(3-ish Steps) for How To Overcome Fear
Fear is the only thing standing between you and your vision for the future. Fear is paralyzing. Fear strips away your confidence. Fear creates unnecessary roadblocks between where you’re at and where you want to be.
Fear can never be completely eradicated, but after reading this blog, you will not only know exactly how to overcome fear, but how to conquer fear once and for all and become fearless.
Now, like all great achievements, it will take self-discipline and commitment to smash your fears to the curb. But, I promise you it will be worth it.
Becoming fearless doesn’t mean you will never experience fear again. But, becoming fearless means that have learned and mastered simple techniques to help you take action in spite of your fears. You will live the rest of your life fearlessly, with an outrageous amount of self-confidence (sounds cool, huh?).
So, why should you want to conquer and overcome your fears? Why should you strive to become fearless? Well, I can’t answer that for you. You have your reasons and I have mine. I can tell you that the world of opportunity will open up for you when you learn to face the world without fear. That’s enough for me.
Becoming fearless means you have developed an internal confidence that is not a function of the random events that occur in your life. Gaining control of yourself means that you have gained full control over your environment as well. Of course you won’t be able to control all of the things that “happen to you”, but this newfound self-confidence and the internal power it creates will give the ability to respond courageously in any situation. This is what it means to become fearless.
Self-confidence is the key to getting what you want out of life. You will never reach your full potential plagued with fear, lacking a high degree of self-confidence. People who lack self-confidence are always unsure of their decisions. This indecisiveness creates a timidity, which is an actual, measurable, vibrational frequency…..…[in English please]…….. This simply means that people can sense your hesitation. If you are unsure of yourself, other people will be too. The good news is that the opposite is also true. Confidence is contagious. Any great leader will tell you that. When a leader is confident, so is the team.
Let this post be your guide to developing the proper mindset for overcoming fear. Following these principles will enable you to conquer your fears, giving you an overwhelming amount of decisiveness and self-confidence. These principles are simple and they will teach you exactly how to overcome fear and the immobilizing effects it can have on your long-term success.
Without further ado….
Step 1: Recognize That Fear Is Not Real
Fear is not real. It’s a product of your mind. Recognizing that virtually every fear you experience is exaggerated in some way is the first step to developing self-confidence, overcoming fear and ultimately, becoming fearless.
Fear is just an emotion. It’s an emotion that is based on anticipation of negative consequences. Sometimes, it’s good. If you fall into the lion cage at the local zoo (don’t do that by the way), fear is a logical emotional response. It makes total sense. You could get eaten by a lion. That would pretty much suck. But, when it comes to going after large goals, fear takes on a very irrational presence in the mind.
In most cases, fear only exists because we have given it power. I mean come on people, public speaking is a bigger fear for most people than death. Yea, you read that correctly. People are less scared of DYING, than speaking in front of an audience. How irrational is that? That fear is holding so many people back. It’s been shown, time and time again, that people’s income drastically increases in proportion to the number of times they speak publicly! So why aren’t people doing it?
That’s the only reason.
So, the first step in learning how to overcome your fears is to simply recognize when you are experiencing fear. Then, it’s simply asking yourself if it’s rational (I’m stuck in a confined space with three 700-pound predators who haven’t eaten in a week), or if it’s irrational (I’m standing on stage, fully prepared to speak to a small group of people and I remembered to wear pants…that’s always a good start.).
Too many times we allow our mind to talk us out of great opportunities. We drastically overestimate the negative consequences and underestimate the opportunities. Overcoming fear means really recognizing the exaggerations of your mind. To live fearlessly and conquer your fears, you must start by asking yourself a few simple questions when you feel fear surfacing. Here’s where I start:
- What is the origin of this fear? (society, personal experience, negative self-talk, etc.)
- Is this a real fear or an exaggeration of my mind?
- How will my life improve by overcoming this fear?
Remember, recognizing that fear is not real (in most cases) is the first step you must master in learning how to overcome fear, but it’s simple. Just pay attention to the emotions you experience and analyze why you are experiencing them. Slowly but surely you will begin to take notice of irrationalities and inconsistencies. You will slowly begin to conquer your fears, one at a time, learning how to truly become fearless.
