How to Overcome Fear: Fear Facts Part II

by Melody Jean

By now you may have read the first part in this two part series, How to Recognize Fear: Fear Facts Part I. If not, I hope that you will check it out. In this post I share with my fellow seekers ways that may help you overcome your fears to reach your full potential. As mentioned in Part I, fear is a common roadblock to success and it could very well be the only reason that you decide to not do something, which deep down you know you want to do. For being such a little word, only four letters in length, fear holds a lot of weight. However, once you’re able to recognize it, you can then start to disarm it.

I’m not suggesting that this is an immediate effect in that once it’s recognized you overcome it instantly. Unfortunately as with most things, it will take some effort to get beyond your fear so that you can find success. However, it’s possible, and definitely worth all your effort. This said, here I share a few strategies to disarm the immobilizing effects of fear so that you can achieve your goals and dreams. As Puelo Coelho (The Alchemist) said “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

Face Your Fear

While it might seem terrifying, you can approach your fear full-on. This is often the most difficult to do. For example, if you’re afraid to attend parties because you believe others will ignore you or that you’ll be shunned in some way, you can tackle your fear by going to the next party. As I mentioned in the previous article, often what is blocking you can best be summed-up in an acronym for fear – False Expectations Appearing Real. Since you’re expecting to be ignored, the possibility of it seems all too real and you’re frightened. However there really is no guarantee that what you expect to happen, will in fact transpire, so therefore it’s actually a false expectation. If you put things in perspective it may make it a little easier to swallow – it’s highly unlikely that everyone will give you the cold shoulder at the gathering. Therefore, once you attend the party and see that you’re not shunned by all of the partygoers you will likely feel much better. Of course I’m not implying that you’ll be the ‘life of the party’ or the center of attention, however, you have the power to make it work for you. If you attend and summon-up the courage to talk to someone, even if it’s just one person, you’re working to disarm your fear.

Understanding Your Fear

To move beyond your fear, in the end, you ultimately need to understand your fear. Using the party example, in this instance it would be necessary to determine why you feel that everyone will ignore you. It could be something as simple as you had an argument with one friend and fear all of your friends will be angry with you. However, it could go much deeper indicating that you in fact have low self-esteem, think negatively about yourself and therefore deem yourself unworthy of talking to. If this is the case then you will need to address this underlying cause as well.

Talking Fear Out

Another avenue that you can take, especially if your fear has many layers, is to find someone to talk to. Most people, even your family (spouse, siblings or parents) will admire you for having the courage to recognize that you are fearful. They may even be relieved to know that your unwillingness in a particular area isn’t because you are “just lazy.” Rather it’s actually because you fear failure, or even the opposite, success. In turn, they may be willing to assist you in overcoming your fear – especially your significant other. If you’re uncomfortable with family, find a friend, counselor or someone else who you can trust. Once you acknowledge your fear by sharing it with another, you are one step closer to disarming it.

Writing Fear Out

Often times the written word can have a holistic, healing effect. If you choose to forgo facing your fear head on, or talking to someone who you can trust, try writing it out. Sometimes things can become clearer if you get it out of your head onto a piece of paper. Looking back I realize that I solved many problems by writing. Whether it was a poem, a journal entry or an email to someone I needed to resolve an issue with, writing always proved to be extremely beneficial. Writing too allows you the freedom of purging yourself of the thoughts, yet keeping it to yourself in some way. Later, you then may become willing to speak to someone about it, or face your fear head-on.

The End Note

Fear can be debilitating and is often one of the greatest barriers to achieving success. However, you have the power to (1) recognize it and (2) over come it. While it may take some effort, and a little patience, you can achieve your full potential. You may also enjoy my post Don’t Be Afraid of Fear.

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