“Do one thing every day that scares you.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Your fear is what is holding you back most in life. If you really look at it and are honest with yourself: What is the reason why you didn’t do things that you might regret a bit today?
Take a moment to think about it …
It’s most probably somehow linked to the emotion of fear.
On the other hand, facing your fear is often connected with what you have to do in order to grow the most in your life. It’s probably exactly the area where you have to go right now. Facing your fear will exactly create the breakthrough that is waiting for you.
To give you an example, one of my biggest fears right now is that what I have to offer is not good enough or does not provide enough value. But that’s exactly the challenge I have to take, face my fear and break through it.
Why Are You Afraid?
Fear is one of the most basic human emotions. And fear has a strong and important purpose: it is a basic survival mechanism happening in response to a perceived threat. Fear is the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it (also known as the fight-or-flight response).
So you can say that fear is an useful emotion and it’s good to be warned and protected of potential dangers like that. Still, there are a lot of fearful reactions in everyday life that do not serve us, such as…
The Most Common Fears
There are a lot of fears and also so called phobias, which at their core are all the same basic emotion of fear as described above. Here I want to focus on the more personal development oriented fears.
The following fears are potentially limiting you in reaching your full potential in life:
- Fear of Failure (“What if I don’t make it?”)
- Fear of Success (“What if I make it?”)
- Fear of the Unknown (“I don’t know what will happen!”)
- Fear of Change (“Change means something bad!”)
- Fear of Inadequacy (“I’m not good enough!”)
- Fear of Rejection (“Nobody loves me!”)
- Fear of Commitment (“I can’t handle it!”)
- Fear of Intimacy (“Don’t get too close to me!”)
Wouldn’t it be nice to get more control over those kind of fears that hold you back?
You Have a Choice
You basically have two choices:
First, avoid any fearful situations and stay safe and let fear control your life. Going this road will first feel comfortable but on the long run it let’s you shrink in your abilities and influence.
The second alternative is to face your fears and by that expanding your comfort zone and growing as a human being.
And I think the first thing to do is to realize the positive potential and impact that facing your fears will have. It all starts with awareness and seeing the potential expansion and freedom that you will gain when you confront your most limiting fears.
Become Aware of Your Fears
So facing your fear will begin with just noticing the fear and looking at it. Often, just by the mere act of observing fear, it already tends to lessen because you can recognize how futile it is. Fear is often illusionary, so if we take the courage to consciously look at it, it already starts to shrink.
Then start looking beyond your fear. Instead on focussing on your fear, go on and focus on the potential scary thing you want to do. Focus on what you will gain from what seems to be fearful. By keeping your inner eye on target, facing your fears will become much easier and maybe even enjoyable to a certain degree. Because if you have a strong reason, a big why, that excites you when you think about it, you will look forward and even enjoy the process of getting there. This can overwrite the blocking effect fear might have.
You can also take the courage to look at what you potentially will miss out on if you give in to your fear. This kind of “negative motivation” will also work against fear. It is like turning fear against itself. Ask yourself: “What would I lose if I give in to my fear?” And be honest with yourself. It’s not just that you avoid something and that’s it. Usually giving in to fear has real negative consequences. Try to see them clearly.
Use Courage to Break Through Fear
Courage not the absence of fear, and it’s not the opposite of fear. Courage means to act despite of fear.
So what is the opposite of fear and therefore a much more desirable state to live in?
Some say peace is the opposite of fear. Others say it’s safety, and another one says it’s ignorance. And some say love is the opposite of fear. Simply said, the opposite of fear is no-fear. That’s corny, but sometimes you need to look at things simple, like a child.
Courage is definitely the most pro-active weapon against fear. Peace and the space that comes with it is also an antidote to fear, same as love. So inviting these states into your life is a powerful help to conquer your fears.
How to Face Your Fears
All in all one of the keys to conquering your fear is to see it’s futility clearly. Then you can lessen fear further by looking at the positive results you will have by facing fear and then you will utilize courage and take action. The resulting experiences will tell your brain that the fear is unjustified and fear will have no power over you anymore.
Here is a 5 step plan to face and conquer your fear:
- Notice your fear and observe it. Realize how futile it is.
- Turn fear on itself: Imagine what you would lose when giving in to fear.
- Focus on what you will gain from doing the thing that scares you.
- Focus on creating an emotional state of positive anticipation and certainty of success by visualizing a positive outcome.
- Take the courage to face your fear and act. Then learn how unnecessary it is by creating positive experience.
If you can, let me know on the comments what kind of fears you have to face and what you do to resolve them!
If you have a question, just ask. :-)