Why Small Exposures To Fear Increases Your Chances Of Taking Action

Have you ever walked down an escalator that isn’t working? As you get to the bottom and step off you’re suddenly jerked forward as if the escalator was actually on!

Our clever brains have spent years priming us through repetition to rebalance and recalibrate to make sure we don’t fall over and so that weird jerking sensation is created to meet our expectations.

Unfortunately, this brilliant wiring system also applies to other areas of our lives. If you have ever failed at something, it’s more than likely that your brain has wired itself to avoid that activity at all costs sending out palpitations, cold sweats and other symptoms of anxiety to keep you from ever trying again.

To be an entrepreneur, you need to learn how to hack the system. Or at least finds way to override the signals that don’t serve you.

In a recent study, scientist found that we humans are naturally wired to fear cockroaches but after a few sessions of exposure therapy using augmented reality participants fears quickly subsided.

fear of cockroaches and augmented reality

“The brain is able to store new information that is not compatible with the old.” ‐ Professor Cristina Botella

As entrepreneurs, it’s up to us to regularly expose ourselves to the things that we fear most, whether that’s picking up the phone, reaching out to someone and asking for help or just taking a day off to recalibrate. Every exposure to fear will reduce the friction and increase our ability to take action.

Here’s a little secret about me… I have a totally irrational fear of frogs but this summer whilst I was in Split, Croatia I visited FroggyLand. Yes, the frogs were dead, stuffed and in amusing poses but it was a step forward in facing my fears.

froggy land split circus

What one thing can you do today to face your fear through exposure therapy? Let me know in the comment below!