Speaking in front of a crowd, giving an important presentation, going to a job interview — they’re all stressful and they can trigger anxiety and fear in even the most stalwart people. So how do you beat tjat back when you need to? One psychologist suggests the FEAR method: “Focus, Expose, Approach, Rehearse.”
Pamela D. Garcy, Ph.D explains over at Psychology Today that for many people, the best way to tackle their fears and anxiety is to get a system in place mentally. With practice, it can reduce the impact of those moments when they come. She notes:
In the case of fear, a popular acronym is False Evidence Appearing Real. While this acronym is useful in reminding us that fear is often based upon a misperception, it unfortunately doesn’t teach us how to reduce fear.
What about employing new acronyms which incorporate researched tools for fear reduction? The FEAR System and the LMONP Cycle are two examples that you can put to the test.
The system I use with my clients is my own acronym for F-E-A-R for Focus, Expose, Approach, Rehearse.
F = Focus instead of freaking out
E = Expose instead of escape
A = Approach instead of avoid
R = Rehearse a lot
If you’re worried, “focus” on the task at hand, or on one present thing that can help you right now. Then instead of ignoring it, face it (“expose”) and break it down into smaller bite-sized chunks. Then “approach” those bite size chunks. Finally, “rehearse” how you plan to handle the issue. The more you do so, the more ready you’ll be, and you’ll boost your confidence at the same time. When you’re in the moment, you can repeat the acronym back to yourself.
Dr. Garcy gets into great detail about each of these four steps at the link below, so make sure to read through it if you want to give this a try.
A Fear Busting Formula You Can Remember [Psychology Today]
Thanks to reader AJ for sending in the tip!
Photo by brx0.