We all feel scared from time to time but how to overcome that fear is one of the greatest challenges we face as humans.
Fear is basically a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something; the fear of death, failure, sickness, heartbreak, etc.
Sadly, one of the mistakes we make is we give fear way too much credit and most of the time, the things we fear don’t actually exist.
It’s all an our head but we allow what doesn’t exist to stop us from doing something that could potentially change our lives.
So, how do you overcome fear? How do you get past that overwhelming sense of dread that keeps you stuck?
But first, let’s understand where fear comes from.
Fear originally came from a biological standpoint because if we look back to the ancient days, there was a real fear to stay alive so our brain instilled fear to help us survive.
If there is a tiger chasing after us, that fear is what spikes us and helps us find ways to survive by helping our vision become clearer, and making our muscles stronger so we either run or fight.
In that instant, fear keeps us alive. It isn’t always bad for us and there are instances in our lives today where fear is necessary.
For example, if you are in a burning house and you don’t feel fear, then something may be wrong with you.
But now that we are living in a society that has elvolved so much and we are no longer in situations of life or death, fear has shifted to become something that isn’t real.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield.
Most of the time, fear is just bad management of our mindset. It is stemming from what we are allowing ourselves to think or imagine as the end goal.
In our daily lives, there is one question we can always ask ourselves and that is : “What if”.
The answer to that question is going to define how we move on a daily basis.
So if you are leaning towards fear, your response is going to be:
‘What if is this doesn’t work?
What if I fail?
What if people don’t accept who I am?
When you understand where fear comes from, you become competent in it and from there, you become confident in it. In psychology, this is called the “The Confidence competency loop“.
For example, if you walk into an exam room without studying, you’ll be afraid because you’ll be apprehending failure.
Whereas, when you do take the time to read your notes and do your exercices, you begin to understand the subject, and you are more prepared, so facing the exam won’t scare you anymore.
The same thing applies to our fears. Once you understand where your fear is coming from, you will realize that it is nothing but an issue you have to deal with in your mind and only then can you break free from the negative cycle.
Now, let’s dive into the different types of fear and how you can overcome them.
This happens when we are afraid of losing something or someone while pursuing something bigger/greater.
Let’s say you want to lose weight. You will be anxious because you have to deprive yourself of tasty food and not being able to show up to places since you have to diet.
You might be terrified of quitting your job to start that busines you’ve always wanted to do because you will be losing your steady paycheck and you won’t be seeing your coworkers again.
As well as you might be scared of losing friends, or family members or even your spouse because they don’t believe in what you are doing and they don’t understand your vision/goals.
So, because there is a chance of you losing something, you will dread pursuing even bigger things.
This happened to me when I was making a career change.
I was contemplating between leaving my stable job with a lucrative pay as a doctor and starting my own business in an area which was still new to me and in which I wasn’t guaranteed success.
But I had to take a moment to understand where my fear was coming from and as I stepped out in faith, I decided to make a choice that was more personal and typical of me.
That was how I got over my fear.
You need to reorient your mind to not focus on what you’re going to lose but more on what you are going to gain.
So, instead of fearing losing weight because we might stop eating our favorite, foods, we can choose to focus on the positives like being fitter, feeling better, being healthier and understanding that those gains outweigh the negatives.
Same thing with business. Focus on the freedom you can create/have and the bigger and better opportunities you will have that you couldn’t while working your 9-5 job.
Focusing on the gains helps you tame that pain or fear of missing out or losing something and that is how you learn to get over your fear of loss.
As humans, we do not like change at all. Anything that equates to change is uncomfortable especially when it is hard.
When we think of losing weight, then we think the process is hard because we have to work out and keep ourselves from eating out late which is painful.
Same thing with starting a business. We have to put out time to grow that business, sometimes sacrifice our sleep, miss out on events or not hang out with people, and that is painful.
By accepting it. There is positivity in challenge. Challenge is a good thing and we shouldn’t be afraid of it.
Infact, it is something we should embrace and run towards. Why? Because it is challenge that creates who we are and who we ultimately become.
Challenge is like the pressure used in making diamonds. You need that pressure to grow because the more you are pushed and stretched, the more you will be resilient and confident.
Understand that, although the road might be challenging in regards to the process of change, you don’t want to focus on how hard it is going to be.
You want to focus on how you can benefit from it because at the end of the day, those are the things that are going to help you grow and get you to where you need to be.
Remember, success is behind failure and you have to go through failure in order to reach success.
The fear that all of this won’t be worth it.
What if I put in all this work, time and effort and make all these sacrifices and it doesn’t work out? What if my business fails or I don’t make any money or I don’t lose weight?
Imagine if all this happens and it is for nothing?
Just thinking about this is scary.
You have to focus on the positive possibility. What if it works out?
Like I said, your answer to your ‘what if’ dictates the turn of events in your life and determines whether you are tapping more into your fear or not.
And we don’t want to tap into our fears, we want to tap in more into our faith mindset.
What if it does work out, you do become successful and achieve everything you’ve ever dreamed of?
Imagine you do find someone you love and who loves you back?
There are so many possibilities out there so why would you focus on things that would go wrong?
Focusing on the what ifs on the positive side is what is going to help you diminish the what ifs on the negative side.
You can’t drive out darkness with more darkness, only light can do that.
So you can’t drive away fear by focusing more on fear. You have to focus on hope, faith.
I believe anything we have in regards to our dreams, wants, desires, is given to us for a reason. So what if we aren’t meant for failure and that whatever we may be scared to pursue is actually our destiny and calling?
But let’s also be honest, sometimes it won’t work out but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t for a reason. We have to go through certain things and fail at certain things to ultimately get to the success we need to.
But if we are not ready to do that in the first place, we are not going to get there in the end.
Fear is something we can decide if we want to feed it or not.
It may be the fear of change, or the fear of result or what others might think, or the fear of not being good enough.
No matter what that fear might be, you don’t want to focus on it because it is just something happening in your mind and whenever that happens, you want to set your sight on all the possibilities/positives.
Focus on the direction you are going. Focus on your faith mindset, instead of your fear mindset.
At the end of that day, both situations are not real because they haven’t happened yet but what you can do now, is choose what realization you want to happen in your life and work towards it.
That’s the beauty of being human; having the power of choice.
So today, choose hope, choose life, choose faith and build the future you deserve.
It isn’t over until it is over.