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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide)

How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide)

Take a moment and imagine what your life would be like if you had no fear. What would you do if you knew how to overcome fear? It’s not difficult to imagine that overcoming fear would alter your life significantly.

I believe that fear is the single biggest obstacle that holds people back from fulfilling their potential and becoming the best version of themselves.

Fear of failure, fear of abandonment, fear of success, fear of not being good enough

The question is…where does it come from?

Neuroscientists claim that humans are the most fearful creatures on the planet because of our ability to learn, think, and create fear in our minds[1]. We scare ourselves by imagining the worst possible outcomes, assuming that we are protecting ourselves from imminent danger.

You make the choice to be a victim of your fears or to push them aside and be courageous.

In this article, we’ll look into the root cause of fear and how we can overcome it to realize our potential.

What Is Fear, Really?

This acronym best reflects what fear is[2]:

Learn how to overcome fear with the fear acronym

    Fear is an emotion created by your mind based on real or imagined threats. Fear may be completely founded in reality…or not. It may also manifest as anxiety disorders in some cases as anxiety is based on worries about the future.

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    These imagined scenarios of perceived threat end up feeding your fear to the point where it becomes all-consuming. Here’s the kicker… often, these scenarios never happen.

    The real issue is not the fear itself, but rather how we hold it in our minds.

    How to Overcome Fear

    Overcoming fear may sound easier said than done. When you are in the thick of fear, it’s hard to see a way out. The good news is that, because you are the root cause of your fears, you are also the solution to them. However, none of this will be possible if you aren’t ready to face your fears.

    1. Identify Your Fears Through Writing

    There are times when I’ve felt afraid, but I didn’t even know why. If you keep your fears inside, you allow your mind to control how you feel. We all know how that turns out!

    In order to prevent this confusion from happening in the first place, the first step is to identify what your fears are.

    What makes you feel afraid?

    Instead of just thinking about these things, write them down. When you write down your fears on paper and actually question them, it forces you to analyze why you are afraid. Questions are designed to trigger your fears and bring them to the surface.

    Is this going to be a comfortable process? Absolutely not.

    Deep inner work never is! However, if you continue to keep your feelings in the dark, the scarier they will be, and the more disempowered you will become.

    Once you identify the type of fear and the experience that you associate with your fears, you become armed with the power to take action to change them. Eventually, your fears become smaller and smaller, and your strength gets bigger and bigger.

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    2. Practice Gratitude

    If you want to learn how to overcome fear, gratitude is key. From personal experience, I have learned that it’s difficult to experience fear and gratitude at the same time. They are literally on opposite ends of the continuum of the human experience.

    When you are experiencing difficult times in life, it’s easy to drop into fear. Everything feels overwhelming. In that energetic space, it can be hard to stay grounded.

    Developing a gratitude practice allows you to not drown in fear. It doesn’t mean that you won’t still feel it, but the blow will be lessened, thereby allowing you to see the brighter side of struggle (yes, this does exist).

    In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their physical and mental health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships[3].

    Anyone who experiences fear knows that there is almost always a story attached to whatever it is that you’re fearful of. Regardless of what that story is, the running theme is, “I can’t do something.” Fear loves to hang out with your inner critic and come up with worst-case scenarios about what could happen.

    Gratitude helps keep these limiting stories at bay. When you practice gratitude, your brain shifts to what is currently working instead of what isn’t working.

    The act of being fearful is a future-oriented process, while gratitude is a present-oriented one. The next time that fear tries to creep its way into your head, replace that disempowering thought with an empowering one. It sounds easier said than done, but it works.

    3. Release Control

    Are you a control freak? If so, you’re not alone. This is how a lot of people manage their fears, or so they think. Unfortunately, control has no place on the path to learning how to overcome fear.

    In actuality, all that they are doing is masking their fears by trying to control everything. If you can relate, it’s time to release control. Trust me when I say that this is a losing battle.

    Fear results in controlling behavior, and when this behavior doesn’t give us the results we’re seeking (which is usually the case), it further intensifies our fears.

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    In your attempt to control fear, you actually become a victim of it. This fear and control cycle leaves a lot of people feeling defeated. The reality is that there will always be things that are far beyond your control. That’s just how life works.

    The only way that we can move past needing to be in control is to accept that it is not always up to us. While you may be in control of your decisions, you don’t always have control over situations that you are pushed into, nor can you control how others react.

