Stress and fear trigger the fight-or-flight response in us.
It’s tempting to skip all situations which make us stressed or anxious.
However, this is not helpful. Whenever you are put in the same types of situation, the same anxiety and fear will creep up.
Avoiding a stressful or fearful situation will give us relief from feelings of anxiety and stress.
But, if we continue avoiding such situations, our brains will link avoidance with anxiety relief.
We continue avoiding those stressful or fearful situations for ALL of our lives.
How to use The Bravery Ladder to Overcome Fear Slowly
I have a mindset tool (The Bravery Ladder) which you can use.
Experts recommend 'graded exposure' which means, experiencing your stressful situations one baby step at a time.
For example: Let’s say Linda has a fear of public speaking. Let’s see how we can use ‘graded exposure’ using The Bravery Ladder method.
Ask Linda to write her LEAST FEARED activity at Level 1 leading all the way up to the MOST FEARED activity at Level 6 (which is public speaking).
You can look at the example below.
Linda can expose herself to the Level 1 activity first for 4-5 times a week.
Or until her anxiety about the Level 1 activity reduces to about 50%. Whichever comes first.
Then she will move on to the Level 2 activity (which is, giving a presentation in front of the sister). Similarly, she will do this 4-5 times a week or until her anxiety for this Level 2 activity dies down by 50%. Whichever comes first.
This will go on until she reaches Level 6.
As you can see, this method takes time. It's definitely not a quick fix.
The outcome for this tool is to confront stressful or feared situations gradually until feelings of stress and anxiety dip.
Now is your turn to share The Bravery Ladder to overcome your own fear.
I've created a blank The Bravery Ladder worksheet for you. You can download it below.
Hope it helps!