Fear can debilitate you if you let it. It can knock you down, stress you out, and stop you from living up to your full potential. At times a helping hand can make a difference. Frankly, asking for help is an important and underrated skill. But sometimes, you need summon the courage and responsibility to fix your own situation. You need to conquer your fear and be your own hero.
As a child, you most likely pretended to be a superhero like Wonder Woman. This formidable Goddess of love and war rescued herself from bondage and fought off villains with her incredible skill and bag of tricks, including bullet-proof bracelets, tiara, and lasso of truth.
Perhaps Superman was your idol, leaping tall buildings in a single bound, using his enormous strength, x-ray vision, flying ability to find any bad guy, and save the girl and the planet at the same time.
As adults, too, it can also be empowering to call on your favourite hero or heroine, giving you that extra boost you need to face your villains – real or imagined. It’s not as easy as when you were a kid, though. You need to get out of your head, believe you matter, and start trusting in your personal power again.
Here are 7 things you can do to tap into your inner hero and conquer your world, starting today:
1. Fight for what matters
Think about what’s important to you. What are your values and standards? What is right and wrong in the world? Then, be an advocate for the little guy, a friend or family member who needs help, or a cause you can get behind.
When you live in integrity and make a difference, you feel good. Watch your own problems melt away.
2. Regulate your emotions
Do you think Batman could have successfully fought off villains like the Joker if he’d lost his cool? Neither will you! Staying calm, present, and grounded will win the day. You’ll be quicker on your feet, more resilient and readier to face the next tests of strength and endurance.
3. Adopt a positive attitude
When you dwell on the negative, you will attract more negativity. Heroes don’t let problems get them down. They thrive on challenge and believe in a successful outcome.
Repeat an affirmation like “I can do it” or “Super Girl to the rescue!” to pump you up. Positive words lead to positive thoughts that lead to positive beliefs about yourself.
4. Cultivate self-awareness
A superhero needs to be intensely self-aware. Figure out your superpowers and use them to the fullest. Wolverine has supersonic ears that he uses to detect his enemies. Maybe your strength is empathy or negotiating skills. Whatever it is, let it propel your self-confidence.
It’s also important to take stock of your soft-spots (otherwise known as weaknesses). What is your kryptonite? Name your vices or growing edges, compensate for them and put a plan in place to shore them up.
Even superheroes need to develop their gifts. Some honest and compassionate self-reflection can ensure that you’re using what you’ve got to your advantage.
5. Summon your resources
Most superheroes have a sidekick who arrives just in time when there’s an onslaught of new challenges or threats. Think Wonder Girl or Robin.
Consider what resources you have at your disposal to help you out of a situation. What is your golden lasso? It could be a friend, parent, mentor, or coach. Call for backup.
6. Act like your hero
If you’re stuck ask yourself, “What would my superhero do?” My Wonder Woman would not jump to conclusions or catastrophize. Instead, she would seek the truth, use compassion, and stay calm.
Once you have a clear mental picture of your hero in action, do as they would. Act as if you’re them!
7. Face your fears head-on
Be afraid and do it anyway. Take a few deep breaths and push through overwhelm and fear. Wonder Woman didn’t quake in her knee-high boots when confronted by danger! Get into that phone booth, regroup, and turn yourself into your hero.
Fear, difficulties, and suffering are inevitable in life. But, you have a choice in how you respond. You can choose to lift yourself above it all; you can decide to summon your internal hero or heroine.
Feel the exhilaration of looking fear in the eye and save your own day!
Lisa Petsinis is a certified coach and a certified Myers-Briggs® type indicator practitioner. Contact Lisa if you'd like to discover your type and learn how you can use it to enrich your life, starting today. You can also sign up for Lisa’s newsletter for even more advice. A version of this article originally appeared on www.lisapetsinis.com and is reprinted with permission.