Fear is an emotion that is a natural part of life. It can be healthy and even necessary in some situations to help us stay safe and make smart decisions. However, fear can also hold us back from achieving our goals and living our best lives. Overcoming fear is an important skill to learn, and it is possible to do so without completely eliminating fear from our lives.
At our accredited coach training school we often share Brené Brown’s work on love and fear. It is underscored by this quote:
“Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”
Said another way – it’s ok to have fear. It’s a signal that you are a human being and being human.
The first step in overcoming fear is to recognize its impact on our choices. Fear can cause us to miss out on opportunities, relationships, and experiences that could enrich our lives. When we allow fear to control us, it gives us a false sense of reality. We start to believe that we will never succeed or be good enough, and this negative self-talk can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
To combat fear, it’s important to implement strategies that will help us manage it. Here are seven effective strategies to handle fear in a healthy way:
1. Counter Thoughts of Despair
One of the most powerful ways to combat fear is to counter negative thoughts with positive ones. When we have fearful thoughts, it’s important to recognize them and replace them with positive affirmations. For example, if you find yourself thinking, “I will never be successful,” counter that thought by saying, “I am capable of achieving my goals.” By focusing on positive thoughts, we can retrain our brains to think more optimistically and productively.
2. Never Assume
Fear often stems from assumptions we make about ourselves or others. We might assume that we are not good enough, or that others will reject us. These assumptions are usually unfounded and can hold us back from pursuing our goals. To overcome fear, we need to challenge these assumptions and ask ourselves if they are really true. When we stop assuming and start taking action, we can accomplish great things.
3. Do It Anyway
The most important strategy for overcoming fear is to face it head-on. When we face our fears, we gain confidence and realize that we are capable of more than we thought. Afraid of public speaking? Get up and give a toast at the next family dinner! Or try doing something new that would normally scare you. We will never eliminate fear entirely, but we can learn to manage it and push past it. It’s also important to remember that we don’t have to wait until we feel completely ready or fearless to pursue our goals. The greatest feats in life were accomplished while feeling fear. Even when we feel afraid, we can still take action and work towards our dreams.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Another way to combat fear is by practicing mindfulness. This technique can help us feel more grounded and less anxious. When we are mindful, we focus on our breath and our surroundings in the moment, rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Whenever you are overwhelmed with fear of what might be, find a quiet comfortable place, close your eyes, and breathe. Focus on the present moment and the air moving in and out of your lungs instead of getting caught up in your thoughts. You will find yourself feeling more peaceful in a little while.
6. Build a Support System
Having a support system can be incredibly helpful when it comes to overcoming fear. You could talk about your fears to a friend or family member or seek the help of a therapist or coach. When we have people in our corner who believe in us, it can give us the courage we need to take action. You are not alone.
7. Take Small Steps
Overcoming fear doesn’t always happen overnight. It’s important to take small steps toward our goals, rather than trying to tackle everything at once. Try setting small goals for yourself, or breaking a big goal down into smaller, more manageable steps. By taking small steps, we can build momentum and gain confidence over time.
Fear is a natural part of life, but it doesn’t have to hold us back. By implementing strategies to manage our fears, we can overcome them and achieve our goals. Remember, fear is inevitable, but we can learn to manage it and operate in faith. We can be overcomers and achieve great things.
Whether it’s just overcoming fear or generally working on your personal and professional development, we at the International Coaching & Leadership Institute (ICLI) can provide you with the support and the tools you require to succeed and become your best self. Give our training programs a try!
Written for Brainz Magazine. Read the original article here: