Learn how to overcome fear and live your life in power and love
This classic self-help book will teach you how to overcome fear. You’ll learn how commitment and action are essential to overcoming all fear and empower yourself. Finally, you’ll learn how no decision you made or will make can ever be “wrong.” But first, let’s find out what fear is.
The function of fear
Fear originally protected us from danger. For example, when a wild animal approached us it was fear who made us flee or prepare to fight.
On the other hand, fear can also be an obstacle which doesn’t serve us at all. If your fear holds you back from attending a party or traveling, for example, it isn’t protecting you, it only represents an obstacle to living your life as you’d truly like.
Conditioning from an early age often makes us fearful
We often are conditioned from a young age to be fearful. Our parents or society tell us about the dangers of the “world outside”, and how we can remain safe from harm. These fears can become deeply attached and debilitate us as adults.
Fortunately, it is possible to learn methods to control and overcome our fears. For example by examining the nature of that fear. If you are afraid of the first day at a new job, for instance, you could examine that fear and learn that nearly everyone is nervous in a similar situation. You can also learn how people successfully overcame that fear.
There are different fears but in the end, these fears come from the more general fear that we will not be able to overcome what life throws at us. Fear is something we all feel and we can learn to cope with and even overcome.
Push through fear to cope with it
One of the best ways to overcome fear is pushing through it. That is, feel the fear and do it anyway! Going through a life with fear is a far greater torture than just pushing past it whenever it arises.
For example, fear is often a reflex which is triggered when we experience new things in life. Doing the thing anyway will prove to us that it is doable and so our fear will dissipate. As we overcome our fear we get an additional benefit, a greater sense of self-respect and confidence.
Our comfort zone gets in our way
Why is it that as a child we overcame many things we were afraid to do, but as adults, we tend to stop outgrowing our fears? The problem is that as adults, we tend to establish our personal comfort zones which strongly influence the actions we take and decisions we make.
We might be comfortable to ask a stranger for directions, but we feel uncomfortable to start a conversation with a stranger at a party. But what if we expanded our power by consistently pushing the barriers of our comfort zones?
To expand your comfort zone and overcome fear, do something uncomfortable every day
For example, at the next party try to talk to someone you’ve never met before. Doing uncomfortable things like these will make them less uncomfortable the next time until you overcome them completely.
But what if our pushing backfires, for example, if we talk to a stranger person and that person answers in an unfriendly way? That case also is very useful for your empowerment. If stepping outside your zone backfires, be satisfied that you at least took action instead of letting your fear dominate you.
Acting will expand your comfort zone no matter what happens, and expanding your comfort makes you more active and independent and ultimately, more powerful.
The more unfamiliar and frightening things you do, the more power and confidence you will adquire.
Take full responsibility for your life
Instead of victimizing yourself you can take difficult situations as a challenge to grow and learn. For example, if you’re not treated fairly by someone, instead of complaining you can change your perception about it. Acknowledging that the other person’s perception of you doesn’t define you. And if that isn’t enough to empower you, you have to be ready to take action to improve your life. You could distance yourself from people who don’t contribute positively to your life and spend more time going out to meet new people.
See and feel abundant to become more generous and less afraid of not having enough for yourself
Overcoming the fear of scarcity is an important component of overcoming fear in general. Most of us are scared to give because we think there will be less for ourselves. How to remedy that? By practicing giving. For example, if you give money or kindness to others more often, even if it occasionally triggers your fear, it will help you eliminate the scarcity in the long run.
Only by practicing will you improve at being a giver and eliminate the fear of not having enough for yourself. Gratefulness is an important component to become happier. By regularly giving thanks, you will train yourself to see how fortunate you are.
Being positive is more beneficial and often even more realistic
Studies have shown that only about 10% of your worries transpire. Which means that most of our worries are completely unfounded. Adopting a more positive attitude towards what might happen is a more realistic perspective than being pessimistic and worry all the time.
Overcoming negativity is hard though and requires a lot of commitment and practice. You have to make it a daily habit to practice and use tools such as good self-help books or quotes and affirmations to succeed in becoming more positive.
Thinking positively doesn’t mean denying the reality of things it just provides you with the strength to deal most effectively with every situation while reducing worry, eliminating fear and enjoying your life despite challenges.
Surround yourself with strong and supportive people
When you start to change for the better, it is likely that not everyone will like it. Some of the people around you may get upset about your progress but there is no need to fret about it. Just try to help them to deal with that change, if they see the positive impact your change has on you, they’ll probably begin to change for the better themselves.
A good way to respond to feedback from other people is to acknowledge it so that they feel appreciated. If they respond negatively try to establish a win-win strategy in your discussion. For example, if your friend expresses concern towards something she sees in you, instead of getting defensive just thank her for her concern, assure her that you appreciate her feedback and that she needn’t worry about it. This will make her feel appreciated and included and your self-confidence will increase her own confidence in you as well.
If you have some friends who don’t give you their support after you tried to acknowledge their concern and convince them that your changes are for good, it may be time to look out for friends who support you and your progress. You will particularly benefit from people who are more advanced than you are.
Be comfortable making decisions
We are often afraid of making decisions. Why? Because we fear we’ll make the wrong ones. For example, if we get a new job offer we might fret and think, “If I take the new job I might not like it” or “If I quit now from my job I’ll lose my opportunity to get a promotion.”
But is our worry really justified? What about the possible positive outcomes? For example, it is likely that we will start the new job with a higher salary than we get in our actual job. We usually don’t take into account the whole picture but rather see the situation from a negative perspective. We assume that there is a right and wrong decision. Furthermore, we are unable to predict how things will turn out and thus fear to make the wrong decision.
By accepting that there are no wrong decisions, just opportunities to learn and grow, you’ll understand that you cannot lose, just win. Every path we choose will lead to new experiences and opportunities regardless of its actual destination. To consider the example above, if you decide to take that new job and it turns out that you don’t like it, you still learned something new and valuable about what kind of job you want.
This win-win approach eliminates the fear of decision making and opens the door to seeing opportunities in whatever life brings us. It allows us to be less afraid in general as we’ll have learned that we can handle any situation.
Seek a balance in your life and be 100% committed to every beneficial area
People often ignore important areas of their life and hold on to others, this approach often does not work well for long. If for instance, a person invests all her energy in a relationship while she ignores other important areas, she will feel frightened to lose her partner and devastated if the relationship breaks. If on the other hand she is fully committed to every aspect of her life like family, friends, hobbies, and work, she will be in a much better and stabler position to have a relationship. The other things will still be intact even if the relationship fails. Balance is a key aspect of a quality and happy life. It shields you from fear and makes you stronger in every way.
Let’s recap the key points of managing fear:
- Push through fear
- Leave your comfort zone
- Assume responsibility
- Feel abundant
- Think positively and see opportunities
- Be comfortable with making decisions
- Seek balance
Also published on Medium.