Fear is what stops us all. It is what prevents us from becoming the greater version of ourselves. It creates the limitations that keep us where we are today while laughing at what we want to become. Seeking a way to overcome fear will be the gateway towards success in your life.
But what is fear exactly? What if we can learn to control our emotions towards our advantage? Well the short answer is yes you can learn how to overcome your fears and learn to control your anxiety!
This article dives into what fear is and covers several great methods commonly used to overcome fear and calm anxiety. Applying these methods will allow you to overcome the obstacle that stands in front of you and allow you to become the better version of yourself.
What's In This Article?
10 METHODS TO OVERCOME FEAR AND ANXIETY
Let’s Talk About Fear: Facts about Fear
Before we dive in about how to overcome fear and anxiety, let’s first understand its root cause, what it is, and what it is not. Understanding fear will help you to identify it in its early stages so you may overcome it easier.
What is Fear and Anxiety?
Looking at fear scientifically, fear is a physical state in your body that is exactly the same as excitement. When you are in a state of fear or excitement, your heart races, you might sweat a little, you might feel tightening in your chest, get that pit in your stomach, and a surge of cortisol.
This reaction is fear and excitement placing your body into a hyper awareness state as it readies for action. Both states are a stress response your body reacts to in exactly the same manner.
To Overcome Fear: It's All Mental
The only difference between fear and excitement is how you think.
If you are excited, you mind imagines positive exciting rewards. If you are afraid, your mind imagines scared and negative thoughts, thus creates a resistance response.
Taking yourself out of your comfort zone and doing something you have not done before may trigger a fear mindset and associated thoughts.
The main factor is how to use these thoughts to your advantage and how to train your mind to approach them. With practice of controlling your mind, you will be able to overcome fear and anxiety.
Avoidance & Relaxation Do Not Work!
Now we all have heard someone say calm down and face the fear, but that typically never works. That’s because when your body is in a hyper aware state, it is very hard to quickly change that state.
An object in motion will stay in motion and while your body is in a state of fear, it will continue and take some time to alter your body’s state.
Ignoring your fear only adds to the fear - So do not disregard it, embrace it!
So How Do You Overcome Fear?
Fear is balanced between the risk and the reward. When the reward is greater than the risk to be taken, is when we decide to overcome fear and anxiety and strive for something more. But how can we do that exactly?
Let’s get started with some successful methods you can practice to overcome your fear and live the life of your dreams.
10 Methods to Overcome Fear and Anxiety
1. Educate Yourself: Knowledge Dispels Fear
Fear is about the unknown. Thus an excellent method to overcome fear and anxiety is to educate yourself on what you fear. Overtime fear will subside as the unknown becomes the known.
When your mind is presented with the unknown, it uses its best guess imagination to come up with various what-if scenarios.
As quoted above by Zig Ziglar, fear is only a false sense of evidence appearing to be real that is once again only created by your imagination and lack of all the details.
With some education on what you fear, you will answer many of the what-if’s in your mind and feel more comfortable as you move forward. Overtime you will overcome fear, and calm your anxiety understanding what is to come.
2. Preparation and Planning Builds Confidence
Along with education, some preparation and planning will build your confidence to overcome fear and calm any anxiety.
Athletes prepare both mentally and physically training for the next competition to come. Students study and practice examples in preparation of a final. CEO’s take weeks to months to prepare for a product release!
Fear and anxiety forces an individual to prepare more extensively and assess potential problems before they arise. The fear becomes the source of motivation to prepare and succeed.
You can never be too prepared!
3. Just Go For It: Take Action
Depending on the situation, sometimes the best method to overcome fear and anxiety is to just go for it head on. Face your fear head-on and remove that fear before it grows into something more.
By taking action and forcing yourself to overcome a challenge, you will no longer feel afraid and will look back saying “That wasn’t so hard”.
It’s procrastination that you are fighting here. The longer you wait, the more fear has the ability to sink in deeper and deeper. Prevent the procrastination trap, and dive in.
