How to Overcome the Fear That Is Holding You Back

fear personal growth Sep 21, 2021

We all have fears. It's a natural part of life to be afraid of certain things. The problem is that some people don't know how to overcome their fear, and it can hold them back from doing the things they want in life. This article will discuss some ways to overcome your fears to live a more fulfilling life.

Why are we afraid

People experience fear for various reasons. One common reason is fear of the unknown. Many people are afraid to take action because they don't know what could happen in the future, which is where the unknown resides. People fear that failure might happen, that they are not good enough, or that rejection can occur. Anxiety disorders, as well as past trauma and experiences, also lead to fearful thoughts.

Fear triggers due to the "fight or flight" response present in the bodies of all humans. When we see a threat, our bodies become more alert, and the adrenaline rush happens. We then begin to think if we are going to confront or run away from the perceived threat. Then there's the emotional aspect of fear that is different per individual. Some people like watching horror movies or playing scary video games but others would cower before these things. This emotional aspect of fear is the one we can control.

So why do we want to control fear if it is something normal that happens to us? It's normal to feel fear of certain things initially, but when we let fear take hold of us for an extended time, that's when it becomes a problem. It prevents us from moving forward, seizing opportunities, or making decisions that could have led us to a better life. Fear prevents us from becoming the best version of ourselves and reaching our full potential. There are several things you can do to overcome fear and see which ones can work for you.

1. Feel fear and face it

As daunting as this sounds, facing your fear is one way of overcoming it. Continuously running away from our fears and fleeing to safety reinforces our fears even more. First, you have to recognize that the fear is there. When you acknowledge the fear, it becomes possible to calm yourself and think of a plan to tackle it and what actions you can take. Think of it as a problem. In life, some people run away from issues by drowning in alcoholic drinks or distracting themselves with pleasurable things, hoping that the pain goes away. Unfortunately, the problem is still there, staring at you and haunting you. Unless the issue is acknowledged, you will never solve it. The same thing goes with overcoming fear.

2. Take a break

Unless what you are afraid of is a monster or an alien trying to kill you, then you can take some time out from your fear and stay away for a while. It's hard to think and make rational decisions when anxious and your mind is stricken with fear. Shift your focus away by doing some things that can relax you like talking a short walk outside, breathing some fresh air, or eating and drinking something you want. If you know some meditation exercises, that can also help. These things can help you calm down and be more ready to confront your fear.

3. Learn to be present at the moment

Practically every type of fear is fear of the future. Most people are afraid of what's going to happen if they do something. Many people worry about the future. Our future is not yet determined. And even if it is, it's always possible to change our course and go in a different direction. We have to learn to be more present at the moment. Focus on what we are doing right now. Avoid getting lost in dreams ruminating about the past or the future. Improve what you are doing right now so that success will come.

4. Talk to others

Talking about your fears to other people can help eliminate the frightful feelings you have in your mind. Let your friends, family, or peers hear out what things make you afraid. If you can't find somebody else to talk to, a mental health professional or a life coach can also help you vent out. You might discover that others also have the same fears as you. Sharing experiences enables you to think that you are not alone and puts you in a better position to handle your worries.

5. Do 1% a day

If you decide to overcome your fears to pursue your big dreams, the process can be overwhelming. Overcoming fear doesn't happen overnight, and it can be quite a long run to achieve it. When you are beginning to conquer your fear, start by taking small steps every day. Wait until you get comfortable doing things, then move up to doing something a little bit bigger than before. An excellent example of this is overcoming phobias. You can't expect a person to overcome a phobia immediately. The first business is to expose the person to what they are afraid of, gradually exposing them until they feel more comfortable. The person then has to do little steps that gradually lead to directly confronting their fear and doing something about it. The process continues until it reaches the point where the person needs to challenge negative thoughts about the fear.

6. Build your self-confidence

Low self-esteem is one reason why you feel scared doing things. People with low self-confidence view many things around them as threats, and the world appears as a hostile place to them. They are afraid to try doing new things because of fear of failure. Pain from past experiences gives people the sense that things will not work. As a result, they miss out on opportunities and experiences that could have changed the outcome of their lives. Fortunately, there are many ways a person can build up self-confidence, such as getting the help of a life coach. All it takes is to give people the right push to provide them with the desire to improve their lives.

7. Gain some clarity

Fear holding us back stems from the unknown. If that is the case, then we have to research and learn about things. If you keep feeling that this will happen when I do this, do some research first on what makes you afraid. Look at what happened to other people that have gone through what's making you afraid. Research about facts. Did something terrible happen to them? If there's none, then the fear might be misplaced.

One other thing that gives us fear is when we feel lost in life. When we do not have any clear purpose or goal in life, we get stuck, and things about to happen become scary. Gaining clarity and meaning in life helps us lose frightful feelings by increasing our overall well-being and giving us the freedom to do more things. If you know what you have to do and for what, there would be less time to think about what-ifs. Working towards your dream is what you would be busier doing.

8. Pat yourself on the back

It doesn't hurt to celebrate the small successes we have in life. Feel free to dine out or buy something nice after achieving something worthwhile. Doing these things helps create reinforcement and motivates us to move forward instead of contemplating whether the next step will pass or fail.

Conquer even the fear

There is nothing wrong with being afraid. The danger comes when we let fear take control of our lives. The truth is a lot of our worries might even be misplaced or just assumed constraints. Taking steps to overcome fear is the main thing one should do to have more power to do the things we want in life.

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