The number 1 thing to overcome FEAR

I realised as I started to write this article that there has been much said and written on this topic.  The topic of overcoming fear.  So much so that I thought perhaps I shouldn’t write this.

But then it struck me

I only didn’t want to write this article because of fear!  Ironic right?  Very.

Why did I have fear about writing this article?  Well as so much as been written about fear as I said that I probably thought what was the point of writing more.  Could I really add to what is already in publication?

Then I realised the truth.  That if one person overcomes fear from reading this then it’s worth it.   Also that each one of us adds something new.

So with that truth in my mind I sat down and wrote what you have here!

What is the number 1 thing we need to do to overcome FEAR?

Action.  Action is what it takes.

When you take action your mind concentrates more on the action than the fear.  You stop thinking about the thing that scares you and start thinking about what has to be done next.

However, sometimes to get to action you have to come to the realisation that Fear is: –

Healthy and a natural response

We feel fear as a natural response.  It’s a built in mechanism to protect us.  In the wild when we were cavemen fear made us run from wild animals that could eat us.  Fear now stops us from hurting ourselves or doing things that will hurt us.

The problem is that we have some many other things we fear.

Fear of not paying the mortgage

Fear of not being loved

Fear of being unhappy

Fear of being laughed at

Fear of not living up to other people’s expectations

Again this fear is based on a natural reaction.  However, it’s not fake.  It’s actually something we feel.  There is a saying that fear is “False Evidence Appearing Real”.  I understand that but I don’t agree with it.  Not always.

Fear is very real for many of us and if the thing we fear scares us then it’s real.

So what does that saying mean?  Well I think it is more relevant when you look at something like Fear of being laughed at.  Normally we think that people will laugh at us for a reason.  We think about this in our mind, we mull it over, we analyse it, we go over and over it.  This just creates more fear.  In this example we are creating the false evidence.  We think “What if Jo thinks this, or if she thinks that.  She has always hated me, I bet she is talking to all the other women at the party right now, getting them ready to make fun of me”.

In that example we are creating false evidence.  We are making Jo do something in our mind when she may well not be at all!

However, being fearful of a tiger is not false at all!

The key is to know how to spot which one.  Which one is false and which one is real.

How do I know which fear is real and which is false?

Experience.  You have to experience each and learn from those.  It’s a permanent job to keep looking at your fears and working out what is real and not.  We tend to just react to all fears instead of getting rid of the false ones.

Let’s go back to how to overcome fear.

I said action was the way to overcome fear and it really is.  Action gives you a sense that you are achieving, it’s a positive step when you are worrying about the fear.  Action takes you into your fear and makes you think about the work rather than the fear.  It is like an invisible bubble that keeps you safe.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you are fearful of meeting new people.  (This is a common challenge).  What’s the best thing to do?  Sit at home and think about how you can work on getting better at meeting new people. Or……go out and start meeting new people? Well the answer is obvious, however doing that is not so easy!

If you have ever felt this fear then you know that simply going out and meeting anyone is difficult.  In this example it is normally false evidence causing the fear BUT based on some real event or experience you have had.

So how do we use action to cure fear?

Well you have to have a goal.  You have to make the reason WHY bigger than the fear.  If you want to find out by setting goals take a look at my goal setting video.

Once you know your why you can start to make this bigger than the fear.  There is no easy way around this.  You just need to get out there and face the fear.  I know that may not be the advice you were looking for but it’s really the only way.

The biggest fear I think that we all have is fear of failing.  Fear of doing what we really want to do in life.  If you couldn’t fail what would you do?  Think about it, what would you do.

That’s a very hard question to answer as we are all conditioned to believe that we can fail.  But what if you couldn’t?  And there is the truth.  You can’t fail.

That’s probably for a different article but I think it’s good to mention it.

So action cures fear?  Yes it does, it’s just more of a process rather than a one time thing.  You can’t do it once and think you can overcome your fear.  I would ask you to make a plan.  Plan to take action.  You can start with small action such as saying hello to one new person a day.  Do that for a couple of weeks and then start to say hello and start a conversation.  Perhaps you can ask them where they are from etc.

That is relevant if you have a fear of talking to people but you get the point.  Just start with small steps but keep in mind the goal that is bigger than the fear.

Go for your dreams and goals.  After all what else should we do?

Matt