The number one reason that holds many people back from going after their dreams is fear. If left unchecked, our fear can keep us locked up inside our own mental prison. The trouble is, confronting your fears isn’t easy and it is going to be uncomfortable.
While it may keep us in a comfort zone, fear can also cause frustration and depression. This may sound strange, but we like to be in the state of homeostasis, meaning we want situations to be the same; we know how to adapt to them, no matter how bad they are for us.
So, if you truly want to live your best life, you need to stop letting fear rule it. Here, we will look at how you can stop letting fear control your life:
Explore the cause of your fear
If you want to stand any chance of getting over your fear, you are going to need to know its cause. Write down all your fears – and be honest. Then, circle the fears that are most obvious, such as fear of spiders or snakes, of more personal ones, such as fear of failure or fear of success.
Fears fall in one of three categories: primal, rational, and irrational. Identifying which your fears fall into will help you determine how to deal with them. A rational fear results when an imminent threat occurs; primal fears are hardwired in our brain; irrational fears really don’t make sense and are individual to each person
Once you have identified your main fears, look back at when it (they) first started. For example, I used to have an intense fear of spiders as one feel on me when I was camping in my younger years. Next, start to think of ways you can prevent them from happening, if you can. Spiders and snakes are out there but you can be alert to not run into them, or look at them differently (they are smaller than I am) as this can help you to feel like you have more control over them.
You won’t always be able to prevent your fears from coming true. However, most of our fear is simply a defense mechanism – these are meant to act as a protector from anxiety-producing situations that conflict between our inner and outer thoughts and feelings. Denial is the most used defense mechanism.
By facing our fears, we often find that it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. Once you have an idea of what is causing your fear, you can then look at ways to combat it.
Fear tends to generate a lot of anxiety which can activate automatically; you don’t have to be thinking of anything for this to happen (thank the reptilian part of the brain); trying to calm down can actually increase one’s anxiety.
By practicing mindfulness, it can help to bring a sense of calm into the mind. Lowering your anxiety levels will, in turn, give your fear less control over you. When you are in a calmer state, you are going to feel a lot stronger and better able to face your fear.
Meditation and deep breathing exercises are great for calming anxiety, and they also deliver a lot of other great benefits for the mind and body.
Start with short, deep breaths say for two minutes, then increase your time. Close your eyes if you have to and focus on the source of your breath. For meditation, it’s easier to begin with short, guided meditations if you are a beginner again, increasing your time. You can find them for free on sites, such as YouTube. The key is consistency to bring emotional relief.
Focus on the consequences if you don’t change
If you are struggling to face your fears, focus on what will happen if you don’t make the needed changes. That is, how will your life be a year from now if you don’t change anything now? Most likely, you will still be stuck feeling dissatisfied with your life, unable to move forward. Write yourself a letter but its this day of 2024 – what changed, what accomplishments did you have – these are your desires. Now, you can go work to go after them.
Talk Back to Yourself
Another great way to overcome fear is to talk back to yourself in a challenging way. Dr. Daniel Amen, a neuropsychiatrist and a consultant on The Biggest Loser tv show says to talk back to yourself like a sassy teenager would, i.e. ‘oh really, you don’t think you can make that speech.’ Your response, normally, would be ‘of course I can.!’ See how thi pushes you through to challenge any fear, so you can figure out how to get whatever the fear is preventing you from obtaining.
Eat the Frog
Brian Tracy wrote a great book called, ‘Eat That Frog,” where he says to take action on the one task that scares you the most; after that, everything will be easier once you realize you do have what it takes to get your goals accomplished.
The reason you are reading this is because you are already feeling fed up and wanting to make a change. So, if you don’t start facing your fear, you will only start to feel more frustrated, resentful, and lost. Focusing on what will happen if you don’t face your fear, can provide you with the motivation you need to do it.
These are a few of the best ways you can stop letting fear from controlling your life. Only by recognizing and facing up to your fears can you truly get past them. Fear is also linked to how we feel about ourselves. Therefore, by working on self-improvement and boosting our confidence, it can help you to be in a much better position to face your fears and get more done.
The new year is coming, so if you want help on overcoming any fears and starting the new year strong, reach out to get started!