How To Overcome Your Fears? (5 Ways To Conquer Fear And Get Unstuck)
We all have fears. It can be fear of public speaking, making decisions, changing your job, aging, losing a loved one, ending a toxic relationship… the list goes on.
Today you’re going to learn how to overcome your fears and get unstuck.
Ready? Let’s get started!
To overcome your fears and find the courage to do whatever you’re afraid of doing, you need first to acknowledge the following:
5 Truths About Fear
Truth 1. Fear will never go away as long as I’m growing as a person.
Personal growth is your way to reach your potential and fulfill your dreams. And growing requires taking actions outside of your comfort zone.
This means taking new risks and trying things for the first time. Naturally, while growing as a person, you’ll feel afraid at almost every new step you’re going to take.
Therefore, you’ll need to acknowledge that no matter how much you’ll grow, you’ll still feel the fear of taking the next step. This will help you stop fighting the fear because it isn’t going to go away.
Truth 2. The only way to get rid of fear of doing something, is to do it anyway.
When you’re focused on getting rid of the fear of doing something, you lose. You didn’t beat your fear, and you didn’t do what you were afraid to do.
The right way to get rid of your fears is by doing the very thing you’re afraid of doing despite the fear. In fact, the “doing it” comes before getting rid of the fear. It’s because you did it that you were able to defeat your fears.
Truth 3. The only way to feel better about yourself is to DO IT.
As you’re doing the thing you’re afraid of doing, you’ll gain confidence bit by bit.
You’ll realize that it wasn’t as frightening as you thought it’s going to be. You’ll notice that the more you do it, the less fear you feel and the more confident you become.
Once you become comfortable doing it, you’ll start looking for the next thing to do. And you guessed it, you’ll feel the fear again preparing you for the next challenge.
Truth 4. You’re not alone.
Even those who look relaxed constantly trying new things, they really aren’t.
However, those who seem to have it figured out are those who pushed -and are still pushing- through their fears to get where they are today.
It’s okay to feel afraid, but don’t let your fear prevent you from doing the things you need to do. Go ahead and do it, despite the fear.
Truth 5. Pushing through the fear, is less frightening than living with the fear that comes from the feeling of helplessness.
Those who refuse to push through their fears, are living with a feeling of helplessness and dread that is far more frightening than the actual fear of taking the risks. However, they don’t seem to be aware of this.
They keep worrying about the “what ifs” so much so, they can’t see how taking the risk can make them feel any better. They simply forget that the answer is “I’ll handle it!”
How to Overcome Your Fears?
Often times, fear is rooted in the belief that you won’t be able to handle it.
You can’t see yourself ending that toxic relationship, simply because you don’t believe you can handle the grief and what changes are going to follow.
If you knew you can handle anything that comes your way, what would you have to fear?
The answer is NOTHING.
Knowing this should be a tremendous relief. However, believing that you can handle whatever comes your way can be a challenge.
Below are some ways to help you face your fears.
#1. Move yourself from a position of pain to a position of power.
When dealing with their fears, people are divided into two groups. Those who approach fear from a position of power, and those who approach it from a position of pain.
The former see it as irrelevant. It won’t stop them from taking risks and doing it anyway. The latter are totally paralyzed by their fears. They feel helpless and vulnerable.
To approach your fears from a position of power, is to be able to do what you want to do freely, with no restrictions.
To move from pain to power, you need to change your vocabulary. Replacing any destructive words you might be using with empowering ones have a powerful impact on the quality of your life.
In fact, your subconscious mind believes whatever you say repeatedly. However, your subconscious believes what it hears and not what is true or what you mean.
Every time you utter a destructive word, your power is taken away from you. Below are some examples of destructive words you might be using, and what you need to say instead.
|Destructive words||Empowering words|
It’s a problem
Life is a struggle
It’s not my fault
It’s an opportunity
Life is an adventure
I’m fully responsible
I can handle it
“I can’t” implies that you have no control over something, whereas “I won’t” makes the situation under your control and implies simply that it’s your choice that you won’t do it.“I should” implies that you have no choice in the matter, whereas “I could” implies that you do have a choice, but you simply may choose not to do it.
And so on…
Monitoring your vocabulary and choosing powerful words over destructive ones will help you expand your comfort zone and take on risks.
#2. Expand your comfort zone.
Each one of us has a comfort zone based on which he makes his decisions. This comfortable space can only be stretched through risk-taking. Whatever makes you uncomfortable is going to expand your comfort zone and push you toward taking bigger risks and fulfilling bigger dreams.
Start doing the things that make you uncomfortable. Call someone you feel intimidated to call, ask for something you want but can’t find the courage to ask it like a promotion you believe you deserve or a girl you want to date…
Even if it doesn’t work the way you wanted, at least you tried and you didn’t sit back, helpless, wondering what if.
With each risk you take, not only does your comfort zone expands, but your whole life expands. You become more powerful. Your confidence increases and it becomes easier for you to take in more and bigger risks.
To make taking risks easier, try the visualization technique. Close your eyes and see yourself doing what you’re afraid of doing. Make your visualization as clear as possible and feel the power that comes from doing the very thing you’re afraid of doing.
#3. Practice positive thinking.
No one wants to think negatively, yet people seem to resist thinking positively mostly because of the assumption that positive thinking is unrealistic. It seems to many people, that negative thinking is the closest to reality.
