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Published on November 30, 2020

How To Let Go of Fear And Become Unstoppable

How To Let Go of Fear And Become Unstoppable

Do you sometimes find yourself paralyzed by fear? Fear appears to each person in various forms. You might begin to feel a sense of dread, develop a headache, or feel nauseous. Anxiety causes us to overthink situations, which stops us from taking action. Fear can most definitely hold us back from reaching our maximum potential. When this happens, the best thing to do is to let go of fear.

What would you be able to accomplish if you lived without fear? Here are some tips to help you overcome them and become unstoppable!

1. Plan It Out

Do you find yourself pressing the snooze button regularly? Or does it feel like you’re wasting time in a job you don’t love? As you follow your dreams and create new plans for the future, you might begin to fear failure and become hesitant.

Having a plan in place will help you overcome this anxiety. As the saying goes, “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” Set achievable objectives that will bring you closer to your goals, and stay committed to your plan. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from realizing your dreams.

2. Use Stress-Relief Techniques

Being in fear-filled situations can put significant strain on the body. If you are afraid of the dark, you might start to feel tightness in your chest, a dry throat, or have difficulty breathing.

When stress overwhelms you, try repeating affirmations like, “I’m going to be okay,” or “This moment will soon pass.” Create a mantra that is grounding and helps you release fear.

You could also listen to calming music. Peaceful sounds from nature or the ocean are known to relax the muscles. Moving your body is another way to work through anxiety—go for a walk or stretch.

Here’re 7 Stress Management Techniques to Get You Back on Track.

By learning to manage stress, you will feel more in control and empowered.

3. Talk to Friends and Family

Do you have a fear of being alone? After work or on the weekends, do you worry about having nowhere to go and nothing to do? We are social creatures, and it can be difficult to be by ourselves for an extended period of time.

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The next time you are feeling lonely, reach out to a family member or best friend. Having support to lean on will lift your spirits and help you feel less isolated.

If you are stressing out about a job interview, call a friend or meet up beforehand. Talking through worries in advance will help you feel more confident and at ease. Having an uplifting “go-to team” before an anxiety-inducing event makes all the difference.

4. Write Down Your Fears

What are your fears—small spaces, flying, rejection, or success? Identifying phobias is the first step in learning how to manage and eliminate them.

For example, if you fear snakes, come up with a plan to help you overcome that anxiety. You might look at pictures or play with toy snakes. Eventually, you can try to hold a real one. So, make a list of your worries—big and small—then, set realistic goals. Develop a step-by-step plan to work through each one over time.

5. Picture the End Result

Imagine being mid-flight when you feel turbulence jostle the plane, and the seatbelt sign comes on. You suddenly grab the armrest and can’t catch your breath. Up in the air at 35,000 feet, weather conditions might be unpredictable and leave you with a fear of flying.

The best way to overcome this is to visualize your destination. Picture the smiling faces of your loved ones waiting for you at the airport. See yourself relaxing under the hot sun on your island vacation. Close your eyes and imagine you are crossing the finish line. Think of how great you will feel once you arrive and how proud you will be for overcoming the fear.

Learn more about How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

6. Celebrate Success

Are you worried about the future and getting that big promotion or reaching your goal weight? Rather than concerning yourself with what is to come, celebrate your wins.

Even if you don’t get the promotion, remember that you are doing a job you love and moving closer to taking the next steps. Maybe you didn’t lose the full twenty pounds, but at least you lost some of it so celebrate!

Ordinarily, we tend to focus on what is not working rather than on what we have accomplished. Make a list of your achievements and celebrate how far you’ve come. Find the victory in everything you do and take pride in your triumphs.

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7. Practice Makes Perfect

We have all been there before. You walk onto the dark stage, and the spotlight blinds you as you look out at the audience. Suddenly your mind goes blank, your palms start sweating, and you hear loud thumping in your chest. You might feel a wave of panic as you frantically try to remember your speech.

At some point in time, most everyone experiences stage fright. So, how can you prepare?

Weeks and days beforehand, rehearse what you want to say. Review it repeatedly in the mirror until you have it memorized. On the day of your speech, have some critical points written down that you can refer back to as you speak. Knowing what to say in advance will give you the confidence to let go and overcome the fear.

8. Stay Open to Change

Imagine you are driving and discover the roads are all closed. Suddenly, you are forced to take a detour. How do you react when plans don’t go your way? Do you panic or get frustrated?

The fear of missing out or losing control of a situation can overwhelm the body and mind. Rather than worrying or getting angry, keep yourself open to the possibility of something new. The best course of action is to go with the flow.

Let this opportunity take you on a new adventure. Be open to the unexpected, and trust that life will unfold just fine.

