“Action cures fear, inaction creates terror” ~ Douglas Horton
At some point in our lives, we have all backed out of our chase for the actualization of certain goals, no matter how little they are. And usually, this is caused by fear.
Fear is a feeling that must be felt. However, it can be dangerous. Daily, thousands of people lose great opportunities to become better because of the monster called fear. If you are one of those people, then I think you should pay extra attention to this article.
What Is Fear?
Fear is one of the seven universal emotions experienced by anyone in the world. A trigger for fear is the threat of harm, either real or imagined, and usually loss of courage.
This threat can be for our physical, emotional, or psychological well being and it can become depressing and affect our mental health.
Sometimes, some situations or circumstances create fear in you. That is not, and will never be a problem. But sometimes, when it becomes constant or a long-term fear, it can hinder you from being productive.
Fear could also make you stuck in the past or agitated and anxious about the future. Douglas Horton said “Action cures fear, inaction creates terror” and that you are reading this piece is a big step to overcoming that fear.
In this article, I will be giving you practical steps on how to overcome fear. These steps are as practicable as can be and would walk you through the feeling of fear and help you improve. So, what exactly are these steps? Join me as we explore amazing and practical steps.
1. Self Awareness
You have to accept that you’re afraid, you do not need to be in denial, and your feelings do not make you weak or less of a person.
Acknowledge your imperfections rather than trying to deny or distort them. Accepting your feelings and reality is an important life skill because it helps in developing a coping mechanism and how to respond to it.
Virtually every feeling we have has its conception in our mind and so you have to first accept that you have that feeling of fear. When you try to ignore your fears, it grows. When you face it, it shrinks.
2. Understand Your Fear And Explore It
The only way to deal with fear is to face it and understand the fear. Know why you are scared, what exactly makes you feel that way? Avoiding our fears only keeps you from moving forward and so you have to explore that feeling.
If you are so scared about flopping an interview ask yourself, is it because I think I’m not good enough? Is it because you’ve gone for so many others and you think you flopped? There are so many questions you could ask yourself. And in this case, it might be a lack of self-confidence.
In summary, you should understand and try to figure out what exactly makes you scared and then find out how you can overcome it.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now it is time to understand more, so that we may fear less” Marie Curie.
3. Develop A Sense Of Personal Control
Fear is most of the time your understanding and an illusion you might have created in your mind. It does not always mean that what you think would happen would actually happen.
And so you have to believe that you are in charge and not whatever or whoever is sponsoring the feeling of fear that you have.
Research shows that people function better and are able to deal with stress when they are in control. Believe that you are and in control, and you might just be! This also means you having a great sense of self-confidence and esteem.
You have to believe that you got this! The feelings of fear as earlier said start from the mind and so tell yourself you are in control and sometimes you might not always be totally in control and that’s okay too.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is one of the best secrets to help people deal with anxiety and fear. Mindfulness is intentionally putting the focus on your emotions, and accepting in a nonjudgemental way whatever thoughts or fears you are experiencing at that moment.
Be conscious of whatever feeling of fear you might be experiencing and revisit the reasons for your fear. Close your eyes, connect with your feelings, take deep breaths and let your breathe settle into its own rhythm, ask yourself questions and remind yourself that you have just created an illusion in your mind.
Mindfulness helps us put a space between ourselves and our reactions, breaking down our conditioned responses.
5. Focus On Positivity
Being positive is a major way to overcome any negative feeling. Positivity breeds self-confidence which aids perseverance.
Don’t give up, keep trying, keep engaging yourself, keep reminding yourself that a great percentage of the feeling of fear is just an illusion you have made up in your mind.
As the adage goes, “If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again”. Maintain an optimistic mindset, remind yourself that you will overcome that fear no matter how bad it may seem.
Think of things you are grateful for, think of what makes you feel loved and everything will be just fine.
6. Train Your Mind
Napoleon Hill said “Fears are nothing more than a state of the mind”
Every feeling is conceived from the mind and the mind has a way of magnifying subtle things.
This fear is what makes you feel like you would suddenly freeze on stage while making a presentation, it’s what paralyzes you before you introduce yourself to the girl of your dreams, it’s what gives panic attacks when you remember certain things and when you actually do these things you realize you pulled it off and you are not in danger.
You should train your mind to come to terms with the fact there is no threat whatsoever and whatever is making you so scared won’t kill you. Constantly tell yourself “It’s all in my mind, I can actually pull this off without flopping, and everything’s going to be just fine”.
7. Use Stress Management Techniques
Handling stress is easier said than done and we all could be better at it with time. Set aside a leisure time to do some self-reflection, keep a sense of humor, and you could have a music playlist that makes you feel inner peace and safety.
Download meditation applications, exercise regularly, and practice yoga. It’s actually unrealistic to be totally stress-free but these tips could help manage stress to a great extent.
Everyone has a go-to tactic for calming down; all you have to is figure it out. Although ensure your stress management technique is a healthy one. Self-care and mental health is an important priority in overcoming fear.
8. Appreciate Your Courage
Don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s okay to have the feeling of fear, and accepting that you have those fears is a big move and a lot of progress.
Appreciate your courage; do not resent yourself because you feel bothered about whatever feeling you have. Reflect on how blessed and fortunate you are.
Reflect on how far you have come and how strong you are to acknowledge your fears and don’t try to be perfect.
9. Think Long Term
Visualize your future, think of how peaceful it would feel when you have overcome the feeling of fear. Although thinking long-term does not exactly fix the problem, but it can help you think objectively and come up with the right solution.
Thinking of how excellent you’ll do at a job and how it eases you financially should help you feel more confident about that interview. Thinking of how proud you would be of yourself when you ace your exams should ease your fear of failure.
10. Get Help And Support
Talk about that fear to someone. Saying it out eases the tension in your mind and makes you see how your mind has actually just magnified the issue.
The longevity of people that have encountered trauma in their lives was with the strength of their social relationships. Friends and family can help with a realistic assessment of the threat and make us feel more confident.
You could speak to a professional or join support groups or just talk to a friend or close relation, whichever makes you feel more comfortable and at ease.
If you are religious, you could seek help from a higher and sovereign power, it eases whatever feeling of fear you might have and helps to overcome fear.
Those are practicable ways on how to overcome fear. Your mental health should be taken care of and if anxiety or fear is beating up on you, you can get your confidence back but it takes self-awareness and acknowledging the truth to get better.
Every feeling of fear is conceived from the mind and the best way on how to overcome fear starts from the mind. Henry Ford said “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find what he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do”. I believe you can overcome that fear, you should too.
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