How To Overcome Fear In Five Simple Steps

| May 14, 2014

Overcoming-FearEDITORIAL – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once famously made a speech in which he said,  “The only thing we have to fear is, is fear itself.” Well, with all due respect to the president, I don’t buy it. Not at face value anyway.

The truth is, fear is real and is quite often legitimate. The fear of fire, jumping from a great height, or being vigilant against terrorism for example all make sense. We shouldn’t allow that fear to paralyze us, of course, but should understand that it’s designed to help keep us safe, when properly used.

But there is another kind of fear that we need to be aware of. It’s something called irrational fear and, if we allow it to, it can be devastating to us. If we’re not careful, it can stall our success and sabotage our long-term goals and desires.

Irrational fear is more often than not rooted in guilt, regret, or past failures. It’s like a big anchor that’s weighing you down, and it keeps you from ever becoming all that you can be in your life, or living the way you’d like to live.

In my own life, I’ve had my share of fears to overcome. Like the fear of failure, that I’m not good enough, or I couldn’t make it. But, I’ve learned what it takes to face them down, and I’d like to share five simple steps you can use to do the same.

1) Switch off irrational thoughts by thinking logically.

When you’re in a fearful situation, the creative part of your brain takes over and conjures up all sorts of dire thoughts. It’s hard to think rationally in that state, so it’s vital that you switch back to the logical side. To do so, try this: recite your ABCs backward, or count as high as you can by threes, or name all of the seven dwarves. All of these methods force you back to the logical side of the brain, allowing you to think rationally.

2) Control your focus.

Whatever you focus on, you tend to bring more of into your life. Therefore it’s important to only focus on those things you want, not on what you don’t want. So, rather than focusing on how scared you are, instead focus on how it is going to feel when you overcome the fear, and on the steps involved to do so.

3) Assess the fear.

Is what you’re feeling real, or is it something that you’ve simply made up? As I mentioned earlier, there are some fears that are legitimate and we need to be aware of them, and respect them. However, it’s usually the ones that aren’t real—the ones that we simply make up—that hold us back the most in life. That’s why it’s so important to know the difference.


4) Respond according to your assessment.

Once you have made your assessment, act on the fear accordingly. Keep in mind that your response could change from situation to situation. Some fears (legitimate ones) you may avoid, others you may have to face. Also, be aware that just because you face a fear one time, that does not mean that it goes away forever.

5) Expect fear to pop up from time to time.

Fear should not catch you by surprise, especially if you’re pushing your limits. Knowing that it’s out there will keep you prepared, but also know that you can overcome it. You have the ability to control it and no fear is so great that it can stop you from moving forward.

So there you have it. Five simple steps that, if followed, will allow you to face down any fear and move forward in your life…No Matter What!

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18 Comments on "How To Overcome Fear In Five Simple Steps"

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  1. Monica Griffin says:

    I worry a lot. Mostly about what might happen. It causes a great deal of fear. Some of it is real but most of it is silly. I have been working on it though and the focus thing has worked really well for me. As soon as the bad thoughts start, I try to direct my attention elsewhere, on something good. Worry is that big anchor weighing me down. Another very helpful article. Thank you!

  2. Joy says:

    Awesome Jay!

  3. hope bishop says:

    I love this. I’ve often dealt with irrational fear. Its helped that I have someone very grounded who can show me how to bring it back in line but these tips will help me to learn how to do it better myself. Thanks Jay

  4. Melissa says:

    I agree with your sentiment! I would also add that to just take action can also relieve some fear… If you will humor me…. I’ll try to expand why I think this?

    A few years ago, I had a dear friend that was being swallowed up by Anxiety, depression, doubt, and FEAR. I would go to her house at bright:thirty each morning to try to get her up and get out of bed and move…. After 98 days, she finally asked me “Why do you do this, and why do you care?”. I replied, because I love you.

    On day 102, she meekly sent me a text later in the day “I am starting to see what you mean by just doing anything”. My daily “scolding” of sorts, was to just do SOMETHING. Upon doing something, she realized “it” wasn’t so bad, so she decided to do SOMETHING ELSE. Think now to the Breck commercial from ions ago…..

    Today, she is back in shape (emotionally) and still my mentor and bestie.

    Fear is normal and good at times. Irrational fear is what generally dooms us all.

    GREAT article, and thank you for your good advice!!

  5. Lori says:

    Jay, I’ve been following your page on Facebook for quite some time now. You always offer great advice! It’s good to see you in my local media!

  6. Chick says:

    Another great article Jay, with some very useful tips, thanks!

  7. Chris Sohar says:

    Great article. Spells out in a logical way how to deal rational or irrational fear. Something to keep in your minds toolbox!

  8. Mary Alejandro says:

    Jay, this is truly an awesome article. You always seem to have the voice of reason, and this helps to look at things in a different perspective. I so enjoy reading your articles and following you.
    You are such an inspiration to me and so many others. Great article. I shall send this to my friend Virginia. Maybe it will help her at least a little…

  9. Brian Hipple says:

    Great Article Jay!
    Sharing on my FanPage!