This topic is one that is near and dear to my heart. For years, I was trapped within the depths of my own fears. It saddens me to think about how much I missed out on. Once I was able to overcome fear amazing things started to happen.
Don’t worry, this post isn’t just me bragging about how great my life is. That’s not my style.
I want to help YOU overcome fear.
If you have found yourself here, I am certain that is what you are dealing with. Fear. And you are desperate to let go of it and live your life to its fullest potential.
In the next few paragraphs I will give you the tips and tricks that I used to kick fear to the curb and start living the life I wanted.
Recognize the fear for what it is.
You can’t overcome fear if you don’t truly understand what you are afraid of.
Take this example..
One of my biggest dreams is to publish a novel. One of my greatest “fears” was also publishing a novel. I wasn’t afraid of writing or publishing a book.
I was afraid of rejection. What if I a publisher said no, what if I couldn’t find an agent…what if, what if, what if.
I had “what if no one likes me” syndrome, to which I am sure many can relate. What if no one liked or bought my book?
In my mind, if no one liked my book that I worked SO hard on it would mean that I had failed as a writer.
That was another fear, failure.
Your first task is to identify what exactly you are afraid of.
Use metacognition to reprogram your brain.
Not sure what metacognition is? Simply put, it is thinking about thinking and controlling how you respond to those thoughts.
A technique that I found most helpful is to essentially short-circuit how I respond to my fears. By very quickly putting my focus on something OTHER than the fear and then just taking action, I don’t give myself the time to psyche myself out of doing something outside my comfort zone.
How do I do that? If I get an idea or know that I need to do something out of my comfort zone I say, “3, 2, 1 blast off!” and just go and do what I know I need to do. This may sound so silly and you may feel like a moron doing it especially the first few times, but it really works!
Make up some silly saying to use if you don’t want to use mine. The idea is to momentarily put your focus elsewhere when you start something that you are fearful of. The point is to get out there and start taking action.
Remember that the first time you do something is the hardest.
When we think about or do things unfamiliar to us fear starts to creep in and the “what if’s ” start taking over our lives.
Once you do something new, the next time you need to do the same thing it will be much easier.
If the first time you do a new task is a positive experience you will likely not have fear surrounding that particular thing again.
However, if you have a negative experience (let’s face it, this happens) you will probably develop fears around it.
What do you do if that happens?
Try your best to find the silver lining to focus on and not let anger, frustration or anxiety overtake you. This really takes some practice, trust me. Once you master this you will find that not only are you less fearful, but you are overall much happier.
Break your tasks or goals down to their smallest parts.
Looking at a large goal or job is very overwhelming and feelings of fear can eek their way in.
For this tip you are going to chop the work up into bite-sized pieces instead of trying to eat the elephant in its entirety in a single bite.
This is another reason I like to work from a list everyday. Small steps are much more doable in my mind. I can just focus on the single task at hand and then, without much thought, move on to the next task.
If I don’t have time to over-think things then I don’t give fear a chance to take over. It’s a beautiful thing really.
These four things were monumental in my quest to overcome fear. I am now taking things on that used to leave me shaking in my boots, paralyzed with fear.
This is what I want for you. To overcome the fear that holds you back so you can do the great things you were made for.
What are some things that you are fearful of? What do you think could be accomplished if those fears no longer existed?
Let’s discuss in the comments below!