I’m currently reading “Everything Happens For A Reason” by Mira Kirshenbaum, a book that is totally up my alley and one I highly recommend.
In her book, Kirshenbaum gives a list of ten reasons that she has deduced give meaning to and for the challenging, even tragic events that happen to us. For each reason she details how we can determine if that reason holds the answer we need or the lesson we need to learn. All of her reasons are intriguing and enlightening, but today, one of her reasons, “To Show That You Can Let Go Of Fear” resonated with me. I have, in the past, used some of the tools she gives to work through my own challenging situations, but I like the method that Kirshenbaum developed and patented. She likens fear to a balloon and her method, a list of questions that are like darts to deflate that balloon.
When facing a fear, use the patented Kirshenbaum Seven-Step Method for Overcoming Fear by asking yourself the following questions:
- What am I really afraid of? Fear, she says, likes to be vague, so get really specific.
- What’s the worst that can happen?
- How likely is it? Probably not very.
- Can I prevent this? There are likely some actions you can take to lessen the chances of it happening.
- Can I insure myself against this? Here she talks not of property or casualty insurance, but by doing something so you’ll be okay if that thing does happen. Kirshenbaum uses the example of the fear that a new relationship may not work out because the two of you may not be compatible. She says that maintaining relationships with friends is your insurance that you won’t be alone if the new romance fizzles out.
- Could I cope if the thing I’m afraid of comes to pass? With this question, assume the best about yourself, not the worst.
- Who can I talk to about this? Keeping fears to ourselves gives them more power. Kirshenbaum talks of speaking to a room full of people. By sharing with even the strangers in the room that you are nervous, you may discover a kinder, more empathetic audience that may in turn put you more at ease.
I think that going through Kirshenbaum’s list the next time you are facing one of your fears could be very therapeutic. In the immortal words of Christopher Robin to Pooh Bear,
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne
Believe in yourself and your abilities! When you do that, fear doesn’t stand a chance!