Ask anyone you know, and they’ll tell you there’s at least one thing that scares them. Everyone is afraid of something, and some people are afraid of everything! But no matter what scares you, never let fear bring your life to a halt. If you want to get the most out of life, learn to overcome your fears.

Get to Know Your Fear

 Someone stands in a glass box from the edge of a skyscraper and looks down at the city streets.

Ask anyone who’s conquered their fears, and they will likely tell you that the first step was understanding why they were scared. To figure out why you’re afraid, ask yourself a few questions.

  • What caused this fear? Maybe it was an experience you had or haven’t had yet. 
  • What’s the underlying issue? You’re not afraid of public speaking, you’re afraid of the audience’s judgement.
  • What’s the worst-case scenario? Once you’ve determined that, you can decide if it’s a valid fear and assess the likelihood of the worst-case scenario.

These questions will help you analyze your fear and choose how to respond to it. If it’s a valid fear, like a fear of heights or snakes (both can be dangerous), then familiarize yourself with it. Do your research and educate yourself about whatever it is that scares you the most. Once you know the facts, create a pros and cons list to find out if the risk is worth the reward. 

Give in to Peer Pressure

When it comes to tackling tasks or goals that you’re afraid of starting, peer pressure is your friend. That’s right, just this once, we want you to give in to peer pressure. Surround yourself with people who will inspire and motivate you to go after those goals or complete those tasks. If what you’re scared to do is going to benefit you … give in to that pressure! 

Let’s say you fear talking to strangers, but your goal is to gain more clients. First, notice that it’s probably not the strangers that you’re afraid of but how they might react to your proposition. We know people can be rude, angry, and even hostile. We’ve all experienced that. But the behavior of other people shouldn’t deter you from completing your to-do lists or meeting milestones that you set. So, have your friends challenge you to talk to more strangers. Let them tell you that you’re a chicken. If they’re part of the same industry as you, ask them to start a competition. Then, you can let the fear of losing propel you forward to a strong finish.

It doesn’t always have to be pressure from peers that moves you forward. It can also be positive feedback, advice, and support. Make sure that the people around you only want the best for you.

Analyze the Size of Your Fears

A little toy person stands in front of a large toy spider, both surrounded by fog.

Whatever your fear is, take a closer look at it and see if it’s as big of a deal as you think. Everybody exaggerates or inflates fear now and then. We think about our fear too frequently, and it becomes scarier every time. This is similar to when you’re sitting in the dark and the longer you think that there’s a mysterious figure in the corner, the creepier that corner seems. You know that there’s nobody in the corner because you just turned off the lights a few minutes ago. But your mind plays tricks on you and convinces you to be scared. This same thing happens with other fears; we blow them out of proportion until they are so scary that we can’t bear to look at them.

Because of this tendency to let our fears grow beyond our control, it’s important to step back and look at the bigger picture. When you have a fear standing between you and your success, are you going to let it stay there?

Practice envisioning your future, or the dream that you have for your future. See, with clarity, the things you want to accomplish. Connect with that deep desire to be better and do better because you deserve better. Try to imagine what it will feel like to reach those big goals and dreams. See it out in the distance. Then, put your fear right in front of it. Now your fear seems a little inconvenient, right? You may even see it as frustrating and start to feel fired up about tackling it—so do it.

Look to the Conquerors

Two people in scuba gear are swimming with six large sharks.

When in doubt, look to those who have figured it out. Listen to stories from people who have conquered their fears and have learned to reframe fear as excitement. If your new path has a lot of scary obstacles, there’s no harm in talking to the people who have faced those same challenges. Ask others how they conquered their fears, or if they’re willing to guide you through yours. Whatever the case, it helps to gather the experience of people who have faced their fears and came out the other side to succeed. The moment you gather all of the information you need to face what scares you, press forward and become the conqueror of your own fears!

We know that facing your fears can be uncomfortable, but if that’s what’s holding you back from success, check out our blog “Present Comfort vs. Future Prosperity.”