Fear is the killer. It’s the destroyer of dreams. It can crush your business and bust your sales. It can strangle your talents, skills, and ambitions.
Our ability to achieve personal and business success is directly related to how well we can break through fear. What fears are holding you back from achieving the things you want to do? Do you want to learn how to conquer your fear?
Some common types of fears are the fear of poverty, the fear of criticism, the fear of ill health, the fear of rejection, the fear of success, the fear of failure, the fear of old age, the fear of death, the fear of public speaking, the fear of flying, and the fear of the unknown.
From CEOs to celebrities to salespeople, and everyone in between, we all suffer from fears that hold us back from getting what we want. If you’re ready to break through and overcome fear and phobias, then consider practicing some of these proven and practical habits to live the life you are capable of.
1. Discover what fears are holding you back.
Research shows that we are born with only two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. What that means is every other fear we have is learned. Unfortunately, we seem to acquire too many unhealthy fears that end up holding us back from living the life we deserve. It is essential to become more aware and to identify when we are fearful, how we respond to that fear, and how to break through it. Anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and fight-or-flight fear responses are all directly correlated to unresolved fears and anxiety. Write a list of things you fear and then list ways you can overcome the fears that are holding you back. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you feel that you need guidance.
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”
2. Focus on what you desire, not what you fear.
Focus your mind on what you want to do, so that you have no time to focus on what scares you. To make sales calls you must focus on the opportunity and reward for making sales calls. We all experience fear. Focusing on rejection and criticism will only paralyze you. In daily life, we generally experience whatever it is we focus on, so you might as well center your thoughts and actions on what you desire. Your focus will become your reality.
3. Take baby steps.
Inch your way to conquering fear. It’s okay to set smaller short-term goals. If you have a fear of climbing a ladder, for the first time, try climbing two rungs only. Use visualization and picture yourself on the top rung. Once you feel more comfortable, then try three rungs. Within time you’ll have the courage to climb all the way to the top. Develop your courage by slowly expanding your comfort zone. Take the advice of Mark Twain, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.
4. Establish a relationship with a mentor.
Leaders know they don’t have all the answers. It’s extremely important to seek help from successful leaders or a support group since we can learn from others’ personal experiences. You can accelerate your progress and avoid possible pitfalls to your eventual success. After you find a credible mentor, consult with your mentor on a regular basis. Make sure to report your activities and success to your mentor. Keep in mind that your mentor will continue to help you as long as you respect his or her time and knowledge, and you consistently progress toward your goals.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”
5. Tackle challenges immediately.
A broken water valve can cause enormous damage if it’s not attended to immediately. Running away from challenges will never make them disappear. Entrepreneurs learn quickly that one unresolved challenge can lead to a full-blown crisis. James Baldwin was correct when he wrote, “There is never a time in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is now.” Challenges are part of life and must be viewed as opportunities to learn and grow or life will surely offer only defeat. Keep in mind that challenges are like schoolyard bullies who end up shrinking when confronted.
6. Create your own mental movie.
Carl Sagan shared, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere.” Become the director, the actor, and the audience of your own movie. You can create a mental movie in which you see yourself facing and overcoming your fear. You can use a mental movie (visualization) to create and reinforce any desired behavior. Play the movie over and over until your new behavior emerges.
7. Use your body to control your frame of mind.
When you want to feel confident, you need to stand up straight, throw your shoulders back, breathe deeply and look slightly upward. The same is true if you want to be courageous; simply adopt a keyed-up and courageous body posture. You can use your body to feel happy or sad, love or hate, energetic or lethargic, and positive mental health is critical. You have the power to feel any way you like simply by adopting the proper physiology. So, stand up straight and walk with certainty in the face of fear. Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques often. Allow your body and mind to become familiarized with the process of overcoming fearful thoughts and elevated stress levels. The more often you practice taking control of your posture and oxygen flow, the faster your perceived threat and feelings of fear will dissipate. Your body will learn to control your mindset and wellness. You will unlock your full potential and this will elevate your self-esteem. Self-confidence is the exact opposite of negative thoughts.
If you are tired of living your life in fear day to day, then now is your best hour to do something about it. You can practice these powerful tools today to help you break through fear. If not, your option is to continue living a limited life.
Best of success to you!