Fear is universal. We all have it, and it’s part of what makes us human. Every single one of us has experienced the feeling of being afraid, and that’s not always such a bad thing. Having some fear is normal—and even healthy—when it helps to keep us safe.
But what about the more detrimental kinds of fear, the kind that stops you from being the best version you can be? These are the fears that feed our anxieties and keep us from overcoming them. They are the kind that prevent us from trying new and exciting things, and are often the root of lasting regret because they make us feel vulnerable and weak.
They are the kinds of fear that make you feel you can’t do something.
Whatever your fear, if it’s something that stands between you and your full potential, then it’s important to know what can be done about it. The first step is to recognize if negative fear is shaping your life. Ask yourself: Do you set impossible standards for yourself? Is it overwhelming when things feel out of your control? Are you always putting off tasks in favor of excuses or distractions? And does it always seem like you’re saying “yes” when you really want to say “no”, or vice versa?
If any of the above sounds familiar, fear may be playing a bigger role in your life than you’d think. Fear of judgment, perhaps. Or fear of rejection. Fear of failure. For many of us, these are common fears that can present quite a struggle, because they all deal with the unknown. We worry that things won’t pan out. We’re afraid what others might say or think. We dwell on the frightening possibility that you can give it your all, and your all still won’t be good enough.
The good news, though? That’s all part of being a normal caring person. We fear because we’re clever, thinking creatures, which means we’re also capable of learning how to manage our fears, and maybe even turn them into a positive force for change.
One of the first steps to overcoming fear is to take action. What makes fear such a powerful emotion is its ability to hold you back or to make you shy away from certain challenges, and if that is what’s keeping you from achieving your goals, it’s time to take a stand. Just do it, and accept no excuses.
Next, keep those pesky fears at bay by getting motivated, and staying motivated. Once you take that first leap to start something incredible, it’s important to fuel your spirit and keep that fire burning. Tracking your productivity can help with this, which some accomplish by setting a routine, while others keep tabs on their progress with incremental goal setting.
Whatever strategy you choose, stay positive. Keep your eyes on the prize and always remember why you are doing it. Self-doubt is normal, but we also can’t let it take over our lives and keep us from being happy.
Just remember, it may take a lot of courage to conquer our fears, to even admit they may be getting the better of us, but inside every individual is a strength to overcome any obstacle that stands in the way. Live your life to its fullest, and don’t spend it being afraid.