Everyone is afraid. I am, you are, everyone is! The only difference between you and the successful people you admire is that they are willing to work and move through their fears in order to get where they want to be.

If you don’t learn how to face your fear it will grip your mind, body, and spirit. It will wage a war against you and your dreams. Know this need not be. Once you understand how you can dissipate fear, it shrinks and is no longer a threat.

The next time you’re in a scary place try the following exercises.

1. Journal your fears

Write about your fear and its origin. How has it held you back in the past? Set aside time and without judgment, reflect on what you’ve written. You gain insight and loosen fears grip by observing it. When you write down your fear, fear loses its power over you.

2. Lean into your fear

Do the things that frighten you. Take one small step, then another. Action builds courage. Tell yourself, “This fear will pass.” Your world expands as your courage and willingness to grow expands. Open up your world, today to face your fear.

3. Relax your body

Unclench your jaw, soften your forehead, open your fists, slow down your pounding heart, and breathe. Take mini relaxation breaks throughout your day. Learn to live in a relaxed state.

4. Journal your past success

We tend to beat ourselves up when we fail and fail to celebrate when we succeed. Strengthen your belief in yourself by reflecting on each decade of your life and every success you’ve experienced. You can begin as early as age five when you learned how to ride a bike. Write it all down. You’ll be inspired, motivated and amazed by your list and how and can be used to face your fear.

5. Stop your story

Fear is an illusion. We make up frightening stories about our past and our future and rehearse them until we are terrified. Our stories are often about the pain of the past or the fear of the future. Change the fearful stories you tell yourself. You can find safety by learning to live in the present moment. You always have the option to create new stories filled with positive expectations of the future.

6. Laugh at your fear

Make fun of your fear by laughing at it. Really let it rip. Try and see how silly it is to hold back and give your power away to something that isn’t real!

7. Dwell on abundance

Learn to think, speak, and live as an abundant person to face your fear. Stop paying attention to all forms of negative media. Celebrate your life. Be generous. Give. Donate. Share.

8. Live vicariously

Study the success of Victor Frankl, Steve Jobs, Southwest Airlines, J.K. Rowling and other greats. Take note of their bold lifestyle and follow their path to greatness.

9. Believe in yourself

Focus your attention on being ready, willing, and prepared for the success, joy, wonder, connections, good fortune, and awesome circumstances that are yours if you are willing to work and be open to it. You deserve the best no matter what. Accept that fact about yourself.

10. Learn something new

Do you lack information or direction? Develop your intuition. Get a mentor. Join Toastmasters. Be a life-long learner. Give it your all. Burn the midnight oil. Take action on what you learn. Fear fades in an environment of this kind.

11. Take your fear and shove it

Let go of looking stupid, feeling embarrassed, being ignored and facing rejection or failure. Accept failure as a part of life. Get through it and get over it.

12. Help others

Give to the beginners. Be a good leader. Take others with you and help them succeed as well. What would life be like if we believed in, “All for one, and one for all?” We all want the same things in life. Let’s help each other move ahead.

13. View life as a creative and wild adventure

Life can be brimming with good times of beauty and adventure or overwhelming with challenge and tragedy. Choose to stay present and breathe through it all. Be grateful for the varied landscape, hold onto your hat, and enjoy the ride.

(Photo credit: Young climber’s silhouette hanging by a cliff via Shutterstock)

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