Fear — while it was needed for our ancestors, most fears today hold people back from reaching their full potential.
But you don’t have to live and die by your fears. If you want to learn how to overcome fear you have to identify the most common ones in your life already.
In the last 20–30 years scientists and scholars have learned more about fear than in the last century.
The biggest discovery?
You have the ability to overcome any fear in your life. But you first must address what you fear before you can face it.
As legendary motivational speaker Les Brown, said, “FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.”
Fear is not real, it is entirely made up by the inner critic that lives in all of us.
As Napoleon Hill said in Outwitting the Devil — “You will discover that the cause of success is not something separate and apart from the man; that it is a force so intangible in nature that the majority of men never recognize it; a force which might be properly called the other self.
How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety
Your other self is responsible for your biggest fears. Once you are clear of your own “fear” you can make a plan to overcome it and start living the life you were meant to live.
Here are seven of the most common fears and how you can overcome each of them.
1. Fear of Failure
If you want to learn how to overcome fear you have to learn that it’s okay to fail!
Fear of failure is the fear that keeps you from even trying to go after your hopes and dreams.
As she said, “When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.”
Get rid of this fear instantly by living a life true to what you want. Don’t worry about failing, worry about not trying.
This fear will rob you from learning the incredible lessons that “failure” inevitably brings.
2. Fear of Success
You might not think of this as a common fear but it’s one that tons of people suffer from on a daily basis usually in the form of procrastination.
As Denis Waitley said, “People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy and carries a responsibly with it. It is much easier to procrastinate and live on the someday “I’ll” philosophy.
Success brings change.
Change brings uncertainty.
Uncertainty is read by your mind as a potential threat, which can lead to fear and procrastination.
Your mind wants you to be safe and protected, it is the number one purpose — to survive, not to thrive!
If you hold onto this fear, you can end up sabotaging your efforts of accomplishing your biggest goals and dreams.
Quit procrastinating and start taking massive action. As Tony Robbins said, “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”
3. Fear of Public Speaking
The fear of public speaking (also known as glossophobia) is considered the number one fear among societies population.
But the truth is, everyone is scared, no matter how experienced they are at public speaking. As Mark Twain said, “There are two kinds of speakers; those that are nervous, and those that are liars.”
The worst part about the fear of public speaking is that it actually hurts others as much as it hurts you.
That’s because this fear prevents people from seeing your passion and gifts that you can share with others.
Believe it or not, some of the best speakers in the world were once the worst. While the world knew Steve Jobs for his amazing speeches when he would unveil epic Apple products, it wasn’t always that way. He was so terrified of public speaking that in his early days he would have to leave to go throw up!
Public speaking is so valuable Warren Buffett said it’s the number one reason he is the massive success he is today! At the beginning of his career, he knew this was a weakness and worked with the legend Dale Carnegie to master his craft.
Like any fear, get over your fear of public speaking by addressing the issue head-on. Go to a Toastmaster club, public speaking seminar or volunteer for more opportunities at work.
To learn how to overcome the fear of public speaking it starts by getting out of your comfort zone and learning a little bit each time.
4. Fear of Looking Dumb
If you’ve ever met someone who seems like they’re just high on life, they probably ditched this fear a while ago.
This fear keeps you from really putting yourself out there, and doing your best.
Anything great in life isn’t supposed to be easy the first time you do it. It’s why athletes spend endless amounts of hours mastering their sports. It’s why Picasso created more than 50,000 pieces of work in his lifetime.
Quality is only produced with quality. As Malcolm Gladwell said in Outliers, “ The 10,000 hours rule says that if you look at any kind of cognitively complex field, from playing chess to being a neurosurgeon, we see this incredibly consistent pattern than you cannot be good at that unless you practice for 10,000 hours. Which is roughly ten years, if you think about four hours a day.”
If you want something great get over looking dumb. You can’t be afraid to put in the work even if it takes 10,000 hours. It all depends on how bad you want it!
How to Overcome Fear Video – Brendon Burchard
5. Fear of Being Judged By Others
Most people try to impress people that don’t really care. At the end of the day, people care more about their own well-being than your success.
Sure, trolls are louder than ever thanks to social media but don’t forget they are the minority.
Who cares if a few people roll their eyes and judge you if a few more people are truly inspired by your uniqueness? As Winston Churchill beautifully said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
Quit trying to be loved by everyone and start by believing in yourself.
6. Fear of Change
Change is hard because we make it hard.
Think about the last time you tried a new hobby, played a new sport or switched to a new career. I’m sure the change felt really hard and uncomfortable in the beginning.
Instead of making a big change, try to make small little steps in the right direction. Here’s why it’s scary according to Psychology Today:
Human physiology supports that fact that taking large leaps toward our goals can result in discouragement. This is because big steps are inherently scary, both to the one who initiates them and to others around them. Once fear is inspired, human beings tend to demonstrate resistance, what we often call the “fight or flight” response.
When this system is activated, we tend to become stuck or retreat rather than moving toward achieving our goals. When we take the smallest of steps, however, we can often sidestep our own fight or flight response.
Eliminate the fear of change by taking small stepstowards your biggest goals.
Don’t fear change, fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.
7. Fear of Disappointing Yourself
If you’ve ever failed at anything — business, relationships, whatever — you may be haunted by those memories.
But if you failed in the past, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to keep failing. As Tony Robbins said, “Your past doesn’t equal your future.”
Start creating your future from your imagination, not your past experiences.
As Napoleon Hill said, “First comes thought; then organization for that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.”
Quit letting your past rob you of your future. Learn from your past and keep moving forward.
How to Overcome The Fear Today
The best way I’ve found to overcome fear is to address it head-on. Don’t wait for the courage to find you, instead, make it happen.
To help you I’ve created a course “Win the Morning” to help you carve time out of your busy schedule to create focus, discipline, and belief. The more you have of all three the more you can take on any fear that comes your way.
Make sure to check out the course to learn how you can take back control of your mornings to start winning the day.
“Too many of us are NOT living our dreams because we are living our fears.” — Les Brown
Get over these fears by taking action in your life!
Action ends suffering and cures perfectionism.
Action creates motion. And when you’re moving you’re not thinking you’re just doing!
Less thinking means less worrying about what could go wrong. Make a decision, trust yourself, and just start.
Remember, you’re always one direction away from a totally different life!
How to Start a Morning Routine and Change Your Life
Latest posts by Michael Leonard (see all)
- How to Create a Life You Love featuring Teri Holland (NLP Coach) - August 14, 2019
- Why Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness – David Meltzer Interview - July 19, 2019
- How to Find the Perfect Side Hustle – Nick Loper Interview - June 26, 2019