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“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:

  1. Notice your fear and observe it. Realize how futile it is.
  2. Turn fear on itself: Imagine what you would lose when giving in to fear.
  3. Focus on what you will gain from doing the thing that scares you.
  4. Focus on creating an emotional state of positive anticipation and certainty of success by visualizing a positive outcome.
  5. 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. :-)

6 comments

  1. Comment by Vincent Nguyen

    Vincent Nguyen Reply March 1, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I often wonder what my own fears are because they seem to fluctuate at times. There are days in which a certain thing may be scary to me but I turn around and use them to my advantage.

    I think it may be my natural instincts just blocking out the fear and just powering through. I have this lingering thought that may be fear but I can’t really envision it very clearly, fear of success. I’m deathly afraid of what I may become the day I break through. Will I be the same? Will I grow better as a person? Maybe it’ll all go through my head. This may be my biggest fear and I try to be humble.

  2. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply March 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Fluctuation may also be just because awareness of the fear gets up and down.
    I think with fear of success we can exercise our trust in ourself, or our faith in that everything will work out, even if the path is not 100% clear (yet).

  3. Comment by DK

    DK Reply March 5, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Hi,

    I have a particular fear of starting or we can it as initiation.. I always want to start and initiate something but due to fear I gave things to somebody else due to which Iam not able to show my leadership qualities or communication skills to my higher management.. I think Iam lossing. please suggest on how to overcome such fears.

    Divya.

  4. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply March 5, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Divya, it’s probably not fear of starting but rather fear of failure. Maybe you react also hesitant with the commitment that comes with starting something new or with the unknown factors that go with it. So analyze the situation more deeply to go to the core of it.

    One thing that always helped me with new things is to have the end in mind. What do you want to go for? What do you envision as the result? What’s the goal.

    That brings in some more certainty because you see the end in your minds eye already.

  5. Comment by Sanjay sunwan

    Sanjay sunwan Reply July 23, 2013 at 2:39 am

    I have fear to come out to deals with problems and things what I want acheive. I can’t take big decision even I want to achieve that big goal. I give full credit to destiny and I will got what I fated. Not what I want

  6. Comment by Myrko Thum

    Myrko Thum Reply July 23, 2013 at 8:13 am

    @Sanjay sunwan: It’s time to change your mindset and take responsibility for your own life. You make your destiny!

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