9. Create Your Safe Space

Do you fear confined spaces? If so, being in an elevator may stress you out. The next time you find yourself in a panic, try mindfulness or meditation. A big part of letting go of fear is listening to your soothing inner voice.

Mindfulness will help minimize the fear of being restricted. When you meditate, you enter a safe place. Close your eyes, imagine the vast blue ocean, smell the salt in the air, and listen to the seagulls. Focus on feeling boundless and free. Instead of imagining negative things that could happen, visualize that you are solid and secure.

No matter what you fear, learning how to relax and turn towards a positive mindset is key.

10. Remove Yourself From the Situation

Imagine you’re enjoying a quiet meal with a friend when suddenly, you hear the sound of glass breaking. You might feel a jolt of adrenaline and become panicked. These types of experiences can trigger your “fight or flight” response.

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When you feel overwhelmed, try to keep your mind from running loose. If necessary, excuse yourself from the situation and step outside until you feel calmer. When we are in high-tension situations, it’s beneficial to acknowledge available options and keep reminding yourself the moment will pass.

11. Have Courage

Do you chronically dread work or mentally run through the monotonous day filled with repetitive tasks? Maybe you haven’t felt a sense of purpose in years. Are you worried about leaving your current job because there might not be anything better?

Life is meant to be experienced, so summon your courage and embrace the unknown by focusing on what lies ahead. Determine what will make you happiest, and keep your eyes on that goal. You may find that your most significant accomplishments are right around the corner.

12. Take a Deep Breath

Maybe you have a terrible fear of needles. Every time you’re at the doctor’s office, you look away while the nurse sanitizes your skin to deliver the shot.

Instead of focusing on what’s going on in the moment, try taking four deep, slow breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Try picturing yourself warm and safe, maybe cuddling with your furry friend. Deep breathing is grounding and helps us through scary moments. Just close your eyes, stay focused on the breath, and try to release the fear.

13. Have a Plan B

Let’s say you’re watching a movie at home when suddenly, the power goes out. Do you sit in the dark wondering when the lights will come back on? Are you worried about food in the fridge spoiling or your cell phone dying?

Having no idea what to do next definitely causes fear. The antidote is having a course of action—a plan B—to feel prepared.

In case of emergencies, have candles, portable chargers, or even a backup generator for you and your family. Purchase or prepare an emergency backpack, and always keep food and water on hand. Having a contingency plan will give you comfort, and it helps you take back control of the situation.

14. Trust Yourself

Have you ever been to the top of a tall building and looked down? Did you feel a wave of dizziness and suddenly grab onto the rail? You are not alone in this reaction, as many people are afraid of heights.

There are times when we climb too high and find that we don’t know how to get down. The best thing you can do in this situation is to believe in your choices. Take a deep breath and trust that you can navigate your way back to safety.

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Find the confidence within to have faith in your resourcefulness. Imagine how proud you will feel after facing your fear and bravely overcoming it.

15. Talk to People Who Have Been There

Perhaps you are launching a new business and feel worried about failing. Maybe you don’t know how to get started or how much your expenses will be. After pouring your entire savings into this venture, you might begin to wonder if people will even want your product.

Rather than focusing on all of the what-ifs, get advice from thriving business owners. Find entrepreneurs who went through your same worries and ask them for advice.

Successful business owners usually want to pay it forward and speak to others about their achievements and losses. This will fill you with a new sense of motivation and purpose to achieve your goals. Seeking advice from those who have been where you are will help you overcome your fears.

16. Take Action

Picture this: You haven’t cleaned out your garage in a while. As you start organizing, you move a box and a giant black spider jumps out at you. Your eyes widen in shock and you start trembling. You need to clean, but you’re terrified that there are going to be more spiders.

Rather than living with a cluttered garage, consider wearing gloves and layering your clothes. Find comfort in knowing that a couple of spiders will not hold you back. Take back your power by taking action. Think about how accomplished you will feel after conquering your fear.

17. Reward Yourself

Do you dread going to the dentist and hearing that high-pitched drill and scrape against your teeth? One way to overcome fear is to have a reward ready at the end of the journey.

After your appointment, treat yourself to a delicious meal, or order something you’ve eyed online. Knowing there is a reward in place will give you the incentive to push through when you want to give up.

You Might Be Wondering…

How will I remember these tips when fear strikes? It is important to first focus on regulating your body’s stress response, then trust your instincts and take action. When you can work through blocks that hold you back, you grow as a person. You can create your own path and live life to its fullest.

So, use the suggestions in this article to help you navigate anxiety-filled moments in life and let go of fear. Set a goal to list out your worries, and create a plan to eliminate or reduce them.

Being unstoppable means letting go of fear and taking back your power!

More Tips on How to Let Go of Fear

Featured photo credit: Frank Alarcon via unsplash.com

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Nancy Solari

Nancy Solari is an accomplished CEO, life coach, and motivational speaker.

