What do you want to change? Do you have a particular fear that you would like to go away? Is it something you want to achieve but believe you cannot, or at least that you cannot do so easily? First, write down the fear you would like to conquer. It is important to be clear about the target before you set out to change it.
Now break it down into a number of steps. Nothing seems impossible if you break it down and do one step at a time. So, what would make it easier? For example, would it be easier if you were with someone or on your own? Does time of day make a difference? Are there particular circumstances that make it harder/easier? Is there a part of the fear you can manage first, if not all at once? Write a full list of the situations that trigger this fear or make it worse. Write them on a list and tear up onto slips of paper with one on each. Now put them in order with the greatest fear at the top and easiest at the bottom. Keep this list.
Give each of the situations a rating out of 100. This means that you rate the situation that causes the greatest fear near 100 and the easiest situation you could cope with at a much lower number.
If the gaps between the steps seem too large (let's say more than 10 or 15 points) then you should try and create steps in between to reduce those gaps. Ask yourself what would make a particular step easier or harder and insert that into your ladder. You want to make it easy to climb.
You will never have to do something that you rate at 100 or even at 70. If you start at the bottom of your ladder and focus on the first few steps, lets say anything under 25, then these will get easier as you repeat them. If real life means you have to face a situation that you have rated higher up the scale then that does not count towards your progress. See it as a distraction and get back to the plan (unless of course you succeeded at it without fear). Just focus on the easier steps and do them. Make sure the first steps are easy enough that you can face them.
Repeat each of the lowest steps on your ladder several times until you can do them without any significant stress. If you still feel anxious about them, then do them again, and again. Your brain is set in such a way that if you repeatedly do something you fear then the fear will subside in time once your mind understands there is no danger. This doesn't happen when you tackle a step that is too high up the ladder because the level of fear can be so overwhelming that you don't have a chance to process it. So make sure to start low down; and most importantly reward yourself for every success, even at the lowest level. Plan the reward in advance.
Once you feel you have tackled the lowest steps then rate all the other steps again (even before you tackle them). You will find that the next steps now have a lower fear rating than when you first rated them. The next steps seem a bit easier to tackle now. If not, then you need to repeat the lower steps until that becomes true. "Practice makes perfect". Alternatively find another step between the last and next steps.
If you use this approach methodically and repeatedly, and frequently, (without long time gaps between your attempts), then you can tackle most fears, or at least make them insignificant in your life.
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