However, it is reported that more than 90% of what we worry about, actually never happens.
This means that only 10% of our negative thinking has a chance of happening.
So what’s more realistic?
To think positively and be 90% correct, or to think negatively and only be 10% correct?
In fact, your thinking is so powerful that it can change your life. Someone thinking negatively is usually someone who’s always fearful and worried, and often times, finds himself paralyzed by his fears that he rarely, if ever, takes any risks and achieve anything.
A person who thinks positively, on the other hand, is someone who’s motivated and empowered to act on his dreams and fulfill his potential. His positivity keeps attracting new opportunities into his life.
Shifting your thinking to the positive side can be challenging. If you’re not going to actively think positive thoughts, you’ll be thinking negative thoughts by default.
Therefore, it’s going to take special commitment and a great deal of practice. You get better at it with time, but you’ll always have to make the effort.
To help make your thoughts more positive, try the following:
1. Start listening to audio material such as audiobooks, affirmations, motivational speeches…
2. Start reading positive books that will inspire and motivate you.
3. Pick up some positive quotes, write them on post-it notes, and put them all over your room or working space.
4. Start your day with positive affirmations. Affirmations are a powerful tool to shift your self-talk toward a positive direction.
When you become good at shifting your thinking, positivity will become more automatic in your life. You’ll just need a few reminders every now and then to keep you uplifted.
#4. Surround yourself with positive people.
When you start to adopt a more positive way of thinking, things within you and around you start to change.
You stop whining and complaining, you become more cheerful, you take more risks and do things your old self would never have done.
People around you start noticing the change in you and some of them might not like it. In fact, they’ve become accustomed to interacting with you in a certain way, and when something changes, there’s usually upset. Instead of a cheering squad, you’re faced with a troop of enemies.
Even when this upset is to be expected and you make an effort to be understanding, it might still discourage you from moving forward. You value these people and you’re afraid of losing the relationship.
You need to ask yourself some questions here, are they supporting your growing or are they dragging you down?
Are they excited about the new you or do they prefer the company of the old you that you’re outgrowing?
If the latter part of these questions is true, you might consider making some changes.
Negativity is contagious, and so is positivity. Therefore, you need to stop spending time with negative people and start surrounding yourself with positive ones.
#5. Stop resisting your circumstances.
Whatever happens to you in life, just nod your head up and down and say yes.
This applies to which we have little to no control over. Whatever unexpected event that might change our direction and set us up for a great deal of fear.
By saying “yes” to the universe, you agree to these things that life hands you without resistance and you let in the possibilities that life offers you.
Doing this will allow you to calmly examine the situation which will in order, reduce your upset and anxiety.
The other alternative would be saying “no”. By doing that you become a victim “How could this happen to me!”.
You reject any opportunity there is for you to grow and you end up wasting energy resisting the unexpected situation.
This is why saying “yes” is our only hope. Not only does it help you cope with everyday disappointments and rejections, such as sickness, a lousy date, a traffic jam…, but it’s also the antidote to your fears. You build confidence in your ability to handle all that life will throw your way. You become a winner, no matter what the circumstances are.
The following steps will help you become more open to what life brings to you:
1. Be aware of when you say NO.
Frustration, dissatisfaction, anger… all these signs indicate that you’re resisting and saying NO to the universe.
Surround yourself with reminders to help you become more open and say YES.
You can stick notes around your house or on your desk that says “SAY YES TO YOUR UNIVERSE” or recite affirmations throughout the day such as “I am finding value in everything that happens to me” or you can simply say “Thank you” to whatever you’re being handed over.
Even if you can’t see the good the situation will bring, say thank you, and accept it. You’ll soon realize how beneficial that situation was.
2. Once you become aware of your resistance, start saying yes.
Try nodding yes with your head up and down. There’s something physically affirming a thought that helps you open up and accept the situation.
3. Look for ways to create value from any situation.
Always look for any opportunity to grow in any given situation. See how the experience helped make a good change in your life or helped you become a better person.
Let go of how the outcome of any situation “should be” and open up to the new possibilities.
4. Be patient with yourself.
You might find it hard to accept what life throws your life at first. We usually have an idea of how things should be.
This idea, while helpful when it comes to making decisions, won’t serve you anymore once the decision is made and little can be done.
Be patient with yourself. As with anything associated with change, opening up, and accepting life experiences is going to take some practice and commitment.
Did I miss anything?
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Which techniques from today’s post are you going to try first?
Or maybe I didn’t mention one of your favorite techniques.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now!
You Might Also Enjoy Reading:
- Building Mental Strength: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do
- How To Embrace Change: 5 Things You Need to Start Doing To Become A Better Person
- How To Stop Dwelling On The Past: 3 Simple Ways To Make Peace With Your Past
- How To Stop Repeating The Same Mistakes Over And Over
- How To Cure Your Jealousy: 5 Ways To Stop Resenting Other People’s Success
- Bouncing Back After Failure: How To Not Give Up After Your First Failure
- How To Overcome Solitude Phobia: 4 Ways To Get Comfortable Spending Time alone
- How To Get Over Yourself And Stop Feeling That The World Owes You Anything
- How To Stop Expecting Immediate Results And Commit To The Long Haul
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Portions of this article were adapted from the book Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, © 1987 by Susan Jeffers. All rights reserved.