    The only thing that you have control over is your inner world and how you choose to respond to your external environment. The next time you catch yourself trying to control everything, step back and ask yourself what you are afraid of.

    Start to get curious about what thoughts are generating your fear. Curiosity and fear don’t like to co-exist. Once you let go of one, you invite the other in.

    True freedom comes from fully releasing control. When you are able to do this, you begin the process of releasing your fears as well.

    4. Recite Positive Affirmations

    Positive affirmations can be used to combat almost any negative thought pattern, which can be very helpful when you want to learn how to overcome fear. Using them to help challenge your fears can help re-train your brain and have your fears reframed as powerful statements.

    Research shows that you can actually train your subconscious mind such that it will help you to attract exactly what you desire in life[4].

    Instead of saying “I am afraid of doing this because I might fail,” look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I am prepared for this. I am ready. I will not fail.”

    The more you use positive affirmations, the stronger they become. The best way to cancel a negative belief is to develop its positive counterpart.

    Commit to making positive affirmations a key component of your morning ritual. It literally takes one thought, repeated over and over again, to set you on the path to transforming your entire life.

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    Here’re more positive affirmations you should try: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

    5. Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You

    Living in your comfort zone will get you nowhere in life, and it certainly won’t help you learn how to overcome fear. In my experience, not doing the things that scare you will only increase the likelihood that your fears will grow and inevitably take over every decision that you make.

    I want to encourage you to do one thing every day that scares you. It can be something small. All that matters is that you take action. Make it a habit to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

    Putting yourself in new and uncomfortable situations triggers a unique part of the brain that releases dopamine, nature’s make-you-happy chemical. Here’s the mind-blower: that unique region of the brain is only activated when you see or experience completely new things[5].

    When you condition yourself to do something every day that scares you, your fear fades away, and your courage grows. Think about it…when you face your fears, how can you fear them again? Soon enough, your confidence will skyrocket.

    Final Thoughts

    The next time that you feel threatened by fear, I encourage you to pull upon one or more of the above strategies. Change your relationship with fear. Instead of letting it knock you down, use it as motivation to grow and achieve more.

    Once you recognize that fear is not real, the obstacles that appear to stand in your way will be removed, and you will feel empowered to take action.

    Your potential in life is limited by only one factor: you. Are you ready to transform fear into action?

    More on How to Overcome Fear

    Featured photo credit: Jonathan Klok via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Ashley Elizabeth

    Resilience Mastery Coach and Motivational Speaker

    How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide) What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward? 5 Ways to Help Yourself Advance Your Mental Strength What Is Resilience and Why Is It Important for Success? The Effects of Stress on Your Body And Mind (You Never Knew)

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    Last Updated on November 27, 2020

    10 Things to Do When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

    10 Things to Do When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

    Have you battled against feelings of worthlessness? Irrespective of whatever a situation demands, are you feeling not good enough, like you’re falling short?

    If you do, the first thing you need to know is that you are not alone. In fact, we’re all in this together.

    I strongly feel every individual encounters this phase when life asks extremely tough questions. And just because we cannot answer every unpredictable question, most of us develop a feeling of hopelessness.

    However, these trying times are essential for your transformation into a stronger and more positive individual.

    Feeling not good enough can make you or break you. I’m sure you want to make your way ripping those dark clouds hovering over you. Are you pumped up for the challenge?

    Here are 11 things to do when you think you’re not good enough.

    1. Stop Comparing and Competing

    Everyone is wired differently. But the problem with most of us is that, in the quest to become like everyone else, we lose our originality.

    With that, we lose an integral quality: self-love[1].

    The never-ending comparison with people can evoke a sense of worthlessness, especially today when social media feeds are full of amazing photos to compare out lives to. However, these tidbits don’t represent the complexities of life.

    One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”[2]. The more you compare, the worse you feel.

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    Take a moment to admire the great things in your own life, and only compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

    2. Recall Your Past Achievements

    If you can feel you are not good enough, trust me, you are capable enough to feel proud of yourself. Any positive emotion from your memory book can uplift your mind and rejuvenate you.

    Be it the smallest thing, any sense of your past accomplishments will help negate the feeling of uselessness.

    Switch on your positive reminders. It’s the perfect antidote.

    3. Deactivate the Thinking Mode for Some Time

    Fortunately, this isn’t as hard as it sounds. The mind is a powerful thing, and in a nanosecond, it can elevate or crush your mood because of the beliefs lurking behind your feelings.

