychology to facilitate performance improvements, relationships and communication for people and businesses. She has worked with organizations to deliver clarity on culture and brand, develop their people and manage relationships with social network communities. Over the past 18 years she has consulted with 1000's of people who want to make effective transitions in their lives. Tara has a knack for hearing what people are thinking and helping them see what they need to see. She is the founder of her own career and social network coaching business, works with several other organizations as a coach and consultant and is about to complete her first book on the "psychology of effective social networking".