Many of us are living in a world of fear without realizing it. This fear can control all aspects of your life. It can keep you from getting through essential projects at work, talking to your partner about an important issue in the relationship, or opening up to family about a disease you’re battling. If we don’t tackle fear, it can control our lives in ways we never imagined. Here are six ways fear holds us back and how to conquer it.
It Causes Us to Settle
One big sign you’re allowing fear to hold you back is when you settle. When we settle, we compromise what’s important to us to stay in our comfort zone. What is incredibly challenging about settling is that it involves us sacrificing parts of ourselves. By the time we realize we’ve done this, we don’t even recognize ourselves. We often think about settling when it comes to lousy relationship partners. Still, settling can impact other significant areas of our lives, including our occupations, education, and friendships.
One way we can combat settling is by pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones. It’s easy to stay in our cocoons because it’s our safe place. Yet, a caterpillar can’t become a butterfly without a bit of transformation. Apply for the job you’ve been afraid would reject you, set up some time to talk to that friend you’ve been avoiding. These are the first steps in tackling your fear head-on.
It Causes Us to Withdraw
Another thing fear does is it causes us to withdraw. We hide from important tasks, and we may even hide from people that are most important to us. This is why it’s important to pinpoint the fear that is holding you back. Is it your love life, your dreams, your career, or a mental hang-up? Once you identify the fear that’s holding you back, you can begin to reamer age. If it’s something you’re dealing with mentally or emotionally, try to not take whatever that issue is so serious. That may seem to be easier said than done, but the truth is, you don’t want to give your fear more power than it deserves. You control your mind. Don’t let your mind control you.
Change the Way You Look at Failure
The fear of failure is a common fear for many people. This kind of fear keeps people from taking their lives to the next level. One of the greatest ways to conquer this fear is to shift the way you look at failure. Instead of looking at failure as a negative, look at it as a positive. See the possibility of your failure to challenge yourself in new ways and open up doors you may not have realized were there. You may not see it now, but your failure may end up being a blessing in disguise.
It Causes Us to Procrastinate
Many fears can lead us to procrastination. Some of those include fear of the unknown. When we have to take on a task we’re not familiar with, we usually don’t know where to start. This holds us back from completing those tasks. There is also fear of the uncomfortable. We know how to navigate in familiar territory, but we don’t even know where to begin when it's not familiar to us. One of the best ways to handle procrastination fears to begin shining a light on that fear. Often, our fear can hide in the shadows. It’s unnoticed because we are keeping the light away from it. By casting a light on that fear, we can begin to move beyond it. Your fear can’t stay in the dark when we can see it directly.
It Causes Us to Be Mentally Distracted
When it comes to fear, our mind can be our greatest enemy. When we’re caught up in our fear, it’s easy to give in to our anxiety and get mentally distracted. While we typically think of mental distractions as negative, we can rework our fear by being mentally distracted with positive things. Distract yourself with things like physical activity, positive music, and podcasts. These activities can uplift you and give you the physical and mental stimulation you need to get through your day.
Tackle Your Fear Head On
You can’t conquer your fear until you address that it’s there. We often don’t think about the many masks we wear each day in our various roles. You may be a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, or even a best friend. These particular masks fit the roles that we’re in. They are also a way to protect ourselves in many situations. Too often, we hide in these masks because we’re concerned about how people will look at us when we take the masks off. The only way we can truly be vulnerable is to begin removing these masks.
One of the scariest things is confronting your fears. When we don’t deal with our fears, it can hold us back from the life God intended for us. The last thing we want to do is look back and say that we let fear keep us from living the life we wanted for ourselves. Trust that you are bigger than any fear you face and that God will get you through this storm, no matter how impossible it may seem.