Do you need ways to stop letting fear hold you back? I think we've all had something in our lives we didn't do simply because of fear. Fear doesn't have to control you. With some hard work, there are quite a few ways to stop letting fear hold you back from what you want to do.
1. Imagine the Best Case Scenario
What if you weren't afraid? How do you see various scenarios playing out? One of the best ways to stop letting fear hold you back is to imagine life without the fear. Visualize yourself doing whatever you're afraid of. Think of everything that could go right. Do this often enough and eventually you see there's nothing to fear at all.
2. Play out the Worst
Often times fear stems from not wanting to make a complete fool of yourself. Of course, if you're afraid of heights like me, you're more afraid of breaking yourself to pieces than embarrassment. If the fear comes from what others might think, ask a few friends to play out the worst possible outcome. Let them make fun of you or whatever you think others might do. Once you've experienced the worst, let go of the fear and know it can only get better.
3. Start with Small Steps
Fear holds you back because you always feel like you have to conquer the whole thing at once. While I'm still not a fan of heights, I don't have a problem climbing ladders and doing other small tasks anymore. Why? I challenged myself to take baby steps. I kept someone I trusted around and performed little challenges and stayed in place until my heart stopped pounding. Believe it or not, taking it a little at a time has helped me more than anything else.
4. Understand Your Fear
You're afraid, but why and of what? Take some time to reflect on your fears. The better you understand them, the more power you have over them. For me and heights, I discovered I wasn't truly afraid of an equipment malfunction, but instead of my own lack of balance. You have to truly know what you're afraid of and why, before you can push the fear aside.
5. Remember You Are Good Enough
I don't care if you have to say this to yourself twenty times a day in a mirror to believe it, but you are good enough to do anything you want. So many people fear they're not good enough to achieve their dreams. You are. Don't let this fear hold you back from living the life you deserve. Get your friends and family to be your cheerleaders. Just keep reminding yourself you are always good enough.
6. Think of It as a Game
When you play a game, you want to win. You can't know the outcome when you start playing, but you do everything you can to come out on top. Turn your battle with fear into a game. Plan a strategy and take on your foe. Just like a game, if it doesn't go well the first round, you can always play again. Thinking of it as a game makes it seem much easier to overcome.
7. Think about Right Now
You're afraid of what might happen in the future if you do something. Don't focus on the future. Instead, focus on this very minute. When you're so focused on the present, you don't have time to let fear creep in and ruin anything. Before you know it, you've started doing whatever it is you're afraid of and suddenly, you're not nearly as afraid as you once were.
8. Grab a Partner
Nothing's quite as scary when you're not alone. Ask someone to work through your fear with you. If it's public speaking, do a small monologue in front of friends and family with both of you speaking together. Gradually, have your friend do less and less with you until you can do the scary thing all by yourself.
Positive reinforcement is actually quite useful in helping you let go of your fear. Every time you succeed, even a little, at conquering your fear, celebrate. Your mind will start associating the fear with something good and your perception just might change. The celebration doesn't have to be big. Just do something nice for yourself as a quick congratulations.
Fear isn't always rational, but it's powerful at holding you back from the things you want to do. It's not impossible to get past it if you work hard enough. Remember, fear is temporary, but success is forever. What fears are holding you back?