Never underestimate your power you have to put fear into perspective and take control of your life.
Fear is something you learn that stops you from achieving the tasks, projects or goals you have set. All you want is the other side of fear. Yet, fear has power over you, it holds you back in life. As a young child, you were not fearful, you learnt how to be fearful during childhood from your parents, family, friends, environment. If it is fear that holds you back from achieving your goals then you need to put fear into perspective to take control of your goals in life.
Is it Fear or Analysis Paralysis?
You feel fear as it is an unpleasant emotion that comes from a threat, the possibility of danger, harm or pain. However, would you class it as fear when you are starting something new, like a business or trying a new experience like parachuting?
Suffers from analysis paralysis actually over analysis and stop making decisions. According to Wikipedia ‘Analysis Paralysis’ is the state of overthinking that a decision or action is never taken. Over-thinking and procrastination are not to be mixed up with careful planning. With careful planning you take steps towards your goals, experiencing analysis paralysis with some steps, however breaking through the fear barrier with action.
Tony Robbins said it well, ‘Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.’
Your thoughts and dreams can only become reality when you set goals. Set your goals with a timeline and break them down into actionable steps.
“From experience, I have set goals and commenced them only to stop due to fear. One of the goals I set myself last year was to commence running again. My aim was to run 5k, now that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I came up with lots of excuses why I could not train myself for the run. Excuses like sore knees and ankles. Today I commence my fitness goal again with a stretching class, jogging is also on the agenda. It feels good to recommit and plan out a way to reach my goal.”
Your feelings and fear.
Fear feels real. Your body says it real, it feels real due to the way the brain tricks you into thinking it is. When you fear something mentally or physically, you release chemicals which tell the brain to feel threatened or frightened. You prepare for fight or flight, this is to stay and deal with the threat or run from the threat to safety. Fear is a chain reaction that causes many emotions and feelings like a racing heartbeat, sweating, fast breathing, looking pale, to name only a few.
It is normal to experience fear to some degree but when it stops you from participating in activities or taking healthy risks that could even progress your forward in life, like study, starting a business or joining a team sport, then it is time to put fear into perspective and look at ways where you have the power over fear.
Analysis paralysis stops you from taking action due to fears. There are many types of fears, however, if you have a goal with strong feelings attached you will find a way to achieve them. You will find ways to take action and not just dream about taking action.
How to overcome fear and progress towards your goals.
When you start new projects or goals you often feel fear and feel like your heart is racing or have sweaty palms as if you were in danger and having to choose to fight or flight. With each new project, you commence despite feeling fearful you have come through on the other side. There are many things you learn in life that seems scary at first, however, the goal of achieving them is greater than the fear.
“I know the first time I learnt to drive I was frightened, my heart racing, my mind telling me what if I get the peddles wrong. As I practised driving became enjoyable and the feelings of fear stopped. Driving is something I learnt and do every day without my heart racing. Naturally, if something unexpected happens on the road or a dog runs out in front of me than the signs of fight or flight, heart palpitations commence, and I enter survival mode. This is normal. From experience, I know that I will come out the other end and all will be good”
Each time you push yourself out of your comfort zone to do something you don’t like or you’re unsure about, like speaking in public than you will also feel signs of discomfort and moments of fear. Remember each accomplishment also brought about feelings, feelings of excitement and joy.
7 Ways to put fear into perspective.
Think of a time when you were afraid really afraid, parachuting for the first time, holding a snake, getting caught in a rip swimming. Think of a time when you were in physical danger. You may be able to visualise it and feel the danger, your heart may start racing, you may become sweaty. As you visualise your fear, also see yourself overcoming the danger. You may have been rescued, you may have swum to safety, you survived. The danger was real, and you survived. How scary are your new goals compared to this fear of danger?
When you feel fearful about the projects measure them against the level of real fear you had in your scenario. When you measure your perceived fear to that of the real fear you had, you may find yourself smiling or laughing and then take one step more towards your goal.
Fear of success.
