Fear is something we all experience. It is an innate human response embedded deeply within us, meant to protect us from harm and lead us out of dangerous situations. But, fear can often go too far. It can take ahold of our souls and force us into living a life in which we are not being true to ourselves. We must not allow fear to control us by limiting our possibilities to experience all of life’s wonderful gifts. Consider the five steps to overcoming fear:
- Confront fear. It is often difficult to address fear without fully understanding what your fears may be. This is why it is helpful to sit down and write out your fears. Make a list of not just the fears themselves, but also the complex emotions and misgivings associated with each. This will help you realize what your fears are and why you fear these things. A revelation such as this can oftentimes give the insight and understanding needed to formulate a successful plan in overcoming fear.
- Think small. Conquering fear head-on can seem a daunting and overwhelming task. It is therefore important to focus not on the end result, but rather on small manageable goals that will allow you to defeat fear in steps you are able to take. For example, a fear of social gatherings should not be faced by attending a concert with thousands of people present. Instead, simply saying yes to the next office party or small get-together is a step in the right direction, and may even present you with some unexpected enjoyment.
- Believe. It is important to reassure yourself that with the passage of time, you will be able to overcome your fears. Self-doubt only results in strengthening fear and anxiety, while the belief in one’s self allows goals to be reached and success to be achieved. Sometimes it is helpful to look at your past and identify a time in which the most terrible of circumstances resulted in a beautiful outcome. Focus on this and understand that at the end of darkness is always light.
- Accept. If you experience setbacks while confronting your fears, simply accept them. Ask yourself if there was something you could have done to prevent the setback. Often, the answer to that questions is no. If something is not in your power or control, don’t dwell on it, but rather accept it for what it is. Failure to do so will inevitably result in unnecessary worry, creating further anxiety and fear.
- Release. Holding onto a fear can sometimes make us feel safe, as if we have assumed a greater control of our lives. But this is never the case. Fear controls us and succumbing to it only weakens us, making us more likely to experience failure. That is why the final step is letting go of your fears. Realize that you have taken the steps to face your fears and congratulate yourself for doing so. Then release them to the universe and enjoy your newly found freedom, no longer restricted by the chains of fear.