How to Overcome Fear

Photo by    Ian Froome    on    Unsplash

Photo by Ian Froome on Unsplash

 

Fear has a lot of sides to it. There are good and bad sides to fear. On one side, fear helps you to make smart and responsible decisions. On the flip side, it can also prevent you from making the best decision. Today, I’m going to talk about the latter. 

What do you do when you want to pursue a goal, a dream, a new hobby but you’re fearful?

Know that it’s normal to feel that way. A lot of people experience that feeling of fear. Even successful people have to encounter fear or live with fear. 

 

Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic has a chapter that addresses fear. After reading it, it helped me tremendously in overcoming my own fear. She really describe how to sit with fear and not let it have power over you. If you haven’t read the book, GO READ IT! It’s sooo good. 

I’m not going to be discussing her book in the post. I’m going to share some questions and points that hopefully will help you navigate your own fear. These are practices I’ve done when I’m at a tough decision spot or if I keep giving myself excuses to start a goal.

Fear is a strong unpleasant feeling caused by being aware of danger, expecting something bad to happen, or perceived threat. 

Now ask yourself, what are you afraid of? What are you actually afraid of? 

These are typically the things people are afraid of: the unknown, what other people will say, failure. If none of these resonate, think about what resonates with you. 

Now ask yourself, why are you afraid of these things? It’s important you’re honest and transparent about your answer. Dig deep into why you have these beliefs. 

I find that when I can pin point where the fear is coming from, I can shift my mindset accordingly. 

 

The Unknown:

It’s normal to be afraid of the unknown. We don’t know how our lives will change. We don’t know if we’re going to fail or succeed. We don’t know anything. The idea of not knowing is terrifying because it seems like we’re not in control. What if it all goes down hill? What if, what if, what if. 

But we don’t know if we’ll have tomorrow either. Our life here on earth is extremely short. The unknown has been there from the very beginning. Treat the fear of the unknown as a friend but don’t let it be your decision-making voice. The fear of the unknown will stay there with you, will live with you, but you don’t need to give it power. Let it be more like a friend that gives you advice, but you get to decide what you do. 

 

Failure:

The fear of failure is a fear a lot of people share. The fear of failure is a perceived outcome. The perceived outcome overpowers the will to try and grow. The fear of failure can be scary for some people because they’re playing the worse possible scenerio in their heads and subconsciously believing it to be true.

The reason why you can’t let failure stop you is because learning and growth is part of the process. So what if you fail? Try something different. Try a new approach. Try a new strategy. You get to try again. You learn and you grow. You get to find what works and what doesn’t. And that is a beautiful thing. 

I wrote a post about failure on my Instagram here

 

What Others Will Say:

Something I learned is that most of the time people who discourages you or puts you down are typically the ones who aren’t anything you aspire to be or do anyway. So don’t let their opinions have power over you. 

This one does get tricky especially when that person is a parent, a spouse, a partner, a sibling or a close friend. When it comes to close friends or family, remember that they’re only looking out for you or for the best. And while what they say is coming from a good place, you make the ultimate choice.

Remember that at the end of your life, it’s you who’s going to regret not doing anything with it—not them. 

 

Some practices & questions to help you further:

Imagine your 80 year old self talking to you: what would she/he say to you? What are the regrets? What are the celebrations?

Imagine what’s the worse that can happen: And if that did happen, what would you do then?

Imagine the best that can happen: how do you feel? That feeling of joy, satisfaction, excitement, is good. Focus on that.

 

Things to Remember:

Courage combats fear. But you have to practice courage in order for it to become stronger and fear weaker. 

If you’re going to wait until you’re no longer afraid, you might end up waiting forever. Do it afraid. 

If you need accountability, find people who’ll help you, challenge you, support you. If you can’t find any in real life, find a community online. 

 

Friend, if fear is stopping you from starting that hobby, side-hustle, or business—start it anyway. Sit with fear, but don’t it let drive the car. 

I hope you found this post helpful. What do you do to overcome fear? Share below!

~ Sincerely, Mainou

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