I don’t like to write about things pretending I know what I’m talking about when I really don’t (something you see a lot of in the online world of personal development).
But there are some things I do know a lot about…
If there’s one thing I’m close to mastering in my life — it’s fear.
Now, I’m no-where near perfect and still have my own problems and issues to deal with — but fear is no longer something that majorly affects me.
Of course I still get scared, but I have learnt to deal with it.
There are so many people though who haven’t learnt to their handle fear. And they’re not living up to their potential because of it. Whatever the fear may be, it is holding them back from living their lives.
Well, you guessed it… today I’m going to show you exactly how I deal fear. Hopefully you can use some of these techniques to start overcoming your own fears and living your dream life… unrestrained.
Firstly, you must understand what fear is. I’m not going to give you a scientific explanation, but instead my own interpretation of fear:
Fear — the natural reaction our body gives to warn us of situations that may be harmful.
Fear is necessary in life. If we never got scared, we would jump off buildings, pick up snakes and do all sorts of crazy things that could potentially kill us.
But not everything we are afraid of is harmful. Many times it is just a figment of our imagination… an unreasonable reaction to an un-harmful situation.
An example is trying something new for the first time. We are all scared of it… but what’s the worst that could happen.
We get embarrassed?
We find it difficult?
It’s certainly not going to kill us, let alone harm us in any way.
4 Smart Ways to Eliminate Fear From Your Life
So let’s talk about the ways that I personally overcome fear, and we’ll see if you don’t learn something. Firstly…
1. Calculate Your Risks
This is the first thing to consider.
Are your fears legitimate?
Are the risks too high?
I’m a big participator in sports such as water-skiing, motocross and gymnastics — where mistakes can really hurt you. I learnt quickly that you need to push your limits, but never exceed them. I need to be constantly calculating whether the risk is beyond my limits or not.
And that’s the first step in eliminating fear – calculating the risks. Don’t just take a risk unless you have it fully calculated.
Let me introduce an imaginary example that we can work with for the rest of this article: Diving into a pool off a 10m (30ft) platform. (I’ve never done this, just using it as an example.)
I’m guessing that most people would be scared of this for the first time. But calculating the process, we can minimise the possible negative consequences… and thereby reduce our levels of fear.
We don’t want to just blindly dive in (for obvious reasons). Instead, we want to calculate the risks.
– Are you able to perform a proper dive?
– Can you swim?
– How much room is there for error?
– Are you fully prepared?
This alone helps you to understand what is behind your anxieties… and goes a long way to reducing your fear.
The next fear demolishing strategy is:
2. Work In Small Steps
Breaking a scary thing into smaller parts also breaks your fear into smaller parts. So at each step, you only have to deal with a fraction of the original fear.
In the case of our diving example, you first want to make sure that you know how to dive correctly. You would get someone to coach you, and you would practice until you were confident that you would not make a mistake.
Secondly, you would slowly work up to the height of 10 metres. Start at a small 1 metre diving board. Then work up to the next height and so on.
Do what you can to slowly build up to the event step by step, and you will find things a whole lot easier… and less scary.
3. Focus is Crucial
This is crucial, but is also probably the hardest part in dealing with fear. When the moment of truth arrives, you want to eliminate all negative thoughts from your mind and focus only on the task at hand.
It sounds simple, but it’s not. Thoughts of doubt and worry will try to enter your mind, but you have to shut them out.
For our diving example, you want to eliminate all doubting thoughts that you will get hurt or you will make a mistake… and instead focus entirely on simply performing a good dive.
It’s a hard skill to master, but I believe the best way is to start with minor things and progress from there (such as when you are working on the smaller steps). It will eventually come to a point where you can temporarily turn your fear off at will.
4. Act Anyway
Finally, if you’ve done all the necessary preparation, then the only thing holding you back now are your false fears. You know you are ready for the dive, but you are still scared.
Now it’s time to just commit and go for it. Action is the best way to eliminate fear.
Don’t hesitate though, as this only increases your chances of failing. Commit 100% and act despite your fear. If you commit, then 99% of the time you will walk away without a scratch (from whatever it is you are attempting).
Then it’s just a matter of repeating and repeating until you are no longer scared.
Always remember that once your preparation is over… that action is the best way to eliminate fear.
As they say: “Fear knocked at the door and when action answered, there was nobody there.”
To finish this article, I’d like to share with you an inspirational lesson I learnt a few months ago. It went something like this:
“Today, choose something you are afraid of… and do it. Then do it again. And again and again, until you are no longer afraid. Do this everyday of your life, and soon you will be telling your story to the world.”
I hope you got something out of this article, and that you are now one step closer to overcoming the fears that are holding you back in life.