Some of the ultimate goals for anyone who wants to be successful are to follow your own path and to experience a genuine sense of freedom and empowerment. For a few, this seems to come more easily with healthy levels of confidence and an iron will; however for many people, that sense of empowerment is not as ingrained or doesn’t come as easily. The common thing that holds many people back is dealing with some kind of fear. Fear is normal to some level in all of us but what can you do when that fear is holding you back from achieving at your highest potential?
How we handle fear can determine how we live our lives overall. No one really wants to be shackled by their fears but we often need a little help in finding a strategy to get over them. That old adage ‘face your fears’ certainly makes a lot of sense when you think that many of us spend a great deal of time trying to avoid our fears, and in doing so simply muddle along through life, often not going above mediocre or average. The good news is that courage is something that can be learned and there are a few strategies that will help you out in developing that.
Expose Yourself To Your Fears
The aim here is to set a series of progressively more difficult goals so that you challenge your fear mindset and develop a sense of confidence in your abilities. For example, if you are afraid of heights, you could start out by challenging yourself to a smaller climbing wall before gradually progressing higher, even to the ultimate goal of a bungee jump or a sky dive. For many people, the idea of public speaking leads to feelings of unspeakable horror, yet this may be something that becomes a vital skill for their success. Again, starting small is the key, such as addressing a small group or giving a toast.
Many studies have shown the relationship between regular exercise and the ability to better cope with stress. Being physically fit can ease feelings of fear and anxiety and even reduce depression. Of course, a high level of fitness can also engender feelings of empowerment and confidence in your ability to tackle physical challenges in particular also.
Develop Mental Skills
While the phrase ‘think positive’ may sound rather cliché, it has been found that positive mental skills such as using affirmations can have a powerful effect on your results. A Navy psychologist, Marc Taylor surveyed Olympic athletes and found that those who practiced affirmations, positive thinking and generally being mindful about the pattern of their thoughts were much more likely to survive the pressure of elite competition and to reach the medal stand. This proved that a key development area for young athletes should be in their thought patterns. The same applies to non-athletes, if you can develop a strong sense of mental resilience you are much better equipped to succeed.
If you have fears that are threatening to cripple your ability to succeed, you have got the power within you to overcome these. The ideas above are just a couple of examples of what you can do, look out for Part II of The Power to Overcome Fear for some more tips.