If you are having challenges achieving certain goals in your life, have you considered that fear may be one of your obstacles? People spend too much time worrying about what might happen. Their thoughts go to the “worst that can happen” and cause undo stress. These fearful thoughts become so real, it’s hard to tell fact from fiction. Some fears may come from previous experiences or just due to an uncontrolled imagination. Regardless of how fears develop, they leave you feeling frustrated and limited.
Two common fears, fear of failure and fear of success, pull at us from opposite sides of the fence, yet both are strong inhibitors of us moving forward to where we want to go. Fear of failure may stem from our perspective as failure being an end to our dreams. However, some goal seekers merely see failure as a place to stop, listen, and learn some lessons. What went wrong and what can I do differently next time?
Fear of success may stem from our perspective that the unknown is a scary place. You may have never felt successful before, so you may conjure up scary images of success. What if I make a lot of money, how will I hold on to it? What if I have a lot more responsibilities and have to work a lot harder? Yet, many successful people find success offers them greater freedom of time and money concerns than they’ve ever had before.
I once heard someone say FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. In the cases I mentioned above, you are conjuring up false evidence. Because fear of failure and fear of success are based on imagined outcomes, none of which are real. What if you imagined different outcomes? Isn’t what you imagine and how you perceive any situation really up to you in the end?
As best-selling author Susan Jeffers says, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” If you’re facing a fear, know that how you perceive it is up to you. If you face the fear, if you feel the fear, and then you walk right smack into and through the fear, you will almost always feel exhilarated on the other side. You will emerge with a greater sense of self empowerment to walk through any fears that rear their ugly heads in the future.
Here are a few other tips on getting over any fears your wild imagination conjures up for you:
1. IDENTIFY THE FEAR — Get really clear about what you fear and then observe it from all angles looking for what’s real and what’s imagined.
2. CREATE A PLAN — Figure out what would be the best approach to tackle the fear you are facing. Maybe it’s just a shift in perspective or maybe you need to get some more information.
3. GET SUPPORT — Ask others who may have overcome this fear and get support from friends, family, and a good life coach.
4. IMAGINE THE OUTCOME — Visualize the outcome you want, see yourself achieving the goal, feel the good feelings you will have.
5. RELAX & BREATHE — Taking 5 deep breaths when you’re in the middle of a fear attack will calm your body and mind so you can become pro-active. Do whatever works for you to get into a relaxed state where you can do steps 1-4.
Because you have learned this fear, the good news is you can unlearn it. With patience, practice, and support, you can overcome any fear.