Have you ever tried to do something new for the first time only to miserably fail or possibly hurt yourself in the process of doing it? Then, the next time that same situation comes to light, you adamantly back away, refusing to engage in the action for fear of failure again? Of course you have!
It’s human nature to have anxiety or be fearful of things that are unfamiliar to you or remind you of a painful situation from the past. But, what if that fear starts to cripple you and you start shying away from anything related to those unpleasant experiences from your past in fear of more failure, more rejection, or more pain? What then?
Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger. If it wasn’t for fear, we wouldn’t be able to protect ourselves from legitimate threats. Yet, many times we end up being full of anxiety or fearful of situations far from life or death and just back away from those experiences for no good reason.
What can we do to overcome anxiety or being fearful? First, recognize that overthinking everything accomplishes nothing! Most times we are our own worst enemies! I call it the “what if syndrome.” We experience a situation that has a negative impact on us. From that point, we will do whatever it takes to avoid that situation in the future because “what if” we encounter the same outcome? “What if” there are other negative spin-offs? “What if,” “what if,” “what if,” and the list goes on.
We question everything, and that specific fear now disrupts our ability to think clearly. From this point, this fear can lead to procrastination, self-doubt, a lack of self worthiness, creative blocks, and can literally derail success. Be mindful of this behavior and stop yourself before it consumes you.
Next, recognize that in most cases, fear is an illusion – something we have fabricated in our own minds and pretend is real. I read once that FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. Sometimes we fear things we have never tried or experienced. Why is that? While we can’t always control how we feel, we do have the ability and the power to choose how we think and act.
Don’t let false insecurities mar future goals, dreams, and desires. You have to face your fears head on! Overcoming fear involves taking risks, venturing into the unknown, and jumping without a net.
Personally, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t face my fears, believe in myself, and attempt to make changes. Some changes were successful. Some were not. That’s life though. Overcoming fear involves taking risks and those life lessons have made me who I am today.
The bottom line is, how badly do you want it? Like Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, “You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets!”
Surround yourself with people who share your passions and who will help you break through negative barriers. Take those hands OUT of your pockets and remove those blinders. Face your fears, push them back, and strip them of their power. It’s you versus you.
Life is too vast and too grand to be stuck in a predictable and monotonous holding tank. Think about what you’re missing out on! You may not be ready to tackle your fears today, but acknowledging your fears is a huge first step. Being proactive in taking positive steps to overcome your fears and anxiety WILL produce positive results. Time is on your side. Believe in yourself and trust the process. One day at a time. That’s all it takes to be a stronger, more confident, and self-assured YOU!
By Helen Fritsch