Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Hello I'm Ori, Nigerian American lifestyle blogger and career consultant encouraging you to live boldly. Be original. 

Embrace Your Fears

Embrace Your Fears

Believe it or not, the best way to overcome fear, is by exposing yourself to what scares you. This technique is called Exposure Therapy and it's the proven psychological method for treating Anxiety Disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD). Fear will be reduced through repeated exposure to what you're scared of.

Here's how it works: A therapist helps their client create a Fear Hierarchy which is a list of one specific fear and all the scary things that lead up to it. For example, if you are scared of spiders, you create a fear hierarchy of least to greatest scenarios leading up to you holding a spider in your hand. Then your therapist will expose you to each scenario on that list, and as you overcome each fear, you will eventually be exposed to the greatest fear and learn ways to overcome it too. This process is called Systematic Desensitization and it works! 

So let's recap: Best way to overcome fear is by exposing yourself to that fear, starting from least to greatest and overtimes you will overcome each item on your fear hierarchy until you overcome them all. Congratulations you have learned a little bit of Abnormal Psychology. 

You may think this has nothing to do with you cause you don't have a disorder, but you can still learn from this. This new year, I challenge you to face your fears if you want to grow. Research shows that Exposure Therapy is the most effective way to overcome fear because it teaches you to get used to that feared stimuli. You also address any false beliefs that cause you to be afraid of that thing in order to better understand the source of your fear. 

In terms of following your dreams and being original, what are you scared of? Public speaking, rejection, or failure? These are all valid fears don't get me wrong, but in order to reach your goals, become successful and influential, you have to do more of what scares you. Think of it, the more you speak in public, the better you will get at it. Expose yourself to what scares you in order to get better at dealing with it. Overcoming a fear doesn't mean that the fear is less threatening, it means that you have learned to deal with your reaction to that fear and compose yourself. Next time you are faced with a fear, take a deep breath because it will calm your nerves down and relax you. This teqnique is called Applied Relaxation because it forces your nervous system to chill when you are about to freak out. 

Applied relaxation involves first identifying situations in which panic is likely, as well as early panic cues; next, individuals are taught progressive muscle relaxation, and learn to become relaxed more and more quickly over the course of treatment.
— Society of Clinical Psychology

So what are you going to do in 2017? Yes, you will do more things that scare you so that you can overcome them. Embrace your fears because overcoming them is the gateway to your success. 

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