Secret Weapon Technique
Many suffer from fear and don’t live life to their fullest. For instance, they cannot experience travelling because of the fear of flying or patting a dog because it might attack them or even drive because of the fear of having an accident. This robs them from living a fulfilled life.
The causes of fear might have been imprints on the DNA, like if a parent is claustrophobic, they may suffer from it too. Or it might have been anchored from past events, as teachers, parents, classmates or friends criticized their abilities like at school. This may make them grow up to feel inadequate. It’s called learned helplessness. There is hope though, fear as Mel Robbin quotes, is an emotion that is real, but it can be transformed to excitement.
She uses the brain in both situations for either, fear or excitement. Robbins calls it her secret weapon technique. She uses her 5-second rule mentioned in the book and in combination with an anchor thought, which reframes what is going on in the mind. Consequently, the mind goes from agitation and feeling afraid to excitement. It’s magic!!!
To give you an example, say you must speak publicly which is a fear of yours. Before the event, your world starts to spin making you dizzy. The body is in a fight or flight mode to combat any danger. Leading to hyperventilation, because the breathing of too much oxygen doesn’t allow enough carbon dioxide which causes your heart to race. The blood vessels in the stomach shut down.
Consequently, the organs don’t get blood which also affects the nervous system. You use that energy to breathe rapidly and shallowly. The body can’t tell the difference between real danger, catastrophic thoughts or excitement.
But there is a difference between fear and excitement. When you are excited your brain is saying “bring it on it’s going to be awesome!” But if you are afraid your brain is saying “help, how can I escape, get me out of here I’m not good at this!”
The technique to change this situation is to feel excited, not afraid. Think, you are going to do something fruitful. It could be helping someone, changing an undesirable situation or learning something new. In the example above you change your perception by thinking your associates will benefit from your talk. You may fear to speak publicly, as your anticipation of the event will have the exact same physiological effect as fear. But the difference is you choose to not be afraid but be excited.
Fear and excitement cause dizziness and other symptoms. So, you choose to reframe your brain to deal with public speaking constructively by looking forward to the situation which is excitement.
The trick lies in just before the event when you sweat, have butterflies and feel your heart racing, you refer to your anchor and say, I’m excited to share my findings with these people which has been set in your subconscious and rehearsed way before the event.
This is an anchor thought, which anchors you, so you don’t escalate into a panic attack or that you don’t screw things up, maintaining control over what you are thinking and how you behave. An anchor thought is something that makes you excited and related to the situation.
It automatically sends a message to the brain to calm down and explains to it why you feel agitated and excited and you don’t feel afraid anymore. Using the example above, observe how the transformation occurs in the following way, you fear public speaking.
In short even though, fear and excitement are the exact same thing. The difference is in what your brain is saying. Using the 5-second rule and an anchor thought you can switch the gears in your mind and reframe the thoughts of fear into thoughts of excitement. Because you have a vision that makes sense about what you are doing your brain buys it, you just trick your brain.
You interrupt fear by using the 5-second rule to awaken the brain, by using the pre-frontal cortex. You have a different perspective that makes sense to the brain. Your brain feels excited to perform the task you fear, for example, to give a talk and save lives.
You can’t control what activates your thoughts, but you can control how you process the thoughts and act on them. So, the next time you feel afraid, use the secret weapon technique and count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go to the anchor thought, tell yourself you are excited. That is how you beat fear!
If anything doesn’t go to plan you will survive. If it does you will be a success. “It’s not about making it perfect; it’s about taking action, getting a result and adjusting.” Mel Robbins.
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