One way to become less of a slave to fear is to develop a conscious relationship with it. Talk with fear as if it was another person. You can even name it—let’s use Seymour.
“Thank you, Seymour. I appreciate that warned me not to pet that rabid dog. However, we need to talk about this fear of talking with strangers. It was useful when I was five, walking home from school—you kept me safe, and I do appreciate that. But now I’m a thirty-year-old real estate agent going broke because I’m afraid to speak to strangers about selling their homes. Time for an adjustment, dude.”
This may sound silly to you but try it. And remember, fear is not a real thing; it doesn’t exist in nature. It is you. It is your way of protecting yourself when you’ve decided you need protection. No more than that.
Now that you and Seymour are getting tight, notice how you become increasingly aware of his presence. Something doesn’t work out the way you want or expect, and the inner trash talk begins. Why did I say that? I’m sure my client is going to kill the sale now, which means no mortgage payment next month. I may even have to start drinking cheap wine, God forbid! When life fails to meet our expectations, we tend to snap to negative, insecure thinking. Unchecked, negative, fear-based thoughts can spiral out of control, leaving us agitated, in no position to take command of the situation and solve the problem.
The solution to this downward spiral is to listen to the conversation you’re having with Seymour before it gains too much momentum. Recognize it for what it is—you talking to you in a manner that you have decided. You are Seymour’s scriptwriter. Heck— You are Seymour!