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Last Updated on April 16, 2021

How to Forgive Yourself and Move Forward for a Happier Life

How to Forgive Yourself and Move Forward for a Happier Life

When we talk about forgiveness, it’s often regarding others — forgiving your elementary school bully or the coworker who took credit for your work idea. Unfortunately, we often forget about one very important person who is also worthy of forgiveness: ourselves.

Forgiveness is difficult in its own right. However, when we have to face the reality of forgiving ourselves, it can quickly become a (seemingly) impossible feat.

With that being said, learning how to forgive yourself and move forward from trauma, regret, or remorse can help contribute to a healthier, happier life.

So how to forgive yourself?

Here are some helpful reminders and thoughts to use on your journey towards inner peace and happiness.

Fighting Through Obstacles (Even When It Seems Impossible)

Moving on from a debilitating life event such as a car accident or escaping a toxic relationship is not only physically draining but mentally draining as well. It’s also fair to say that we feel these effects long after said trauma or event is over, making it even more difficult to move forward.

Moreover, it’s important to recognize that sometimes there are other barriers to treatment, besides ourselves.

As Duquesne Nursing points out, many patients who are seeking mental health treatment end up facing a variety of obstacles when trying to receive proper treatment.[1]

Some of these include:

  • Too costly or no health insurance coverage
  • Lack of awareness of the severity of the disorder
  • Feeling hopeless about treatment prospects
  • Concerns about confidentiality
  • Social stigma

It’s also worth noting that these factors can be especially difficult or prevalent if you happen to live in a rural community due to the lack of available resources and medical professionals in smaller populated areas.

However, it’s important to recognize that there are still mental health options you can (and should) utilize despite these barriers.[2]

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Forgiveness is a battle that doesn’t have to be taken on alone, no matter where you live. Moreover, many people find healing through numerous methods such as reading, talking, or writing. Ultimately, your path towards a happier life can be paved with whatever works best for you.

If you do happen to find yourself in a position that prevents you from visiting a mental health professional, consider these options in the meantime:

Group Therapy

While group therapy is not as anonymous as a private session, checking your local community center for support groups can at the very least provide you with a connection to others dealing with similar difficulties as you. You also might find that you flourish in a group setting.

Local University Hospitals

As Dr. Fran Walfish, a psychotherapist, tells NBC News,

“Most qualified training hospitals have a department of psychiatry and outpatient psychology program that offers low-fee sliding scale psychotherapy.”[3]

It’s worth visiting one nearby to see exactly what they can offer you and if it’s right for you.

Develop Self-Care Strategies

Forgiveness itself is self-care, but it’s also an ongoing battle. Developing useful strategies to recenter your mind, body, and spirit can help you get through some of those tough moments.

Whether it’s learning how to meditate, working to be more mindful, or developing a relaxing nighttime routine, these practices can help ease your pain and help you refocus after an especially rough day.

Forgiveness and the subsequent journey towards happiness is definitely an emotional roller coaster. Professional help should always be your first priority, but again, it isn’t necessarily available.

While it can make you feel hopeless at times, know that there are always alternatives that can help you, no matter what curve balls get thrown your way.

The Pressures (And Regrets) Within the Workplace

Once you are able to find help on your forgiveness journey, the next challenge will be applying what you’ve learned about yourself, your pain, and how you’re going to grow from it.

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Work can be one of the more triggering factors in your life. A lot of regret or trauma often stems from a toxic work environment, perhaps a failed project, or the general feeling of making the wrong decision at the last second.

Furthermore, regret and remorse can happen within any career at any level. From office jobs to those in the medical field, learning how to forgive yourself has a unique set of challenges — it’s different for everyone.

Our forgiveness (or lack thereof) can be the result of various incidents, meaning it’s difficult to explain your feelings, anxieties, and pain to others.

For doctors, it might be the struggle to reconcile with a “never event”, or an error made during surgery.[4] For veterans, it can be the trauma of losing fellow soldiers and friends while on active duty. For those in offices, it could be dealing with the fallout (gossip, isolation, bullying) after filing a sexual harassment case. The list goes on.

There is also the very likely circumstance that you just no longer enjoy your job or career, meaning there’s a chance it’s simply not meant for you. But that doesn’t make you a failure, it just means you’re destined for something else.

Holding Yourself Back Might Be the Problem

Furthermore, holding yourself back from that something else could be the thing standing in your way of a happier life, inside and outside of work.

As USC Applied Psychology aptly explains,

“Passion not only drives you to enjoy your work but helps in overcoming obstacles in the workplace as well. Anytime you hit a bump in the road or begin to doubt your abilities, remember the positive effects of the work you are doing.”[5]

In life, we only get so many chances to follow our happiness and our dreams. Granted, we might lose sight of that goal at times, and that’s when those dark feelings can begin to creep in. But ultimately, our lives can only get better if we forgive our mistakes and learn from them.

