Fear and self-doubt are two things that every normal person faces. These are also two of the biggest obstacles to success and happiness.
Some people feel more fear and self-doubt than others. And, some are better at overcoming these emotions than others.
Regardless of where you fall on the fear/self-doubt spectrum, there are many things you can do to rise above these emotions.
Conquer your fear and self-doubt with this process:
1. Identify what you’re actually afraid of. What do you really fear? Most of us don’t have to worry about being eaten by tigers. Our lives are rarely in danger. The most common fears in a modern society are failure and making a fool out of one’s self. Of course, there are others.
◦ If you want to start a business, but can’t seem to get started, what is your real concern?
◦ Maybe you want to ask out a coworker on a date. What is the real fear? They certainly aren’t going to hit you over the head with a rock.
◦ Be aware of your actual fear, and then you’ll have a chance of addressing it.
2. Find situations related to your fear that are only mildly uncomfortable. Perhaps you have a fear of public speaking. What could you do that’s similar, but less terrifying? You could:
◦ Give a speech to a group of friends
◦ Start conversations with strangers
◦ Visualize yourself giving a speech
◦ Do more group activities and speak up more
◦ If you’re afraid of heights, you could start by looking down over a 2nd floor balcony and slowly work your way up to greater heights.
3. Take action. Thinking creates and magnifies fear. Taking action lessens fear. One of the best ways to get over fear is to immediately take action before you have a chance to talk yourself out of it.
◦ Most people would be more successful, happier, and less afraid if they thought less and did more.
4. Visualize yourself being unafraid. Imagine you have a twin that’s similar to you, but different in other ways. If you could build the perfect twin, what would they be like? What skills, beliefs, and attitudes would they have? How would they handle the situation that creates fear in you?
◦ Allow yourself to become that twin.
5. Give yourself small successes. Set yourself up to win. Make the game so easy that you can’t fail. As you gain confidence, up the stakes a little. Get used to being successful in the situations that cause you to feel fear.
◦ If the thought of making 100 cold calls a day makes you break out in a cold sweat, give yourself the goal of making just one cold call. The next day, you can do three.
◦ Show yourself that you can do it. Show yourself that nothing bad is going to happen to you.
6. Be realistic. What is the worst consequence you are likely to endure if the thing you fear comes true? It’s probably not anything you can’t handle!
◦ What happens if the publisher rejects your book? What if your speech doesn’t go well? What’s actually going to happen to you? Will you still be safe? Will your family still love you?
7. Get help. Whether you need some help from a friend or a professional, there’s no shame in getting help. You would get help if your car’s engine blew up. You’d get help if you had a broken leg. Get the help you need to deal with your fears.
How much do you allow fear and self-doubt to rule your life? Imagine what your life would be like if you could overcome all of your fears and self-doubt.
Most people avoid the actions that trigger these uncomfortable feelings. You can do better. You can act in the face of these emotions and live your life to the fullest.