by Kim Myles
April 29th, 2022
It was Franklin D. Roosevelt who said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Fear is an extremely debilitating emotion. Whether you’re afraid of things that go bump in the night or life-altering situations, fear has the potential to stop you in your tracks. It also undermines your ability to think or react rationally.
To make the best decisions possible for your growth, it’s important to let your instincts lead, not fear. You can decide what role it plays in your life, if any at all. 5 Tips to Conquer Your Fears can help you take your power back and move forward so fear can’t grip you in its claws.
1. Don’t Create a Safe Haven for Your Fears
Fear isn’t innate. It’s a developed or learned behavior. You have the power to create phobias and to conquer them as well. Your experiences play a huge role in the beliefs you’ve developed, which may or may not be helpful to your growth. If you cling on to negative experiences, it can cloud your perception if you’re not careful.
Practicing self-discipline can help you stay centered in uneasy situations. Training your mind with affirmations, mantras, or meditation is some methods to dispel fear. As with any muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. The stronger you are, the less fear can dwell within.
2. It’s Healthy to Confront Fear
Fear is detrimental to your health. Confronting your fears is not only a confidence booster, it’s a health booster, too.
According to Mary D. Moller PhD, associate professor, Pacific Lutheran University School of Nursing, and director of Psychiatric Services, Northwest Center for Integrated Health, some effects of chronic fear on overall health may include:
- Immune system dysfunction
- Endocrine system dysfunction
- Autonomic nervous system alterations
- Alterations in hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis
Avoiding fear can leave you feeling powerless to tackle other areas in your life. It also impedes your growth. If you’re unwilling to face fear, you can block yourself from experiencing opportunities to release it.
3. Identify Your Fears
Things which appear foreign and threatening usually become less so if you choose to broaden your understanding. Identifying what you’re afraid of will help you discover a great deal about yourself. It is ignorance of self that actually poses a bigger threat than fear.
Understand what triggers fear in you and why. This information can empower and give you the advantage in overcoming it. It may be helpful to practice relaxation techniques (such as meditation or hypnosis), get counseling, or you can join a support group with others who can relate.
4. Test Your Limits
We also create fear in our lives by focusing on the things which might disrupt it. Although it’s natural to gravitate towards situations you find comfortable, unfortunately, comfort isn’t on the list of things that life promises.
“Living outside of one’s comfort zone is by definition uncomfortable. Therefore, the best habit you can foster within yourself is the practice of becoming familiar with discomfort. A great way to do this is to pick one thing each day that scares you and go and do it.”
Engaging in situations you have little or no previous experience will help you build confidence. It will also help you approach life with openness or spontaneity.
Start out small if you’re uncomfortable trying new things. Try ordering something new on the menu at your favorite eatery. Compliment a stranger. Do activities you would normally do with others, but on your own.
5. Be Confident
Individuals who possess an abundance of self-confidence are better equipped to handle fear than those who lack it. Confidence is a powerful way to counteract fear. Those who let little stand in the way of their desires are more likely to achieve their goals.
Courage is necessary to conquer fear. However, if you are fearful, you might miss out on opportunities because you are unwilling to throw your hat into the ring.
“Fear is the result of a lack of confidence. A lack of confidence is the result of not knowing what you can do. A lack of knowing what you can do is caused by a lack of experience. A lack of experience is caused by a lack of doing something new.”Dale Carnegie
How do you handle fear?
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