The first time for anything is always the hardest. The second time will be much easier. Don’t delay, start today!
4. Fun & Laughter: Look for the Comedy
How could anything be scary if you are laughing at it? Taking a task and finding the fun side will no longer make it dreadful.
Become the comedian of your own world and look for the entertaining side of things. Laughter is second to the power of love and will always overcome all other emotions we face.
Research has shown the use of humor to become a great ice breaker to a tension situation reducing anxiety.
Nothing is perfect and there is always another angle to look at something; and sometimes that angle is through humor.
5. Create Positive Anchor Thoughts
As we stated earlier, fear is in the mind. We can control our fear by anchoring positive thoughts. An optimistic mindset can create the motivation to push through any challenge.
Positive anchor thoughts work wonders when repeated continually as they work their way into your subconscious response.
Overtime, the more often you repeat and hold to you positive anchors, the auto suggestion response in your mind will kick in naturally combating a fear before it can set in.
An optimistic mindset will create the motivation to push through any challenge.
6. Focus on the End Goal: See the Light
Using the power of focus will deliver positive results fast. When you put your mind to a challenge and leverage your ability to focus, you will be surprised as to how far you can get. No longer will you be distracted by other thoughts and fears.
Since the mind can only focus on one thing at a time, you no longer are allowing fear to set in. If you cannot think about it, how will you be able to fear it?
Focus also reinforces the end goal. It is the short-term pain for the long-term gain.
In our darkest moments when it is extremely difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel is when we must focus the most. We must push through and endure the pain not letting fear distract us.
Overall, it is the positive end result we are striving for. With focus, fear is no longer a distraction propelling yourself towards results.
7. Visualize Doing The Task: Power of Imagination
Similar to focus, by visualizing yourself completing the task will reduce the fear and anxiety.
All things are first created in the mind before they can be obtain in reality. Imagine your path to overcome what you fear and visualize how it will impact you.
If you act as if it is impossible to fail, you will accomplish your goals. What is first in the imagination will later become brought to reality.
8. Defensive Pessimism: Negative Motivations
In some situations defensive pessimism can be used as a strategy to manage fear and anxiety. In these situations, a defensive pessimist will deliberately focus on the overall worst case scenario in order to intensify their fear and anxiety to extreme levels that turn it into motivation to push forward.
Thinking negative may have counter effects that propel us forward and challenge our fears.
This approach follows a similar view of the backwards law by Allen Watts, where the negative thought leads to the polar opposite positive reaction.
Negative thoughts push you through as to fail would mean death of the loss of something tremendous. The prospect of certain loss brings the go system online to react in a positive manner.
9. Have a Friend or Group Join
The fear of doing something alone is always a challenge, but when you have friends to do it with you and support you, the fear succumbs and anxiety is reduced.
Working in groups is significantly impactful to take on new challenges. One individual cannot create a company alone. It takes a group to overcome a challenge, build a nation, change the world.
When people are able to see themselves as members of a group, an act of conformity and belonging arises. The saying “We are the many and they are the few” comes in to play here.
10. Get Excited & Feel the Energy
Finally as noted in the opening, fear is the same excitement. Your body does not know the difference. Only your mind can interpret which emotion should be released.
The only way you can control the fear is all about how you think of it. Fear is in the mind, and the only thing you can control in life is your own thoughts.
When faced with a challenge, think of it as an exciting moment for you to triumph and get yourself excited.
No longer will you be afraid, but instead be energized for the change or challenge about to come.
Everyday you will face all types of fears that put you out of your comfort zone, but it is how you carry yourself through these fears is what you will become. Decide to take control of your life, step forward, and never let fear hold you back anymore. Seize the day and courageously triumph in the moment of darkness and the unknown.
You are what you think about each day. Focus on fear and you will always be holding yourself back from your own full potential.
Life is a dark rollercoaster with many twists and turns of unknowns to come. By using some or all of these techniques, you are now more equipped to push for the stars and overcome your fears.
Now take that leap forward into the unknown and become the better version of yourself!