Life is all about trial and error, and it’s okay if you don’t get it right the first, second, or third try. The most important thing is to never give up or stop trying because you’re afraid of regret or making a mistake.

Growth comes in all forms, and that includes forgiveness.

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Besides, it is never too late to start over. Here’s the proof.

Finding Forgiveness Amidst Grief

When we lose a loved one — a parent, an ex-partner, even a pet — it can be tempting to put some blame on yourself. Part of the grieving process should include mourning the loss and moving forward, with them forever in your heart.

However, when we fall into the trap of blame and regret, we end up robbing ourselves of the chance to appreciate our time, memories, and experiences we had with our loved ones who have passed.

This makes the loss of them even harder to bear. It’s a difficult cycle to break and can lead to some serious mental health issues, like depression and anxiety.

Moreover, forgiving yourself in the face of death is without a doubt tough. It’s okay to be a work in process, especially considering that the loss of a loved one is an event that will stick with you forever.

Of course, that’s all the more reason to begin learning how to forgive yourself and move forward. Acknowledging and accepting your mistakes doesn’t make you unworthy of forgiveness.

Losing a pet to a car accident or house fire doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad owner. Your dog or cat loved you dearly, and although their untimely death is unfortunate and heartbreaking, the best way to honor your pet is to own your mistake, learn from it, and forgive yourself.

When dealing with the loss of a loved one due to addiction or suicide, it’s important to remove yourself from the situation as a factor in their death. Sometimes, we simply cannot stop people from making their own choices, no matter how bad the consequences are.

Furthermore, many of us desperately want our loved one(s) to get better, to seek help, but if they don’t that’s not on you.

While it might feel like you’re betraying those who have passed away by trying to forgive yourself and move on, you’re actually doing what’s necessary to take care of your mental and physical health. You deserve to be healthy and although it may take a while, you deserve to be happy as well.

Things You Can Do After a Loss

Practicing important grief strategies is one way you can begin coping with death and begin the forgiveness process. The American Psychological Association (APA) tell us,

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“Everyone reacts differently to death and employs personal coping mechanisms for grief. Research shows that most people can recover from a loss on their own through the passage of time if they have social support and healthy habits.”[6]

They go on to list so methods worth implementing after a loss:

  • Talk about the death of your loved one. Instead of isolating yourself or denying the death outright, speak about your loss with your support system. This can help you process the loss and begin moving forward.
  • Accept your feelings. All of your feelings are valid and it’s okay to feel them. You aren’t weak or guilty because of your emotions.
  • Take care of yourself and your family. You can grieve for those who have passed while also making sure to take care of the living.
  • Reach out and help others dealing with the loss. Helping others has been shown to make us feel better and by sharing your stories you can form new, lasting bonds with others affected by a loss.
  • Remember and celebrate the lives of your loved ones. APA recommends, “donating to a favorite charity of the deceased, framing photos of fun times, passing on a family name to a baby, or planting a garden in memory. What you choose is up to you, as long as it allows you to honor that unique relationship in a way that feels right to you.”[7]

While the grieving process might be messy, complicated, and certainly frustrating at times, if you can learn how to forgive yourself, you will only grow stronger. Remember good can come from even the darkest of times.

Final Thoughts

When we force ourselves to hold onto the past — past mistakes, regrets, pain — we end up missing out on a lot of the positive things life has to offer. It’s important to keep in mind that you are not alone and it’s okay to hurt and reflect on certain aspects within your life.

However, it isn’t worth losing valuable time, relationships, health, and emotional energy over. Instead, amid grief or remorse, as difficult as it might be, working towards inner peace will ultimately serve you much better.[8]

Moreover, a person who is at peace with themselves will reap some benefits, such as:

  • Increased acceptance of yourself and self-actualization
  • Increased emotional maturity
  • The ability to live in and enjoy the present more
  • A deeper capacity for love (towards others and yourself)
  • A better sense of inner strength and power
  • More patience and compassion
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Freedom from stress and anxieties
  • A stronger sense of inner happiness
  • A better understanding of forgiveness

Achieving inner peace, especially in the face of difficulties and trauma, takes a lot of work and practice. However, the rewards are certainly worth the effort as you begin to grow as an individual, learn forgiveness towards others and yourself, and begin viewing life through a more positive lens.

You don’t need to forget your past experiences; rather, use them as a vehicle towards a greater, healthier life. You are worthy and your past doesn’t define you. It simply molds you.

Once you understand and can come to terms with that, the possibilities of happiness will open up and you can begin moving forward in life.

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Learn How to Forgive Yourself

Featured photo credit: Havilah Galaxy via unsplash.com

Reference

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