As a fresh month begins, please enjoy this freebie calendar, which I’ve named, ‘Adventurous August’.
Applying the concepts of fear-setting, the idea basically is that you use this month to seek out as many character-building opportunities as possible, planning them out in the calendar. This is something that I’ve been using with my Mindfulness coaching clients, many of whom also experience fairly extreme anxiety. Having a calendar allows us to plan out challenges, so that we don’t revert to a routine of avoidance.
We work with our current emotional and mental state, not against it.
With children, I use this Zone model sheet. Take a look – this is just as useful for adults as it is for children. The strategy here is to choose challenges that are within the ‘Challenge Zone’ rather than the ‘Panic Zone.’ Essentially, this is about not pushing yourself too far too soon, so that you retreat into avoidance and end up feeling more discouraged. If you’re too Socially Anxious at present to talk to the postman, then it’s clearly not helpful, realistic or achievable to set yourself a goal of performing a speech in front of 300 people. Instead, you might like to set yourself a target of saying, “hello” to the postman, while listening to your breath. Small steps.
If you’re unsure of what you’d like to tackle, you might want to read my past blog about getting to the route of your fears, and you may well enjoy watching Michelle Poler’s super-inspiring TED talk, ‘100 days without fear’. Please note that you don’t need wads of cash to do this; if you’re anything like me then driving to a new petrol station could be considered a new adventure. (I don’t get out much!)
The human brain is hardwired to avoid pain and discomfort – of course – so it’s only natural that if we don’t plan this in, many of us will revert to comfortable avoidance. Yet, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of looking fear in the eye, and achieving something that you weren’t even sure was possible.