Most of us don’t admit to being afraid — but so many of us are afraid of something or another or have been in the past. So how do you overcome fear?
Overcoming Fear is Not So Easy
To overcome your fears requires you to have the ability to acknowledge whatever it is that you fear, face it, feel it, and even touch it. Then, make a conscious decision to let it go.
I believe you must be able to handle fear. If you don’t it can hold you in its grip—and a paralyzing grip it can be. It can cause stress, and hold you back from achieving your goals or taking advantage of an opportunity. Fear of failure, of making a mistake, of what people might think, of speaking in public, of losing money, of rejection, and yes, even fear of success are not uncommon.
You might come up with so many reasons for not doing something that you’ll paralyze yourself and end up doing nothing at all. “I tried that before, and it didn’t work,” “Look at what happened to so and so,” “I’m no good at that,” “I can’t stand rejection,” “I don’t have the time to do that right now,” and, “She has more credentials than I do” are all excuses that keep you from reaching your full potential.
Making Excuses Another Self-Defeating Thought Process in Addition to Fear
Making excuses is yet another popular self-defeating thought process—the “What if …” trap. This is truly negative thinking. Starting down the “What if …” path simply creates undue anxiety in your life. “What if I can’t do the job after all?” “What if this business I started fails and I’m up to my neck in debt?” “What if selling the new product line is harder than selling the old one?” “What if I tell the company how wrong they were about their decision, and they fire me?” “What if the joint venture I’m approving turns out to be a failure?”
To combat these fears, you might even make a little “game” out of it. Whenever you think of not taking action on a new idea or opportunity because of fear of failure, ask yourself this question: “What’s the absolute worst thing that could happen to me?” Then, ask yourself a follow-up question: “Do I really believe this can happen to me?” More than likely, you’ll answer your question with a “no.”