“Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.”
Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code
The concept of being a warrior is much more applicable to our daily lives than we may realize. Whenever we are presented with a challenge, it is easier to turn away rather than to face it. We can easily come up with excuses to rationalize the avoidance of a fear that we know we need to confront. But how does your inner warrior face fear? Here are 5 ways to get over fear.
- Acknowledge your fear and resolve to overcome it.
You won’t be able to get over anything you’re denying so be honest about what you’re afraid of. It’s like having a clearly defined goal. You have to know what you’re reaching for in order to aim correctly. Acknowledge what your fear is and take a minute to understand why. Be as detailed as you can. This will help you realize that it is probably not that bad after all. Once you’ve done this, resolve to overcome your fear, whatever it is or how scary it may be to you.
- Get out of your comfort zone.
This is the golden nugget here. I wish that I could tell you that there is some type of magical sentence you could say to yourself to suddenly overcome fear but there isn’t. You have to take action. The key to fearlessness is extending ourselves beyond our limits. Develop the habit of putting yourself in uncomfortable situations at least once per week. This will build your courage and allow you to face fear confidently over time. This is something you should always be doing. In addition to this practice keep in mind that there is no way to go around fear. You must face fear to get over it.
Force yourself to face what you are afraid of if you have a specific fear. If you’re terrified of speaking in public then get started with speaking in public right away. Start speaking in front of small groups and work your way up to larger groups. This is how you’ll build up enough courage to face your fears. When it comes to overcoming fear, repeated exposure is the only way. This doesn’t have to take a long time either. Just a few times of repeated exposure is usually enough to build your courage muscle.
- See the positive, exciting part of fear.
Fear can really help get your positive energy and courage to show in a similar way that the law of supply and demand works. So anytime you have fear, trust that it will be equally compensated by your courage, essentially transforming your fear to an opportunity to feel courageous instead. This is why we usually feel so great after doing something we are afraid of like giving a presentation. Once you’ve done what you never thought was possible you have validated that in fact your capabilities go far beyond what you limited yourself to believe which is extremely satisfying and exciting to the point that most of us feel like going in for round two as soon as we’re done.
- Choose fear over security.
Security can be more of an imprisonment than it is liberating. It’s a wonderful feeling to have, so most of us will put up with just about anything to keep this feeling, even if it’s a delusion. You may have a well-paying job that affords you a decent lifestyle. The fear of losing this false security may be keeping you from pursuing your life-long goals. To get past this you will need to make the decision to choose fear instead. Face the discomfort of fear and see that it’s just that, a discomfort. Know your deeper reason for wanting to conquer your fear and keep in mind that this is worth facing it even if it is uncomfortable.
- Respect the Process.
Your fear is actually tied to your emotional response to whatever it is you are afraid of. So in essence it is your response that scares you. So that age old saying, “You have nothing to fear except fear itself,” is actually true. Keep in mind the purpose of fear. It is meant to protect us. But unbalanced and unchecked it can be debilitating. This can keep us from achieving our true potential so it is important to understand fear as a process only and not to get stuck on your emotional response to fear. Just see it for what it is and move on.
You may think that conquering you fear means not to worry about your fear. However, unconditional fearlessness is actually you acknowledging that success and failure ae part of your journey and that you are okay as long as you are moving forward. Courage only comes after you take the first step.