How to Stop Fear From Holding You Back
Fear is one of the most common factors that holds people back from taking the actions that would help them to achieve the changes, goals, and results that matter most to them.
Many people think that they need to become fearless before they can move forward. Not true. You don't need to be fearless at all.
Fear can be an asset. It can be a really useful tool as you figure out a way forward. Here’s why:
If you identify what the source is that is driving your feelings of fear, you can use that as data to inform your choices, decisions, create contingency plans, next steps, and to identify what you need put in place to set yourself up to succeed. It can support you in preparing adequately to avoid potential problems further down the line.
Despite the many benefits of tapping into feelings of fear, we tend to avoid it like the plague because it feels uncomfortable. That’s a mistake because fear only becomes a problem that can keep you stuck if it is controlling you rather than you proactively managing it.
Here are four things that can be helpful with stopping fear from holding you back:
1. Choose to see fear as data.
Your feelings of fear are telling you something. Listen to it. Get underneath the feeling and identify the source that is driving it. Use that information to put things in place to address the source so that it doesn’t hold you back and to inform your next steps. Fear is just information. Treat it that way.
2. Take action.
Fear doesn’t go away when you retreat. It reduces when you take positive action to deal with it. Proactively create a plan to address your fears. Use what they are telling you to address what might hold you back.
3. Reframe it. Change your mindset.
See fear as an asset. Because it is. See it as a tool that can help you set yourself up to succeed. Because it is. Stop seeing fear as a negative. Because it isn’t (unless you let it dominate you). Stop thinking you need to be fearless before you move forward. You don’t. Fear is, and always will be, part of the human condition. It is there to protect us. And that’s a good thing. Reframe fear to see it as an asset to help you steer yourself in the right direction.
4. Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
When working on creating change, new goals, and achieving what matters most to you, it is common to experience feelings of fear. And that feels uncomfortable. If you are not willing to step into that you are going to hold yourself back. Learn how to manage feelings of uncertainty and discomfort.
The bottom line:
The antidote to fear holding you back is to foster courage. The four points above will help you to do that. Fostering courage will help you to move forward despite the feelings of fear. And keep in mind that courage is built through action, not retreating.