Fear: an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide.
That’s the definition of fear.
Let’s really analyze that definition to help us understand what exactly it means and how we can overcome our little fears that are holding us back.
Fear is not real. Fear is 100% a figment of our imagination. Like the above definition states, it is an emotion within us. We can choose to be afraid of something or we choose to not let it bother us.
Granted, much of this is subconscious, but when it comes down to it, fear is all in our minds and is something that does not exist in the physical world.
Of course, many things pertaining to fear are perfectly rational. For instance, if a hungry lion is giving you the eye when you are hanging out in the jungle, I think that’s safe to say everyone would feel the emotion ‘fear’. It’s a “threat” and our initial response is to look for a place to hide and run away.
Then their are things that are less threatening, like perhaps, the fear of public speaking (the number one fear in America today). That fear, in theory, sounds absolutely ridiculous.
I mean, come on, speaking in front of a crowd is not life threatening at all. It’s not like someone is in the crowd with a machine gun ready to fire at you if you make one small blunder or mistake. But nonetheless, that is the greatest fear of all (a fear that I am still working though personally).
We all have our own fears and insecurities. I could sit here all day and list all the possible fears people have, but I don’t think you want to spend your time reading that list.
Instead, let’s talk about what we can do about these fears and how we can knock them out of the ball park.
Everybody Has Fears
I’m not saying it’s bad to have fears. In fact, if you don’t have fears then you are either highly insecure and do not know how to be honest with yourself, or you are not human. Assuming it’s not the latter of the two, suck it up and be honest with yourself.
There is nothing wrong with having fears and being scared of certain things. Fears can be rooted back from all sorts of things.
Typically, they come from lack of experience or a traumatic experience when we were younger. One small incident as child can cause us to fear anything pertaining to that incident for the rest of our lives.
This is 100% okay. You just have to take steps towards overcoming these fears and not letting them stop you from getting what you want and achieving your goals.
Back to the public speaking example, many people can recall bad experiences of fumbling their words in front of classmates and not remembering their speech. These incidents, combined with never taking the time to push through those blunders, lead to a lifetime fear of public speaking.
The good news is that it’s never too late to overcome a fear.
“Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”
I want to bring up a book written by Susan Jeffers, called “Feel the Fear, and Do It Anyway”.
Now, I have never actually read that book, but the title itself says a lot about overcoming fears and not letting limiting beliefs stop you from achieving your goals. Overcoming fears is not about eliminating the fear altogether. Chances are if it has been a life-long fear then there will always be a little piece of it in the back of your mind your entire life.
Overcoming fear simply means finding ways to gradually break down the barrier so the fear doesn’t hold you back from achieving your overall dreams.
Understand This: Fear is an enemy that is 100% manageable, once you learn how to handle it properly.
Here is the 5-Step Process for overcoming your worst fear:
Steps for Overcoming Fears…So They Don’t Hold You Back
Step 1: Identify the Root
The first step to overcoming fears is identifying the root of the fear.
Typically, it will be a bad childhood experience or something that happened years ago. Really look back in your life to when you first developed this fear.
Once you recognize why you are particularly scared of something, you come to realize that it’s not some big scary monster. You just had one bad experience and now you view it as something that is out to get you.
Step 2: Take a Small Action
Next, you must take one small action that gets your feet wet.
If your fear is public speaking, try speaking to just your friends and family. Prepare a speech and ask a few people to gather around so you can practice speaking in front of people, with all eyes on you.
Just do one small thing that does NOT overwhelm you and helps you realize, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad”.
If the thought of doing this one small action makes you want to puke and hyperventilate, then the action is too large and you need to start off with something smaller.
Step 3: Take A Bigger Action
Next, you need to keep pushing yourself and get yourself to take another action; this time an action that is a little bit more challenging.
Overcoming fear does not happen over night. It’s a process that will take work and commitment from your part. So don’t let yourself celebrate too much from your first achievement in step 2.
Keep the ball rolling and take another action that scares you a little bit, this time, a little bit bigger action. Something that pushes you a little farther and makes you sweat a little bit more.
Again, the idea here is not to overwhelm you, but to gradually get you prepared to deal with the big stage, and fully overcome a fear.
Step 4: Ask For Feedback
It’s important to ask for feedback from trusted ones on how you are doing and what they believe you could be doing differently.
Make sure you are speaking with trusted, credible people, and take their advice when you go into step 5.
Step 5: Repeat!
Specifically, repeat steps 2 and 3 over and over again.
The only way to truly overcome fears and build the confidence to not let them stop you, is to just jump in and go for it.
Just do it. Feel the fear, and then go do it anyway.
I understand this is much easier said than done, but that is why I am suggesting taking small actions. You must take small steps in the beginning to slowly build your confidence up and then gradually increase the severity of those actions. Over time, you will build momentum and it will start to become second nature. After a while, you’ll wonder why you were ever scared in the first place!
The point to take away from this is that their is nothing wrong with having fears. You simply must take steps towards overcoming those fears and not allow them to stop you from doing what you were meant to do and what makes you happy.
Often times, these little fears are in the way of us getting to a place in life where we truly want to be. Be fierce and persistent, and gradually work through each and every one of your fears to get where you want to be!
Learn to get comfortable speaking in front of an audience. Public speaking is the #1 fear in America, so if you are able to gain the confidence to get up and speak with charisma in front of a large audience, you will be far ahead of your peers.
It’s an invaluable skill to master.
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