Keep your rational fears, and eliminate the irrational fears by examining them in the light of day.
As you explore the question, stay safe and secure. Hug your blankee, and consider your fear objectively. If you feel yourself leave that safe space, stop, come back to the here and now, and only start again when you feel safe and present. Then put your starting and ending sentences together.
“I’m afraid if I ask for a raise, I’ll end up crazy and insane, living on the streets.” When you put it like that, it seems pretty silly. Let’s get more realistic and more positive.
Find an Alternative
List five positive scenarios that are more likely than what you just listed. If I ask for a raise…
I might get one.
My boss might say no, but tells me everything I need to get one next year.
I will be proud of myself for asking, no matter what the answer.
I’ll feel more courageous in asking for what I want in my life in general.
Instead of (or in addition to) a raise, they might give me a chance to work on a special project that will position me for a better future career.
At this point, you may find your fear has lessened and you can think about the situation and make a smart, rational choice, instead of being an incoherent pile of emotion.
How to Start Overcoming Your Fears
Now you’re ready to start overcoming the rest of your fears. First, choose a small fear that’s just getting in your way on a daily basis. Small, small, small. Put yourself in a safe, resourceful frame of mind. Ask if your fear really makes sense. Then explore, safely, the consequences you’re so afraid of. Link up the initial fear with the wildest consequences so you can see the absurdity. Then dwell on several positive scenarios that are just as likely.
In the case of my Karaoke, I was scared hitting a wrong note would tank my Broadway career. Since I don’t have a Broadway career, it seems much more sensible to relax about the whole thing. Next time, I’ll trust my instincts, close my eyes, and leap! After all, it could be worse, I could be singing Karaoke in nothing but a leopard print loincloth.
Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!
http://www.WickedTheMusical.com “Wicked,” the Broadway musical