This may come as a shock to you, but you’re not the only person on earth that has fears. Even people with very powerful and important positions have fears. Every person who must learn something new experiences fear and discomfort before they learn and have a breakthrough. It’s totally a normal part of human existence and you’re no different.
The first step towards overcoming fear can be the hardest one, but it really is necessary. You cannot overcome a fear that remains hidden in your subconscious mind. Consequently, you must face it. You must turn toward your fears, rather than away from them, and then you notice things about your fear which you didn’t know before. This awareness helps you to overcome the fear.
Small Steps to Consider
Define the Fear and the Effects it has on You
When you start to experience feelings that you identify as a fear that feels like it might stop you from achieving your goal, take the time to stop what you’re doing and focus for a moment on what you are really feeling. For example, if you’re trying to learn a new software program, but you’re currently frustrated and confused because you don’t feel as if you know what you’re doing, you could allow the fear of thinking you can’t learn it, to stop you. Instead, take a break to identify the emotions you’re feeling and how it’s affecting your body.
Accept Your Fear Realistically
Now that you know what the fear is doing to your mind and body, take the time to just accept it. This fear is normal and part of your learning process. It’s just your mind’s way of pushing back a little as you gain more knowledge. Write down what can happen realistically so that you know that learning this software is not actually going to harm you in any way.
Visualise What’s Next
Sometimes when you’re experiencing fear about something, it helps to visualise what is next. Let’s assume you’re fearful due to a presentation you’re giving in front of 1000 people. You have identified your rapid heartbeat, feelings of nausea and the hot flash that’s coming on as fear of public speaking. So now, instead of focusing on the fear, focus on what happens next. See in your mind what happens if you don’t do the speech. See in your mind what happens if you do it. What happens if you make a mistake? As you visualise, you can help reduce fear by focusing on what happens next realistically.
Change Your Perspective
If you feel especially stuck, sometimes looking at solutions from a new perspective can help. Ask someone who has done it before to help you. Read different expert books and blog posts and watch YouTube videos to learn whatever you need to learn to help you look at the situation in a new way.
Ask Yourself the Right Questions
When you first feel fear, especially if you are afraid that fear is going to block you from success, ask the right questions. The right question is almost always, “what’s the worst thing that can happen?” When you define the very worst thing that can happen if you do or don’t do the thing that is causing you the fear, it can help push you forward.
Be Mindful of Your Thoughts
The truth is, you are so much more powerful than you realize. Your thoughts really do control your emotions. It might seem like your emotions are controlling your thoughts, but that’s not true. You are in full control over your thoughts even if you don’t believe that yet. Learn how to identify and reverse negative thoughts and replace them with positive or at least neutral thoughts to help reduce fear.
Understand the Power of Now
If everyone on earth realised the power of now, we’d be further along our evolutionary journey. Yesterday is gone and cannot be changed, tomorrow is not guaranteed, all you really have is right now. The more you can use this knowledge for yourself, the more likely you are to overcome your fears and break through your comfort zone.
Break Large Goals Down
Now that you’ve identified, defined, and accepted the fear as well as acknowledged the truth about what can happen if you continue, now it’s time to take the goals you’ve created and break them down into easy to complete steps. For example, if you want to become an internationally known speaker that starts with one speech, just one, not ten. Do one speech at a time. One talk at a time. One thing at a time. You’ll get there.
ENGAGE Top Tip
Imagine if you let fear get in your way as a baby when you were learning to talk, walk, and run? You may not remember the fear you had, but you did have it. Ask your mother. The thing is, when you’re young, curiosity overcomes fear because you really want to know what’s on the other side. Get that curiosity back and become like a child so you can break through that comfort zone and overcome your fears.
Quotes to Ponder
“She was never quite ready. But she was brave. And the universe listens to the brave.”
– Rebecca Ray: Australian clinical psychologist
“Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.”
– Neale Donald Walsch: American author “Conversations with God”, screenwriter and speaker
Ask Yourself This
I imagine stepping out of my comfort zone. How do I feel? How do I see myself without inhibitions, without any fears?