Fear is defined as an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger, usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight. It is also defined as being afraid or feeling anxious about a possible or probable situation or event.
One thing to pay attention to is that fear is usually about hasn’t happened yet. So in our minds we have built a worst case scenario about something that isn’t even a reality yet. Even though it hasn’t happened yet, fear is such a strong, negative emotion that it has stopped many people from reaching their full potential in life, and it is usually at the root of many failed dreams and unaccomplished goals. Why? Because sometimes we can be so paralysed by fear that we fail to do what it will take to move us forward in life.
The fear of missing out on things, fear of failure, even fear of success has held people back, but this shouldn’t be your story this year. You can deal with fear and eventually banish it totally from your life by doing the following:
- Identify Your Fear: What is it that you’re afraid of? Why does it scare you so much? Write it down. Maybe you’re afraid to take that new role because you’re afraid you may fail, or you could be afraid to leave that negative environment because you’re afraid of the unfamiliar. It could even be fear of not being seen as relevant, so you overextend yourself and attend every party, but your wallet, personal and work life are suffering because of it! The first step to dealing with it is to confront it by writing it down.
- Focus on what’s on the other side of fear: Picture yourself doing that thing you’re afraid of – what’s the positive effect it would have on you and the people around you? Write that down as well because this will give you something to look forward to and motivate you to work towards getting rid of that fear forever. Let’s say you are afraid of taking a risk on a new business, think about all the positive things that could come as a result – additional income streams, financial freedom, more personal time for friends/family, etc.
- Have a plan to face your fear: You’ve taken 2 critical steps by identifying your fear and deciding you are going to tackle it. Now find somewhere quiet and think of what you are going to do – what are the concrete, measurable steps you’re going to take? Let it sink in. After that, get up and make an actionable plan. Make a step-by-step plan to face your fear.
- Take the First Step: You have outlined your goals and made the plan. Now, take the first step in the plan. Don’t think about the second step, or even the goal in general: just take that first step.
- Take Another Step: Many people who have succeeded didn’t do so in the absence of fear: they succeeded in spite of the fear. They had a goal, and set out to reach it, regardless of how scary it was. You can cry, you can scream, you can complain, but keep following your plan, taking one step at a time.
- Ignore the Obstacles and Focus on the Path: Don’t think of what could go wrong. Don’t look at what you don’t want to see. Focus on what is working, on what you want to see. If you focus on the obstacles, you will give in to your fear.
- Celebrate Your Progress: For each step of the plan that you take, congratulate yourself. For every time that you fail and get back up, pat yourself on the back. You are your own hype person: praise yourself each time you do not give in to fear.
So what if you fail? You will get back up and try again. What if you succeed? You will handle it like a pro! Will it always be easy? Probably not, but you’ll always regret what you never tried. And that is how, step by step, you do away with fear in your life.