There are lots of reasons to feel afraid. Some fear is legitimate, protecting us from danger. However, a lot of the time, fear is counterproductive, keeping us from taking steps toward positive change or improved relationships, and maintaining a harmful but comfortable status quo. Recovery is a huge change, and some hard actions you take will alter behavior, so it can bring a lot of powerful fearful emotions along with it. Rather than letting fear hold you back, here are some ways you can learn how to respond to fear, listen to it, and ignore it enough to do what is right for you.
7 Ways to Overcome Fear in Recovery
Recovery is a challenging time. Here are seven ways to alleviate the fears you may have:
1. Identify the thing that makes you afraid
Naming fears is the first step to dealing with them. Often fear comes amorphously, a simple feeling of dread that feels unexplainable. Rather than give in; pause to ask yourself, “What do I really have to be afraid of? What worst-case scenario am I picturing that’s making me want to hold back?” Sometimes simply by stating your fear of change outright, you can realize that in reality, you have nothing to be afraid of. If the fear remains even after being named, you can analyze the fear and figure out how to best approach the situation with a more level head.
2. Use gratitude and a positive mindset to focus on the good in life
Look around at your life, and realize that you’ve made it through hard times before. There is a lot that is going well in the world, and by bringing your focus on that, you can take it off the parts that feel intimidating. Also realizing that there will continue to be good things in your life no matter what will allow you to have less anxiety about the future. This allows you to accept whatever outcome happens.
3. Do the thing that you are afraid of, one baby step at a time
Such a huge goal as “getting sober” is too much for any person to do at once. Naturally, with such a huge task ahead of them, it would be easy to feel fear at the possibility of failure. The way to address such a huge fear is by taking small steps, making smaller goals, and realizing you have the capacity to meet them. In this way, you will not allow fear to stop you from doing something. Like someone moving a mountain with a spoon, who simply keeps at doing a small action, again and again, until it all adds up to something huge.
4. Share your fears with others who are supportive, especially with a group of people also in recovery
There is an African proverb that goes “sharing joy multiples it, and sharing trouble divides it.” Although it may sometimes feel like it, you are not the only person who has ever faced whatever you are going through. A good support group or trusted friend may be facing issues very similar to what your fear. They can encourage you, empathize with you, and tell their story of getting over their fear, in a way that could be encouraging to you.
5. Visualize yourself as you would most like to be
A lot of times, fear is rooted in the imagination. Your mind creates scenes of things going badly, and your body responds by trying to retreat or panic, so the bad thing imagined doesn’t happen. Counteract this tendency by creating your own visualizations, but ones that are full of gratefulness and hope. Imagine yourself, living confidently and victorious over your addictions, able to lead a happy life where you are in control of doing what’s truly enjoyable and good for you. This exercise will give you confidence as you go through life, and help you face your worst fears.
6. Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best
There is no guarantee that things will always turn out well in life, and it’s good to plan ahead as much as possible. If you know what steps to take if something bad happens, you won’t be caught unaware. Planning can give a sense of control, even when the future feels uncertain.
7. Reach out for help and resources
Finally, you don’t have to go through this alone. Many organizations can provide support and guidance to people in recovery. Don’t be afraid to ask for help—it may just be the push you need to get over your fear. In fact, fear is an inevitable part of the recovery process, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. By understanding and responding to your fears in a constructive way, you can make sure that they don’t interfere with your journey toward healing and growth.
Let Seasons in Malibu Assist in Your Recovery
With the right strategies in place, you can confront your fears head-on, and move on with your recovery. At Seasons in Malibu, we can provide the resources and support you need to make the most of your journey to sobriety. Contact us today at 424.235.2009 for more information.