Chances are that some garden variety of fear will be you always, that is just life. The key is to not let overwhelming skull-crushing fear control your life. Fear can be the biggest emotion that holds you back from going after your dreams. If left unchecked, this type of fear can keep you locked up inside your own mental prison. The problem is, confronting your fears isn’t always easy and it might even be uncomfortable. But, you can do it.
While fear may make you feel comfortable, the frustration and depression it can cause are far worse. If you truly want to live your best life, adopt a strategy to conquer the fear that overwhelms you and keeps you from moving forward.
7 Ways to Stop Letting Fear Control Your Life
- Explore the Root Cause of Your Fear
This is the perfect place to start. Instead of letting fear paralyze you, start by assuming the role of a private investigator. Find out exactly what is at the root of your fear. If you want to get over your fear, you are going to need to know what’s is the cause. Write down all your fears that you are aware of. Then, circle those fears that are almost numbing. Once you have identified the most prominent fears, start to think of what is causing this fear. Then you can strategize ways to prevent them from taking over your life. This will empower you and give you a sense of control over them. Instead of driving the car, these fears will start to take a backseat.
You won’t always be able to prevent your fears from coming true. However, you begin to see that most of your fear are simply a defense mechanism. By facing your fears, you might find that it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be. Once you have an idea of what is causing your fear, you can then look at ways to combat it. Fear thrives when it is ignored. Instead of burying your fear in the sand, this strategy will help you to call it out! See it for what it is. Then you can develop a strategy to overcome it.
- Distinguish Between an Unrealistic Fear and a Realistic One
Just like everything else, fear likes company. Once you adopt the posture of fear, more fears can come out of the woodwork. In this case, discern the difference between real and unrealistic fears before you decide what to do about them. For example, the fear of falling from heights or being bit by a poisonous snake is real because either one of those events can kill you. On the other hand, the fear of public speaking is an unrealistic fear in that there is no threat to your life. In this case, it’s more than likely the unrealistic fear of public speaking that may be holding you back in your career, unless you decide to pursue skydiving.
Realize that you don’t have to overcome all of your fears, just the ones that are holding you back from what you really want in life.
- Stop Feeding Your Fear
Fear has an insatiable appetite. Its ultimate goal is to sit on the throne of your life. You may be feeding your fear by ruminating thoughts. This is when you constantly think about what’s troubling you. You play different scenarios over and over in your mind. You leave out the one where you are actually winning and instead obsess about the past mistake you made or how many ways this may affect the future. The next time this happens, STOP what you’re doing and head outside, if possible, for a walk (or bike ride) in nature. Nature has a calming effect on the overactive mind. You will be pleasantly surprised, how fast you go from anxiety and fear to calm. Don’t be surprised if the answer to your problem comes to you while you’re outdoors.
- Confront Your Fear of Failure and Get Over It
Failure is inevitable. If you are still living and breathing chances are you’ve failed at something. If not, keep living. Failure is all a part of the process. Instead of fearing the inevitable, try to reframe your fear of failure and see it for what it really is, a life lesson. Failure is a teacher that has great lessons in store for the lifelong learner. Failure also helps you to develop a humble mindset if you let it. So, instead of being paralyzed by the fear of failure, understand that is a vital part of the journey and carries many lessons for the humble heart. It doesn’t define who you are.
- Practice Mindfulness to Combat Fear
Fear tends to generate a lot of anxiety. By practicing mindfulness, it can help to bring a sense of calm into the mind. Lowering your anxiety levels will in turn give you fearless control over yourself. When you are in a calmer state, you are going to feel a lot stronger and better able to face your fear.
Meditation, prayer, and deep breathing exercises are great for calming anxiety. They also deliver a lot of other great benefits for the mind and body. Start with short, guided meditations if you are a beginner.
- Imagine the Consequences of Not Facing Your Fear
If you are struggling to face your fears, think about what will happen if you don’t make the needed changes. That is, how will your life be a year from now if you don’t change anything now? Most likely, you will still be stuck feeling dissatisfied with your life, unable to move forward.
The reason you are reading this is that you are already feeling fed up and wanting to make a change. So, if you don’t start facing your fear, you will only start to feel more frustrated, resentful, and lost. Focusing on what might happen if you don’t face your fear, can provide you with the motivation you need to change.
- Embrace Personal Development and Boost Your Confidence
Fear can also be linked to how we feel about ourselves. Therefore, by working on self-improvement techniques and boosting our confidence, it can help us to be in a much stronger position to face our fears.
Final Thoughts on Letting Fear Control Your Life
These are some of the best ways you can stop letting fear control your life. Only by recognizing and facing up to your fears can you truly get past them. But, keep in mind that, being fearless doesn’t necessarily mean living completely without fear. It means, facing our fears and moving forward in spite of them.
Be well + prosper,