    When you think you are not good enough, remember it is just the frequency and quality of thoughts that need to change, not you.

    Everyone encounters these hard times where you can’t do much to change things. The best approach is letting this phase pass without overthinking.

    Instead of thinking and worrying, do something to take your mind off the negative thoughts. It could be exercise, painting, reading, or talking with a friend. Find what works for you.

    4. Express the Negativity

    Expressing negative emotions is imperative. It is the quickest way to unburden yourself from the misery of feeling not good enough.

    Simply put, whenever you sense something is not right around or inside you, speak out! It might require valiant courage in the beginning.

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    If you don’t have someone around to speak out, write out your negative feelings in a journal. This is another way to offload the thoughts that are causing you problems.

    5. Choose the Right Person to Share Your Lows

    You just cannot unveil your pure unfiltered emotions in front of everyone. This involves a level of vulnerability that demands trust and safety.

    When you are expecting a shoulder to lean on that is not there, the effects of feeling useless may intensify and aggravate your pain, so this choice must be a careful one.

    Make sure you flush out feelings of your hard times to one who knows you well. You may not get the advice you’re looking for, but you may get the strength to go through the tough times if you know you have a support system behind you.

    6. Offer an Act of Compassion

    Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering[3].

    Yes, one of the best ways of reviving your higher self is by uplifting others. When you fulfill the emotional or financial needs of others, not only does it bring a smile to their face, but it also makes you feel content.

    Don’t believe me? Try it!

    Whenever you’re feeling like you’re not good enough, follow compassion. Try out some of the ideas below if you don’t know where to start[4]:

    If you're feeling like you're not good enough, practice kindness.

      7. Focus on the Process Rather Than the Results

      Do you frequently think about the possessions attached to success before achieving something?

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      It is a common syndrome with many people in this fast-paced, materialistic world. We think about the name, fame, and luxury attached to success so much that when we come back to reality, it leads to frustration and impatience. We simply lose focus that adversely affects the execution of the process.

      Why? Your mind refuses to endure because it has tasted success in imagination. Then, insecurity seeps in to provoke the thought that you are not good enough.

      Wondering what to do? Resist the temptation to overthink success by developing self-control.

      8. Work out to Experience Liveliness

      Feeling not good enough? Most of the time, a small workout session is all you need to push yourself back to life.

      Any form of exercise not only detoxifies your body but also releases happy hormones in our mind. You don’t need to hit the gym every time; there are many exercises to help you stay on track from home.

      A healthy body and mind is the best combination to recover from your lows speedily.

      9. Stop Fulfilling the Undue Expectations of People

      Are you always trying to fulfill others’ expectations of you? Most of us have been doing this for a long time.

      If yes, you are digging your own grave. Not only will you lose people, but you’ll also lose your individuality. If it continues, you won’t be able to respect your priorities. It is bound to evoke the feeling of uselessness.

      Learn to say no to expectations and, instead, follow your own path with the people who accept it[5].

      10. Stop Criticizing Life and Start Appreciating It

      Are you blessed with the basic necessities of life needed to qualify for happiness—food, clothing, and shelter?

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      If you are this fortunate, you are ahead of most of the world’s population. So, whenever you think you are not good enough, just stop and appreciate your life for all the blessings it bestows on you.

      A healthy sense of gratitude enables you to see the bigger picture, and you adapt to demanding situations better.

      If you’re not sure how to develop a gratitude practice, check out this article.

      Final Thoughts

      “All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” -John Wooden

      Look on the bright side! You are one brave individual who has the guts to accept that something isn’t quite right. Not only that, but you are also ready to fix it.

      If you are not feeling good enough, that means your feeling quotient is working fine. And that’s great!

      The only concern is the uncontrollable negative thoughts that drive you away from positivity. What you need to do is slow down the thinking process and gradually revive your positive self.

      Always remember:

      Whenever you feel down, you need to handle yourself with extra love and care.

      More on What to Do When Feeling Not Good Enough

      Featured photo credit: Ivan Karasev via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] tiny buddha: What Self-Love Means: 20+ Ways to Be Good to Yourself
      [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social Comparison, Social Media, and Self-Esteem
      [3] Greater Good Magazine: What Is Compassion?
      [4] Blessing Manifesting: 56 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas
      [5] Happy Realization: Either you are nude or naked; know the difference?

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