Step 2: Be Brave and Be Fearless Anyway
The second step you must master to overcome fear, is to take action anyway. Like I said earlier, fearlessness isn’t an absence of fear. It’s a willingness to be brave and fearless in spite of your fears. It’s a willingness to recognize the irrationality in the majority of your fears. It’s the courage and self-confidence to go after what you want in life, regardless of your hesitations.
Don’t think for a second that the incredible achievers of the world don’t have hesitations, because they do. But, they have learned to push through the inertia they feel. They take action, especially when they feel discomfort and fear. They rely on the development of self-confidence and the power that brings them in overcoming their fears.
The first step to overcoming fear is recognition, like I talked about in Step 1. It’s becoming conscious of your fear. Recognition alone is not enough, however. You must be willing to act.
You must be brave and you must be fearless anyway.
You must recognize that fear is the biggest enemy of success. It can be paralyzing. It can prevent you from venturing down new, exciting and profitable paths.
People who conquer their fears, take action. They have mastered the habit of stepping outside of their comfort zones.
They use fear as an indicator that they are heading in the right direction.
They create and implement personal strategies that help them recognize and overcome fears every time they surface.
The simplest way to making overcoming fear a habit, is to make it a part of your daily ritual. Some fears might seem insurmountable at the moment, but the key to staggering long-term results is a relentless focus on a series of small steps. That leads me to a strongly related, intermediate step.
Step 2a: Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You
The secret to overcoming fear is to attack it head-on. Over and over and over again. Every time you face a fear it begins to lose power over you. Doing one thing every day that scares you is the key to making habitual and consistent progress towards overcoming fear and becoming fearless.
When you attack your dreams, the world makes way. People who are bold, aggressive and more importantly, purposeful, get what they want. Doors always open for people who have developed a vision and operate with intention and clarity.
This same principle applies to your fears. As you attack them, they begin to dissipate. You begin overcoming them. You begin to develop a level of self-confidence that can only be described as fearlessness. Every time you conquer a fear the stronghold it has over you disappears.
Learning how to be fearless takes practice. It takes action. It takes a commitment to a life of bold and aggressive action. Conquering your fears is a continual process that might never end, but it will certainly become easier if you commit to doing one thing every day that scares you.
Remember that fear loses its power every time you face it. Whether it’s a fear of failure, or a fear of success that has plagued you in the past, it doesn’t have to anymore. You can conquer your fears. You can overcome your fears. You can become fearless.
Do one thing every day that scares you. This simple daily habit will slowly relieve you of any fearful thoughts you have held onto in the past. It’s really that simple. Start small. Doing this will help you realize how exaggerated your fears really are. It will help you realize that fear is not real. Everybody experiences it, but the people who do incredible things have found a way to overcome fear. They have shattered their fears, one at a time, on a quest to live fearlessly.
As you’re starting to notice, becoming a fearless version of yourself doesn’t mean your anxieties will vanish entirely. It doesn’t mean you won’t experience fear, but equipped with the tools to recognize it and the courage to act when you are faced with it, will make all the difference in your life. Step 2 and 2a are basically the same, however the second part is the actionable item. I want you to pause for a second to consider the following questions and how they relate to your life right now:
- What small step can you take today to overcome a fear in your personal life?
- How about your professional life – how can you overcome fear in that aspect of your life?
- What is a fear that has plagued you your entire life and what is a small baby-step you can take this week to conquering that fear?
Step 3: Be Patient With Yourself
This point really can’t be stressed strongly enough and nobody is more guilty of being impatient than yours truly. Patience is not a strength of mine and it might not be one of yours, but fortunately, it’s something that can be developed through practice. If you want to learn how to overcome fear you have to realize that you will have good days and bad days.
You will have days of remarkable progress and other days where it seems like you took 12 steps backwards. That’s ok. Embrace the process and realize that the results are not always reflective of the growth that is actually taking place internally. In other words, the results of your efforts might be delayed. That doesn’t mean they aren’t occurring, because they are.
