ACE your fears

There are steps you can follow when stress catches up to you.
There are steps you can follow when stress catches up to you.
Note to Self - Faye Armstrong
Note to Self – Faye Armstrong

Whenever I get that twisty feeling in my tummy at the thought of a normally non-stress-inducing topic, I know there’s something going on that I need to deal with.
We all have those little telltale signs reminding us that something’s up, and it’s usually something we’re trying to forget.
Maybe you get extra defensive about the subject. Maybe you can’t sleep at night. Maybe you’re like me and you get that “don’t go there” gut reaction.
Whatever it is, it’s usually an unwelcome reminder that there’s something lurking behind the scenes of our lives that we’re avoiding.
Are you putting off doing your taxes? Have you been screening calls from someone that you need to have a tough talk with? Are you delaying that procedure that your doctor recommended?
The payoff for not dealing is that we don’t have to put ourselves in a potentially uncomfortable or stressful situation. The problem is that when we avoid, the stress is still there marinating in the backs of our minds, and that can be even more damaging than the potential aftermath of the situation we’re worrying about in the first place.
Think of it like that credit card bill you get in the mail – the one that you know is way overdue and way over your budget. You stuff it in a drawer and vow to deal with it later. The longer it sits there, the bigger the dent in your wallet, and the greater your stress level.
Whether it’s MasterCard on your mind or something else, the point is that living in a constant state of stress is likely not making you feel much better about yourself than taking the hit and doing what you need to do.
I’m all for taking baby steps, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.
I recently watched a documentary on John Spano, the conman who feigned and forged his way into purchasing the NHL’s New York Islanders in 1996. Lie after lie, Spano managed to convince the league that he had the funds in place to buy the team.
When the truth finally came out, despite the onslaught of financial and criminal issues that he was inevitably facing, Spano described the sense of relief he felt no longer having to face another day of making excuses to cover for his many lies.
Facing your fears is a liberating experience. I’m not just talking about the snakes-on-a plane-mutant-spiders-from-hell kind of fears that make up your nightmares and horror B-grade movies (I’m good with avoiding the psycho killer clowns, thanks).
I’m talking about those everyday fears that nag at us throughout the day. These fears turn into stress and that stress makes us sick, sad and suppressed.
That is, if we let fear call the shots. The next time you are up against a scary situation, try this three-step formula to face your fears and “ACE” your fears:
A: Assessment: Realistically evaluate the situation and possible outcomes to determine the path that will likely lead to the least amount of risk and the most success.
C: Confidence: Trust in yourself that you can and will deal with whatever comes your way.
E: Empowerment: Be empowered by taking the necessary action and knowing that whatever the outcome is, you are taking steps in the right direction.
The more you apply these steps, the easier it gets, and the more faith you’ll have in yourself to come face-to-face with sticky situations – and come out on top.
Faye Armstrong is a life coach based in Winnipeg who is passionate about living life to the fullest and helping others to do the same. For a little motivation or to learn more about personal coaching, visit

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