Have you ever been in a situation where you knew you were close to something great but it felt as if something kept holding you back?
At times, our greatest obstacle can be our own fear which often comes along with a host of misconceptions. Sometimes our fears spring from past experiences. At other times, they come directly out of our imagination. We may envision problems or setbacks that don’t even exist (i.e “what if….”).
No matter what the fear may be, its significance lies in its ability to keep us away from our goals and destiny.
The problem with fear is not that it exists, but that it often keeps us from things that we want. As hindering as it may be, fear seems reasonable in many situations. For instance, if you see a dangerous animal, you may become reasonably afraid. However, we must also ask ourselves the question, “What purpose does our fear serve?” In a situation where you see a dangerous animal, does the fear increase your ability to get away from the animal or would calm cautiousness better serve you? Perhaps, the absence of fear would be more beneficial in this situation as it is easier to think clearly and act in the most beneficial way when we are calm.
Furthermore, in day-to-day situations, our fear often occurs without the presence of real danger. For instance, many people become fearful in social situations when there is absolutely no real threat of danger. This fear or anxiety becomes a hindrance to comfortable interaction.
Fear also comes in the presence of some of our biggest moments (presentations, performances, etc), moments where expectations are high and destiny seems near. These are the moments where our fears like to manifest themselves the most. This is where fear can get in the way of us achieving our dreams or goals. Sometimes, our fear is so great that we don’t even make it this far because we have convinced ourselves that the consequences are too great. Fear can become an overwhelming obstacle to achieving what we want the most. Thus, it can become an interference to our happiness.
So how do we get rid of fear?
Don’t Get Rid of Fear, Overcome It. Instead of trying to rid yourself of something that often comes natural, learn to overcome it. In other words, learn how to keep fear from interfering with your goals. Practice focusing more on the goal than on the obstacles associated with that goal. Learn to work through your fear and persevere despite your worries.
Figure Out Where It Came From. One way to overcome our fears is by examining where they are coming from. Ask yourself what started this fear. Was it an event or something that you were told? Sometimes, identifying the origin of the fear can help to minimalize it.
Replace Fear with Caution. Being “fearless” does not mean that caution is no longer exercised. Ask yourself what you can do to be cautious in situations where caution is needed (i.e driving) and follow through with it. Once you’ve done that, relieve yourself from fear by knowing that you’ve practiced complete caution.
Test Your Fear. This works best for fear that occurs in social situations or situations that are not dangerous. Often times, we worry about things that are not real or that haven’t been verified (i.e ” if I talk at this event, no one will like me”). Give that fear-filled thought a run for its money. Make it a challenge. For instance, if you are afraid of socializing with people at parties, challenge yourself to talk to at least one person at a party. The next time make it two. Reflect on how it felt afterwards: often times things aren’t even as half as bad as they seem.
Don’t Fear Getting Help For Your Fear Often times, we are ironically afraid of the very things that can help us to overcome our fears. You may be able to get to the root cause of your fear much easier with a professional assisting you (i.e therapist or life healing specialist). You may benefit from groups or other gatherings with other people who are working on their fears or phobias. In order to really get help with overcoming fear, we must value our recovery more than our fear.
Remember that it is all a process. So, don’t rush it! If you are less afraid today than you were yesterday -even if it wasn’t by much- congratulate yourself for that. If you were able to complete a speech in front of a large group of people despite feeling some anxiety, congratulate yourself! Acknowledge your growth. Give yourself time for reflection. Today is a great day to start to challenge your fears so that you can reach your destiny. Don’t let anything stop you from achieving what you truly desire and deserve!