There are a variety of reasons people have a fear of success, it may be because of the fear of change or fear of standing out. Whatever the reason, projects do not get completed due to distractions or the habit of second-guessing oneself. Subconsciously your mind directs your outcome which is why when you change your thoughts you change your direction. To overcome the fear of success, describe the outcome of the goal in detail. Get really clear on the goal and write a description of your vision, write as if you have achieved your goal and include your feelings in your writing.
Fear of failure.
Many people focus too much on the negative. They think what if I fail, what if it doesn’t work out, what if I make mistakes. Celebrate mistakes. The best way to step through the fear of failure is to change the ‘what if’ to a positive question. Think of success. What if it works. Think of failure as a lesson, a discovery in the way it doesn’t work.
Quite often when you have a business goal, you have a fear of failure. Understandably so, as research shows that only 4% of small businessess in the United States survive. However, Tony Robins mentions in his study ‘The 5 Pain Points of The American Entrepreneur‘ that even though the odds of succeeding in business is against you, you can succeed with the right mentality and resources.
“Business is a sport for gladiators, not the faint of heart. Because the more you play the greater the chance you will die” – Tony Robbins.
Fear of looking incompetent.
The fear of looking incompetent is being fearful of what others think or facing others if you fail. The truth is no one cares, in fact, more people think it is great that you try and try again. The people who do care like to see your success and achievement and every small step is a step closer. Even a failed attempt is one step closer as you have learnt what not to do. One way to help overcome the fear of looking incompetent is to discuss your project with a mentor.
Fear of rejection.
The fear of rejection often comes down to self-esteem and self-worth. It is quite often a perceived rejection and the more you feel rejected the more you send out those signals and push people away or are not heard. The best way to overcome the fear of rejection is to start looking for signs of acceptance. You usually see what you focus on and by focusing on rejection you see and feel only rejection. When you focus on the acceptance you see the positive and see how you are accepted.
Fear of making the wrong choice.
The fear of making the wrong decisions is also known as ‘decidphobia’. Decidophobia can lead to a lack of independence and lack of control in one’s life. The reason people have a fear of decision making may be due to fear of rejection, fear of being teased, self-esteem or lack thereof. To live life your way, you need to make decisions. There is no right or wrong decision, you make decisions based on your current awareness and situation. One way to be clearer with your choice is to expand your awareness of the topic or situation with research. If you still find it hard to make decisions consider working with a mentor or be part of a group that you can discuss your options in. With greater awareness, being part of a networking group and education choices do become easier.
Fear of death or fear of an unfulfilled life.
Benjamin Franklin once said ‘Most people die at 25 and are buried at 75. Many people fear they can’t make things happen so they choose not to try.’
When I started my online business I needed to concrete my why, the reason to start an online business at 50 years of age. The questions asked was ‘what would you do if you had 1 day left to live, how and with who would you spend it?’. For me life fulfilment includes family. My family is important, and I need to travel to see my family, therefore, if learning a new skill can make it happen more often than I was going to make it happen and enjoy each day as I learn. I like to live with gratitude and choose to see things in a positive light.
To live a purposeful life the first thing to do is to define what a purposeful life means to you. What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning? Try to define your definition of success and your definition of happy? Everyone defines success and happiness differently.
Fear of lack of knowledge.
Quite often you perceive you do not have enough skills, yet you have the skills and know where to find the answers to things you don’t know. There are so many people willing to help you succeed yet the fear of lack of knowledge stops you. You will never know if you have the right knowledge until you start. The right skills will be different for everyone in every situation. The best way to overcome the fear of a lack of knowledge is to upskill and learn. Take courses to improve your knowledge in your chosen field.
“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” – W. Clement Stone
Angie blogs about setting goals and mastering habits as well as productivity and living abroad. She started blogging while learning the skills to start an online business. Her goal to work online came about due to wanting to see overseas family and travel around Australia. Her mission is to help others succeed with their goals. Angie often shares tips and tricks while walking the beaches or near the lake on the Central Coast NSW Australia.