We all feel it; fear is a natural emotion. However, many of us don’t even try to think about how to overcome this enemy. Not just fear of failure, but fear of success, fear of flying, fear of heights, fear of public speaking, fear of animals, fear of people, fear of everything!
Fear is like a weed. You can pluck it, pull it out, step on it. If you don’t do it often enough, it will eventually grow back again.
I know a thing or two about the fear. You see, I was born in December 1988, in Croatia. Three years after my birth we fought a war for our Independence. Part of the country where I grew up was frontline. The war ended in 1995, and we won our freedom.
This mighty enemy was following me almost all my life. Until I made a decision to overcome my foe.
The fear is not going to disappear overnight. It takes some time to practice the right techniques. Practice is a key word here! Remember that, before we go into explaining how we created our enemy.
Fear Evolves From Doubt
Doubt in your mind is the first sign of a deadly weed growing. Understand that doubt is nothing else but your own thinking; it is a product of your imagination. We create doubts in our own mind when we face something we don’t know how to do, or we see for the first time.
To paint you a better picture, just remember when you were going on your first date. Oh, the horror! Fear of failure, fear of success, imagining all possible wrong and right scenarios. And now you are probably happily married to that person.
When we are not sure of something (don’t have confidence), naturally, we begin to doubt it and our ability to do it. Questions like “How? Why? Am I able to? Can I…?” start to immediately grow in our minds. That is a natural form of thinking. However, if it is not killed straight away, it will then turn into a state of mind called worry.
And based on my observing, the world became one big state of Worry.
When we continue this process and begin to worry about whatever is our doubt, that worry will eventually turn into fear of doing, having, creating, acting… Even the smallest fears can grow big and paralyze a person’s mind. That person may stay in that state for the rest of his or her life. It is a scary idea already.
You Are in the Control of Your Fear
Sadly, many people think that the cause of their fear is another person or some situation they are afraid of doing… How come other people are able to do those things and talk to that person? Simply because they don’t have a fear in their mind regarding it. Maybe they did have, however, but killed it in its state of doubt.
To summarize all of the above:
OLD DOUBT—>CONSTANT WORRY—>PARALYZING FEAR
Now, when you understand the fear and how it can take away all the pleasure, happiness and success from your life, it is time to learn how to overcome it so it will never take control over you again. Moreover, you will be the one in control.
5 Ways to Beat the Fear
1.) Use the Fear!
You have learned that fear is an emotion. And, our emotions drive us. Like when you love something or somebody, you are moved in the direction of it. Fear, on the other hand, pushes us away.
Overcome the fear by using it as a motivation. As soon as you realize you are getting fearful, use that emotion and think about it in a positive way. This maybe sounds crazy but it works, trust me!
Try to imagine yourself doing what you are afraid of. As you remember, fear is just a product of our imagination, therefore it is under your control. The same way you created it by doubting and worry, you can create a different scenario in your mind. See yourself winning.
Practice this method regularly. Eventually, when you face the fear in your reality, you will be prepared, because you already did it in your mind. And, you can actually turn that fear into excitement!
2.) Exercise, Meditate, Practice Breathing!
A good cardio exercise like running improves our breathing. It brings oxygen to our body and clears our mind. If you ever did any kind of cardio exercise, and I highly doubt you didn’t, you remember how good and relaxed you felt after?
Furthermore, meditation is an ancient technique of breath control and mind-cleansing exercise. Once you get into the habit of meditation (just 10–20 mins a day) you will get control over your fear. When meditating, you are able to close your eyes and dream. You can use meditation to master the first suggestion I gave you.
One useful technique I found is 4-7-8. Take a deep breath for four seconds, hold it for seven, and exhale your lungs out for eight seconds. Repeat this for 3–4 times, and tell me about how you felt after.
3.) Focus on Your Strengths Instead of Weaknesses!
“Oh I’m never going to be able to do it… I’m not smart enough… He/She is better than me…” We tend to minimize our accomplishments and maximize others. Why? Inferiority complex. The awful state of mind.
When you start to doubt your abilities, just shift your focus to something you are good at – it can be anything. Fear can take out your confidence. Don’t let it. Cut it straightaway by telling yourself what you are proud of; remember the accomplishments and former success. Repeat it as many times as needed until you bring yourself back up, and beat the fear in its first stage.
Here you can use method one or two to help you get your focus back. And it works, believe me!
4.) Fail as Much as You Can!
If fear has stopped you from doing something in your past, don’t feel sorry or regret because of it. We all do fail, and we fail for many reasons. Fear is reason number one.
Fail as much as you can! Failing can be a great learning experience. However, remember this, don’t let it get into your heart. Instead, analyze your failure, confront with it, learn from your mistake, and try it one more time with new confidence in your ability.
Once I learned there is no such thing as failure, I was reborn. The sentence that I heard was “There is only success and LESSON.” Remember this; carve it into your brain.
5.) Action, Action, and Some More Action!
You can see here that all four suggestions I gave you require some action. The action is the key to overcoming your fear. Even if it is already evolved, the action can devolve it.
When you feel it next time, think about everything you have read here. And take some action, go and do it, make a call, buy the thing… whatever it is.
Something I learned and practice every time I start to doubt. I just take a deep BREATH, I count in my head from 5 to 0, and I do it! That way I beat the doubt, worry, and fear with a simple mental trick.
How I Managed to Overcome My Fear
As I have told you at the beginning of the post, I did suffer from fear – paralysis. It was a long process until I finally learned how to use these five mentioned techniques. And the more and more I practice these methods, the bigger is my count of victories over my fear. I can say that I have control over it. And that is what I want for you too!
My last victory was over a fear of failure, and fear of success. You see, I always had a desire to run my own business. However, I never did it. Whenever I did think about making the move, I started to doubt my abilities. I was telling myself I couldn’t do it – that I don’t know how or I don’t have the skills…
In the end, if you will remember the line from the top.
Fear is like a weed. You can pluck it, pull it out, step on it. If you don’t do it often enough it will eventually grow back again.
My friend blogger published an amazing article about treating unwanted feelings. Please, visit her website, walk-with-blue.com to read more about this topic.
Overcome your fear once and for all!
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,