If you want to succeed anywhere, overcoming your biggest fears is a must. Fears can paralyze anyone from advancing to their goals; rather, it can make them retreat into a corner.
Once you go after your goal, you’ll be experiencing feelings of fear and a voice in your head will try to rationalize that what you are trying to achieve is not possible or it’s not worth the effort. While it’s easier to give up rather than attempt to face your fears, you have to understand that you wouldn’t be able to go anywhere if you throw in the towel at the first hurdle.
There are different fears you might experience throughout your attempt at success. It may vary from fear of failure, success, rejection, or be uncomfortable but at the end of the day, overcoming them depends on you and how you engage with your fear.
Here are some ways you can face your fears that prevent you from achieving your goals:
Change your perspective on failure
Sometimes, we have a habit of letting failure doubt ourselves that trying wouldn’t even be an option. You can’t fail if you don’t try, right? But this mindset would leave you with missed opportunities that would eventually be the biggest “what if” of your life.
Don’t let your fear make you miss out on these opportunities. While failure can be unpleasant, it doesn’t mark the end of the world. See it as a potential to break outside your comfort zone, a learning experience you won’t know if you stay inside your safety bubble. Know that breaking outside the safety net your fear of failure provides is a giant step towards your goal.
Trick your mind
The thoughts on your mind have a massive impact on the actions you take. Our world of view tends to tilt toward the negative, so the key to seeing the upside of things is through hard work.
The paper tiger paranoia refers to a threat that our mind conjures up but isn’t really there. A tiger made of paper can’t harm you, but you think it can. The cost of these thoughts is needless anxiety. Our brain can trick us into overestimating threats, making us overreact, stay guarded, feel unnecessary anxiety and anger; it’s possible to fool our brain into believing there is no threat.
“Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become.” as Harvard Professor, author, and public speaker Amy Cuddy said.
Don’t just act as if you’re fearless. Counteract your negative thoughts with positive ones which you might not believe at first but doing it repeatedly eventually becomes an authentic feeling of excitement while negative experience becomes small and stays in the background.
Take small steps
Facing your fears doesn’t need to be done in one grand gesture. It takes a lot of time and effort to face the challenges you’re facing.
Writing down your fears is a great first step to work through them slowly. List your fears and describe the reason you believe you have them. It can help you through acknowledging these fears and think of goals you can work on and track your progress as you go.
Having a more manageable goal could slowly help you step out of your comfort zone. For example, if you’re afraid of rejection, instead of trying to think of words to say to avoid it, focus on learning avoiding it getting under your skin. Accept that rejection is something you can’t evade, skill has nothing to do with it. Learning how to handle it is more attainable and realistic.
In the end, no one is excluded from having fears. Everyone is afraid of something. While there are a lot of tips on how to overcome them, it still depends on you. Will you face your fears head on or will you let it control you?
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