How to Overcome Fear When Fear Holding You Back?
How to Overcome Fear? It is the ultimate criminal, strips away your greatness and your belief in your abilities. It’s a trick the mind uses to give you the illusion of being safe. But, instead, what it does is stunt your personal growth and keep you from reaching your full potential.
What is the meaning of fear?
Fear limits your freedom. We feel its power weighing down on us and think that there’s no escaping it, so we succumb and start to believe that what we’re afraid of is the reality. But all fear is smoke and mirrors that do nothing but keep you on a tight leash.
The more you let fear dictate your life, the more your self-confidence wanes.
Fear doesn’t discriminate. It knows no gender, age, race or religion. It hits everyone with the same intensity and has the same effect on all our lives. (Source)
List of Common Fears
- losing control
- something bad happening
- missing out
- being judged
- getting hurt
You can be starting your dream job, or just getting your new business off the ground. Instead of being excited by all the fresh, new opportunities about to happen, your brain freezes up because it’s consumed by one, sometimes several, fear factors.
Fear can also pop in everyday, normal occurrences, like an invitation to a gallery opening, going to the movies or a book signing. It can have such a strong hold on you that you keep rejecting these invitations. Until one day you realize your world has become hemmed in. Plus you lose out on all those exciting and fun experiences.
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So how do we accept our fear and move past it?
The first thing you have to do is stop ignoring your worries. Stop denying them. Just permit yourself to feel the fear. Recognize that the unpleasantness that comes with it is natural and can be managed. The sooner you do that, the sooner your fear will run dry.
There are many tried and tested methods that work on giving you the strength to deal with your fear and the anxiety that comes with it.
- Pick up on the signals that tell you that fear is about to hit. It could be anything from butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms, palpitations, dizziness, etc.
- Give your fear the recognition it deserves. Take the time to name it and own it. Most people believe this step is counter-intuitive; that if you do that, your fears will only intensify. But the reality is quite the opposite because something as simple as acknowledging your fears will shrink your fear and make it easier to handle.
- “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” You’ve probably heard that expression before. You’ve probably shrugged it off, refusing to believe that it could be that easy. But it is. Making this a habit builds faith in yourself. It also makes you stronger a little bit at a time. And you don’t start with death-defying fears, start slow. It could be just asking someone out or speaking at a public event. Take in your fear, then go ahead and do it anyway. It’s helpful if you ask yourself, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’
- Practice mindfulness. When you use mindfulness, you sit in a quiet corner and concentrate on everything around using your five senses. A great way to incorporate mindfulness into letting go of your fear is to visualize your fear. Then picture yourself standing next to a river, placing your fear on a log or a leaf. Watch it get swept off and away from you.
- Athletes use their fear to charge up their energy into whatever task they’re doing at that moment.
- Give your fear color or a name. You can change the size and color of your words. This helps you see your fear as just a word that has no power over you.
- Change your definition of failure. Fear of failure is what drives most of the other types of fears because it’s so crippling. When you see failure, not as a bad thing, but as an opportunity in disguise, then you shift your mentality to a more positive, more tolerant version of yourself and ‘fear of failure’ will never be part of your vocabulary again.
Try each of these techniques and see which one is the best fit and brings you the best results.
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And always remember what Nelson Mandela said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” (Source)
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