To conquer your fears and become fearless you have to fall flat on your face a few times. You have to experience some rejection and failure. Progress means sometimes having to take a couple steps backward. It’s all part of the process.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be so hard on yourself! Overcoming fears that are deeply seeded takes time. It takes small, incremental, bite-sized actions in the direction of your vision. It takes facing your fears head-on and working with diligence to create momentum.
It’s crucial that you are patient with yourself and your progress.
This can often times be the biggest fear for people to overcome. The fear of seemingly not doing enough. But, your greatest work, especially in creative endeavors, is most often done in a state of effortlessness. It’s at a point where you have a crystal-clear vision of where you are headed, yet you are still appreciative of exactly where you are at. You are full of gratitude for your present environment, you are thankful for the fears you have overcome and you are confident in your ability to overcome fears in the future.
Take a minute to deeply contemplate the relationship you have with yourself. What stories are you telling yourself about your progress, your fears and your future? Let the following questions be your guide:
- In what area of your life are expecting great progress, yet not really achieving it?
- Is there any fear associated with your progress that might be holding you back?
- What are you most proud of over the past few months?
- What fears did you overcome to create such a proud moment?
- What can you start doing each day to develop more patience with yourself and your progress?
- How will this help you overcome fear and become fearless?
One thing I love to remind myself is that the goal is progress, not perfection. In every area of your life. If you are always chasing perfection, you are always going to be disappointed. But, if you simply focus on progress, you will look up one day astonished with the number of victories you have stacked up. Every great champion recognizes that the key to success is consistent progress. That’s where your focus should be directed. Here’s a quick review of how to overcome fear and become fearless, in 3-ish steps:
Step 1: Recognize that fear is not real.
Stop giving fear power over you. 99.4% of the time it is a product of your imagination (That statistic is completely made up, but come on though, I used “ish” in the title. Cut me some slack). Fear is (most often) a figment of your imagination and it’s almost always exaggerated. Recognize that. Simply taking an objective look at the things that create “fear” within you, will do wonders for helping you move past them.
Step 2: Be Brave and Be Fearless Anyway
Courage is frequently rewarded. People who are bold and aggressive in the face of their fears usually achieve favorable results. When you do recognize your fears, it’s crucial that you strip them of their power by TAKING ACTION. If you recognize your fears and do nothing about it, I can’t help you. You have to be willing to attack your goals, attack your dreams and attack your fears. Without action you will continue to be consumed by irrational exaggerations and you will never achieve your full potential. ***Mic Drop***
Step 2a: Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You
This is a lot like step 2, however this breaks a sort of ambiguous piece of advice into a measurable and controllable daily habit. If you ever read my first book, Relentless Forward Momentum, you know how obsessed I am with creating and mastering daily habits that are both manageable and controllable. This is something I call “process-izing” and it’s absolutely, definitely, not a real word. But, I’m not in a high school English class being graded on my work anymore, am I!?!? (I’m just kidding Mr. Weikle. Sort of.)
Step 3: Be Patient With Yourself
Progress is sometimes slow. Learn to embrace the slowness. Don’t demand perfection of yourself. Chase little incremental bits of progress. Face small fears, then face larger ones. Keep doing this until overcoming fears becomes a habit. That’s truly the goal.
Once something becomes a habit, you don’t even have to think about it any longer. Once you have developed the habit of facing and conquering your fears, one at a time, you will become fearless. Like I said though, being impatient and expecting immediate results will be counter-productive. It will hinder you in the long-term. Simply focus on building great habits surrounding your fears and crossing them out one at a time.
As you can see, overcoming fear and becoming fearless is pretty simple. I’ve laid out 3-ish simple steps to help you along the way. Revisit this anytime you need. It’s here as a resource for you. Of course you’ll experience tough days and of course there will be days where your progress seems non-existent.
Embrace those tough days.
Embrace the change the taking place, embrace the process and embrace who you are becoming.
My parting words are simply this:
Believing that you are on the right path, means that you are.
(Related Blog: You’ll Still Get Punched in the Mouth)