If you ignore your fears they can feed on you like a fungus and take over your lives, so every woman should be well-armed with ways to overcome your fears. We’re not talking phobias here, but those fears that stop you moving forward, or taking a few risks; those fears that leave you standing at the door of opportunity, but afraid to open it. It may sound odd, but many women are held back by the fear of success and how it might change them, but when success is defined on so many levels and means something different to everyone, it’s easy to see just how far reaching fears might intrude into your life. And, the thing is, it’s easy to fail, and to allow failure. Rather than feeding them and letting them block your path, be positive and work on these ways to overcome your fears.
1. Know Your Fears
Before you know which ways to overcome your fears will work best for you, you need to know what your fears are. If you’re not sure what they are, try an exercise in reverse. You know what your goals are, so what is stopping you achieving those goals? Some of these blockers will be practical, such as not having a certain skill. So, analyse this further. Why do you not have this skill? What has stopped you getting it? When you boil it down to the very essence, you may well find you lack the confidence to go for it. Lack of self-confidence becomes a fear if it stops you moving forward.
2. Don’t Beat Yourself up about It
Having compassion for yourself is crucial, whichever ways to overcome your fears you choose. All the ways to tackle your fears are going to feel like a slog if you beat yourself up about them. You need not only self-empathy but patience. There are no miracle cures, and very few people can suddenly and instantly flip off the fear switch.
3. Accept Your Fears
While your fears are subject to external influences, you can’t blame anyone else for them. And just as there is no blame attached to them, no one is going to tackle your fears for you. Don’t waste energy on blame and complaining about others. The only person who’s at fault when it comes to not having what you want is generally you, so what are you going to do about it? Focus on the issues!
4. Kick the Bad Habits
Every bit of health advice seems directed at your body. That’s great because we need a healthy body, but one of the most effective ways of dealing with your fears is to make sure you have a healthy mind too. When your body is healthy, your mind can concentrate on building your mental strength. A healthy body means you don’t waste time focusing on health issues such as stress, depression, headaches, days when you just feel “run down” or other general malaise that makes you lose focus, find it hard to concentrate and is just demotivating. Fear busting needs fuel for body and mind.
5. Have a Plan
Yes, that old chestnut! The thing is, it works. We all lead such busy lives that having a tool which helps us focus on our goals is invaluable. And, it may be one of the simplest ways to conquer your fears but most of the time, our fears are there simply because we don’t face the issues they bring. They get pushed to the corners of the mind and ignored. Write down your fears and the plans you have to conquer them. And a plan is an achievable goal that you can tick off as being accomplished, not just a statement of intention. It needs to be actionable and measurable. For example, you might want to be a motivational speaker but fear your presentation skills are lacking. A plan/goal is not to simply – improve my presentation skills. A plan/goal is – improve my presentation skills by booking a public speaking course. Everything you tick off as achieved is motivation to keep going.
6. Share Your Fears
Talking to people about your fears is another good way to focus on tackling them. Obviously you don’t want to spout off to everyone you meet, as you will come across as a bit obsessive, or even a bit of a loony toon! And, it is best to talk about the goals you have as the ways to deal with your fears, rather than the fears themselves. Doing this will enlist your family and friends' support in helping you achieve the plan you have set yourself.
7. Keep at It
It’s great to tick off a goal, but if you have set the right sort of plan in place, each goal is just one step. And, let’s face it, as you move forward, new fears may arrive to replace those you have conquered. There are very few people who can go through their life saying they have no fears (remember, this is not a question of bravery!). Each new step on the way to success throws up a new set of challenges.
You should have noted that nowhere in these ways to conquer your fears have I mentioned anything about changing yourself. The important thing is to stay yourself because as you tackle these issues, you will naturally grow and change. If you want to set specific goals that will result in changing you, that’s fine too – that’s a positive affirmation because some of our fears are about some of the things we don’t like about ourselves. And remember – it’s important to keep smiling! What are your worst fears? Please share if you feel you can or want to.