Overcoming fear is one of the greatest challenges that you will face as you learn how to improve your self-esteem and self-confidence. thriveglobal.com offers excellent info on this.
Imagine that you lived in the 17th century when there were no airplanes and parachutes. Imagine that you lived happily with your family at the top of the mountain until you ran out of food and water. You can see all the water and the food that you need to help your family survive from the top of the mountain. However, to reach the water and food you need to overcome your fear and jump from the mountain top to the ground. You know that when you jump you will dive into the river beneath the mountain and not suffer physical injury. You also know that it will change your life to jump because you will be able to gather all the food and water that your family needs, but you need to overcome the fear and doubt that is holding you back. You also need to overcome questions triggered by fear on your mind and make you anxious, “what if I hit the rock”, “What if I find no way to climb back up”, “What if… “
Our lives are not too different from this story. We sometimes face difficulties and challenges such as being unhappy at work, being unhappy with our bodies because we picked up weight, toxic relationships and criticism. This results in us being unfulfilled. From this we also experience a low self-esteem and a lack of confidence -: sometimes we know that if we could just take a leap of faith and jump to change our lives our lives could improve, but we remain scared of jumping. Fear and anxiety holds us back. Doubt cripples our attempts.
Overcoming fear is one of the most important skills that you need to learn in your life in order to get unstuck and take your life forward. Fear affects decision making and a lack of decision making power causes poor results. Sometimes because of fear and doubt you might not take the action that you need to change your life.
Fear can manifest itself in many ways, it can cause you to be afraid of something as practical as snakes or heights. However sometimes fear can also affect you in serious life decisions and stop you from taking action to succeed – whether this is starting a new business or quitting a terrible job that does not help you become fulfilled. Here are 5 ways that you can use to overcome fear in your life and unstuck yourself.
1. Realize that fear is not something to be eliminated but something that needs to be managed
Often when we experience fear we focus more on trying to eliminate it than trying to manage it. People that succeed face the same fears as we face but they act despite their fears. Their process, unlike some of us, does not focus on eliminating the fear but focuses on managing the fear.
So aim to act despite the fear. I cannot tell you how many times in my life I have been afraid to speak in public however I acted despite the fear to a point where now I have mastered not how to be unafraid to speak in public but to act despite the anxiety and fear that I feel. Try doing the same in your life-: feel the fear and act despite it.
2. Realize that fear can be both rational and irrational
As people we have an internal conversation also known as self-talk. The little voice inside our head sometimes gives us messages that causes us to have doubt… then we begin to question ourselves – “maybe I shouldn’t”, “maybe it is not the right time right now”, “what if this and what if that”… instead of acting we then leave the status quo and do nothing. Our lives don’t change, we remain unhappy for years. Only to look back into our lives many years after and have regrets.
So improve your level of awareness regarding self-talk. The minute your internal voice tells you to doubt… stop and question yourself. Here are few questions to really ask yourself and overcome irrational fear, what am I really afraid of? What is the worst thing that can happen? Am I realistic or is fear ruling me?
3. Define your fear
Don’t let fear get irrational define what it is that you are afraid off. If you were to quit your job, what would you afraid of, is it the fact that you won’t find another job? Or is it just the imaginative discomfort of finding a new job. What about a new business, why would you afraid to start? So what if you fail and get broke… maybe you can get back to working. Define the fear. Once you define the fear you are in a better position to take the next step…
4. Make an action plan to manage your fear or just accept it
List your fears and make an action plan to resolve them.
If you want to start a business and you are worried you will lose money then make a plan to absorb the risk. Maybe you can have funds allocated in case you lose money or diversify your investment in some way.
If what you feel is just irrational fear (which might feel very real) as opposed to rational fear then accept the discomfort and act despite the fear. Make a contingency in your planning for the practical things that you are worried about, and accept any emotional discomfort that you might experience so that you are better able to act despite the fear. This will help you improve your self-confidence.
5. Take action and learn more about yourself
Often when we feel fear we make problems much bigger than what they actually are. We also forget that sometimes life decisions are about learning and improving as we might not always get things right the first time. So take action on your endeavours and be willing to have a learning attitude. This will help you overcome fear and improve your self-confidence.