“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” – Dorothy Thompson
Fear is a universal human experience; we all have moments of fear and trepidation. In moderation, fear is a good thing – it can be a powerful motivator for positive change, and it’s what keeps us safe from imminent danger.
Unfortunately, many people spend their lives crippled by emotional fears and anxieties that fuel procrastination and indecision, keeping them from realizing their true potential.
Here are some simple ways you can overcome the five most common fears:
1. The Fear of Rejection
Everyone wants to be accepted; that’s what makes the fear of rejection such a common one. Overcoming this fear requires you to do some soul-searching about who you are and what’s important to you.
The better you know (and appreciate) yourself, the less concerned you’ll be about gaining the approval of others.
2. The Fear of Failure
Rethink your idea of what failure is; rather than focusing on the chance that you might fail, get excited thinking that you may succeed! Break down your goals into small, measurable steps to eliminate the all-or-nothing mindset that often fuels a fear of failure.
If you set out to run a marathon only to quit running halfway through, celebrate the fact that you just ran 13 miles!
True failure is when your fears keep you from trying in the first place.
3. The Fear of Success
If success scares you, you aren’t alone. Many people secretly fear the changes that success brings, especially if they’ve become stagnant and comfortable with the familiarity of their situation.
Focus on the positives that go along with success; a better job, improved self-esteem, greater opportunities. Remember; you’ve had to experience success to get this far in life, so perhaps success isn’t quite that scary after all?
4. The Fear of Losing Control
The idea of losing control can be overwhelming, but in reality, succumbing to fear is the ultimate loss of control.
Focus on controlling your own emotions, your response to your fear – once you do that, you’ll achieve the ultimate control and inner peace.
5. The Fear of the Past Repeating Itself
Perhaps you have some skeletons in your closet that still haunt you; many people do. If you constantly worry about experiencing a bad case of deja vu, you’re likely allowing negative thoughts to dictate your actions, forcing you to live in the past instead of enjoying the moment.
Learn how to recognize your fear of the past; write down your anxieties and acknowledge them. Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for overcoming issues from your past, and make a plan to deal with recurring negative themes in your life.
Then go ahead and burn that list; let it go.
The past is the past; you can’t go backwards, but you can move forward with clarity, peace and confidence.