Target your fear

During a recent visit to my father-in-law's house, he asked to show us and the kids how to shoot a pellet rifle. I am not a big fan of guns, in fact, they scare the crap out of me, but I figured why not give it a try. I had never held a rifle before let alone fired one. 

We were positioned roughly 75 feet from the make shift target we created out of a paper plate. Just holding the weapon made my hands tremble. I was also freaked out about my eyeball being so close to the scope. I finally lined up the target but right before I fired I gave into my fear, and flinched.

The shot was nowhere near the target. Not satisfied with my pathetic attempt and disappointed for allowing fear to hold me back, I opted to try again. This time I took a moment to do a breathing exercise I learned to release the anxiety. My next shot wasn’t exactly perfect, but it was pretty damn good for only my second time shooting a rifle. 

Bullseye Fear.jpg

If you find yourself overcome with fear be it while waiting on line for a roller coaster, or before a presentation try the following breathing techniques.

1. Acknowledge the fear.
2. Close your eyes.
3. 
Take a long, deep breath and exhale it slowly while saying the word "relax" or "release the fear".
4. Let yourself take ten natural, easy breaths. 
5. This time, while you are breathing comfortably, notice any tensions, perhaps in your jaw or forehead or stomach. Imagine those tensions loosening.
6. Open your eyes again.

7. Take one last deep breath saying the word "relax" or "release the fear" one more time.