Think about your biggest goal. Why haven’t you accomplished it yet? If you’re like most people, the answer is basic: Fear. Fear is the limiting factor stopping you from working toward what you really want. Fear distracts us and leads to excuses – but it doesn’t have to. Learning how to overcome fear is one of the most liberating pursuits you can undertake.
It’s easy to pretend fear isn’t influencing you and to make excuses as to why you haven’t achieved what you’re capable of. Instead of turning around and hiding from it, treat fear as a cue to take action, not an excuse. Look at your goal. If you let fear chase you away from achieving it, then you’ve effectively given in. This is why foundational tips to overcome fear and anxiety include acknowledging the fears and limiting beliefs holding you back.
Tony Robbins has helped millions of people start overcoming fear and creating lives they love. These five steps will teach you how to overcome fear and move you closer to the life you want.
Learning how to overcome fear can be an intimidating prospect if you don’t understand the mechanisms behind fear. Before you berate yourself for feeling afraid, recognize that fear is a normal evolutionary response. When we encounter a threat to our emotional or physical well-being, it triggers a physiological fight-flight-or-freeze response designed for survival. Without the fear response, you’d leave yourself wide open to danger. In modern societies, threats may not be fatal, but the brain and body respond the same. Something as basic as setting unreasonable goals can cause anxiety, since you’re setting yourself up for failure and then beating yourself up when you inevitably fall short. If you let your anxieties run unchecked, they can ruin your life. But overcoming fear lets you harness the fear response and use it to your advantage.
Learning how to overcome fear begins with finding your center. Here are tried-and-true tips to overcome fear and anxiety so you can live life at its fullest.
If you feel overcome by stress or distracted by a subtle-but-persistent anxiety, it’s likely a subconscious fear needs your attention. Rather than avoiding it, overcoming fear requires leaning into your anxiety. View the fear as a piece of information instead of a threat to your survival. When you use anxiety to your advantage, it can’t ruin your life. In overcoming fear, it becomes your ally – a critical source of guidance to reach your full potential.
Learning how to overcome fear is much like any problem-solving challenge in that you must identify the challenge in order to overcome it. What is it you’re afraid of? Sit quietly for a few minutes and observe your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations. Write down what comes up, and be as specific as you can. Consider embracing a daily mindfulness meditation practice to gain greater clarity on what drives you. As you find your center, you’ll feel empowered to confront your fears.
Oftentimes the process of overcoming fear becomes stymied by uninspiring or elusive goals we set for ourselves. To turn this around, ask yourself: What does the life you desire and deserve look like? Is it just a “someday, maybe” plan or do you actively work toward it? Is it something that is attainable and you’re willing to commit to? The first step in overcoming fear is identifying whether or not you’re creating a compelling goal. If you accomplish this, will you feel fulfilled? Conversely, if you don’t accomplish this, will you be lost?
Dig deeper into your goal. What is your ideal outcome? Is it financial growth – more money in the bank? Maybe you want the financial independence to travel anytime, anywhere? Consider what your life will look like if you don’t achieve this outcome and compare it to what your life will look like if you do. Once you feel that your goal is essential, the fear of not trying at all eclipses the fear of failure – that’s when you’ll be inspired to act.
Fear makes you put things off. “I’m really tired. I have other stuff to do. It’s a dumb idea anyway.” These excuses probably sound familiar, don’t they? You’ve probably said this out loud and to yourself. Think about it. Is there any truth to these statements, or are you constructing excuses to avoid potential failure? It’s much easier and less painful to make excuses than it is to put in the long hours and energy it will take to work toward your goal, but excuses and opting out will ultimately leave you feeling unfulfilled. Learning how to overcome fear requires a different, proactive approach.
Recognize when you are using excuses and figure out how to overcome them. Too tired? Adjust your schedule so you can get a better night’s sleep. Not enough time? Assess your priorities and find out where you can make time. And the next time an excuse comes to you, make the decision to not give in to the little voice telling you “No,” because it won’t help you grow in the long run.
When you’re afraid, you tend to stay in one place. What if you make a mistake? What if you fail? You start to believe you can’t progress at all, that you’re incapable of it – the fear holds you back. One of the most powerful tips to overcome fear and anxiety is to change the message you tell yourself. It’s not about achieving your goals and being perfect every step of the way. No one is ever perfect all the time, so stop striving for that. It’s about getting comfortable with what you don’t know and continuing anyway – this is the foundation of a growth mindset.
As Tony says, “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” As you work to overcome fear, you will realize that there will be lots of trials and tribulations along the way. As soon as you’ve accepted that the path to success includes growth and change, you’ll be one step closer to attaining your goals.
No one likes pain. Most of us go to great lengths to avoid it. But pain is a profound teacher. If you accept that your life and your efforts to achieve your goals will be painful at times, painful experiences become opportunities for growth. When you let go of pain as a threat to your survival, it loses its power and becomes another tool for overcoming fear. Everyone experiences hardships in life. It doesn’t matter whether your setbacks are personal or professional – what matters are the lessons you take from those experiences and how you apply them to your future. Instead of letting pain and fear dictate your decisions, actively choose to learn from those painful moments to be in control of your own life.
What’s the number one fear people have when it comes to accomplishing their goals? That they’ll fail. But like pain, failure can teach us. In fact, failure is often a better teacher than success. If you accept from the onset that failure is an inevitable part of success, you’ll be less afraid of it. Failure can provide you with valuable learning experiences that will positively impact your future strategies.
Everyone fails. Successful business owners. World leaders. Prominent chefs. Artists and scientists and doctors. Our society shies away from talking about failure, and instead celebrates successes; this creates the false impression that to be truly successful you must never fail. But part of learning how to overcome fear is recognizing that everyone on the planet – including those you know and admire – has encountered failure on their path to greatness. The quicker you realize your fear of failure is preventing you from making the decision to accomplish your dreams, the sooner you’ll be able to accept the possibility of failing and move on.
How you respond to fear is what sets you apart from the rest of the crowd. Break through your own barriers at Unleash the Power Within, where you’ll learn how to overcome fear and tap into your inner power.