How to Conquer Your Fears

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually
fearing you will make one.”
~ Elbert Hubbard

It’s become the norm to avoid our fears.

Why does this happen? Because it is easier.

How does this happen? I don’t know the science behind it, but it’s a real shame.

Avoiding what you dislike sounds like common sense. That’s not always the case however. When you avoid doing something because it’s easier but you know you should be doing it or that it would be of great benefit to you, you’re doing yourself a real disservice.

What can you do about it?

The best way to conquer your fears is to face them head on.

Don’t back down from them. Don’t avoid them.

Stand there, look straight at them. Rather than turning around and walking the other direction, take one step forward. Then take the next.

What’s interesting about facing fears is that it’s always that first step that is the most difficult. Once you’ve taken that step, the second, third and tenth all become much easier.

It may be one small step, but it makes all the difference.

What separates leaders from followers…and successful consultants from corporate slaves is that single step forward.

Take 60 seconds right now. Ask yourself, “what is my biggest fear? And how can I defeat it?” Plan on how you’ll make that happen and take your first step.

Before you know it you will have conquered your fear.

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  • Wow, you are so right about the importance of facing our fears! And about how avoiding what we fear really doesn’t help in the long run (even if it is a little more comfortable in the short run….) Your post reminded me of Susan Jeffers’s helpful ideas in “Feel the Fear, and Do It Anyway.” Jeffers suggests that at base, many of our fears come from believing that we can’t handle what we fear, a belief that is often just left over from childhood, when we really couldn’t handle adult problems. Education and action, rather than psychology and analysis, is the basis of her recommendations for moving forward in the face of fear. Thanks for your clear call to action and encouragement to take the first step.

    • Have to apologize for the delayed response here. I’m just returning from Europe.

      Marcy – you’re welcome! Glad the post resonated with you and others and thanks for sharing that information from Jeffers.

  • Emerald Taylor

    Fears are the opposite of faith. You can’t operate in both. Moving forward and facing your fears is walking in faith. Nothing in between. I really like this post, needed this today … Thanks !

  • Great topic. ‘Why’ people usually do not face their fears is closely related to your question about ‘how’. Simply put, human beings instinctively seek pleasure and avoid pain, and fear can be thought of as a type of pain, or general discomfort. Facing your fears head on is not always the best strategy, unless by ‘head on’ you mean making a clear decision to resolve it. Through our experiences we have accumulated many internal resources that can help us deal with fear, pain, and other psychological discomforts. The key to eliminating fear is to identify the resources you possess, create the ones you need, and apply them to the situation(s) that is associated with the fear – yes, there’s a systematic method to it, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. And you’re right, it all starts with taking the first step. Think of fear as a behaviour that like any other can be changed.

    • Right on Bart! Let’s all keep facing and overcoming those fears.