How to Overcome Fear

We can all get fearful at times. We can be fearful of heights. We can be scared of water. The fear could be of public speaking, or of talking with authority figures. It could be a fear of many other things unique to each of us. Below are some tips on how you can overcome fears in your life.

Welcome the fear

If you’re fearful about something, then you will resist the undesirable feelings the fear creates inside you. Rather than resist your fear, welcome it in. Open your internal door and allow it in, noticing that the fear is trying to tell you something. It is up to you to decide whether to take its message on board, or not.

Challenge your fear

Fear can be real. For instance if someone is about to physically attack you, you have a real reason to get be fearful. However most of the time, everyday fears are usually worry, about what might happen. For instance, you worry about voicing your opinion because people might disapprove. In reality, no one has disapproved about anything. You have created a false fear of something, which hasn’t even happened. Next time you become frightful of something, ask yourself what are the chances of this really happening?

Change what you say to yourself

Underlying your fear, there will usually be unconscious words you say to yourself. For instance, if you analyse what you say to yourself, you might discover a lot of “I can’t” and “I won’t be able to” and “I could never do” type of statements. This type of language helps to lock the fear in and solidifies it. Just a slight shift in what you say to yourself, will allow you to experience that you can talk to yourself positively, which will help you to create a base to deal with your fear.

Face the fear

In order to overcome your fear, you need to confront it. You can do a lot of internal work by changing your attitude towards your fear and changing what you say to yourself. However, this needs to be supported by direct confrontation. For instance, if social situations are your fearful activity, you need to muster up the courage to go into the very such situations and be present in them. Keep doing this again and again until you become desensitised to the fear.

Break the fearful activity down

A fearful activity seems more difficult than it is because you tend to focus on the end goal and the end goal looks very difficult. For instance if you fear you will fail an exam, you just focus on the end point, which is getting a low score. However, there are a number of steps you can take in the process of preparing for your exams, so that you succeed.

In reality, such a fearful activity is just like any other process you would be undertaking. You can reduce its size by breaking it down into small steps. Each step achieved is progress towards overcoming your fear. You don’t need to even think about the next step until you have completed the one at hand and have rewarded yourself for reaching it.

My friends, it’s over to you:

• What other ways can we use to overcome fear?
• Please share your valuable views, experiences and thoughts in the comments box below.
• Please also share this post on your favourite social networks.

 

Photo Credit: return the sun

 

43 Comments
  1. What a wonderful list! This article captures my fear. The best way to overcome fear is to try first and see if you can do it. Most of us don’t try, we just assume that we can’t do it.

    I read a book a while ago and ever since, I have been following these steps

    What’s the worst thing that can happen?

    What could I do if I fail?

    Think positively. Instead of thinking of all the ways you might fail, think of all the reasons why you’ll succeed.

    I also read the following quotes to overcome by fear.

    “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” Japanese Proverb

    “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.”

    1. Hi Seun,

      Your comment was absolutely brilliant! Thank you for writing it.

      The questions you included in your comment were amazing. Indeed, what is the worst will happen if we try? We’re not going to die. I loved what you wrote about thinking of all the reasons why we will succeed as opposed to failing. I think this is very powerful.

      Ah, the quotes you included were awesome! Thank you so much for sharing them. I liked the Japanese one in particular. It implies the mind can control how much power and meaning to give to fear or not.

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment, Seun. I appreciate you adding so much more to this post.

  2. Hello Hiten,

    A topic which I am still not convinced with…! An embracing fear is possible if you are willing to leave all your safety zones and ready to wander and find the truth..

    It becomes even more challenging when you have a family to support..Because of all these reasons I would say you have to be emotionally detached from everything if you want to pursue your passion…And if it doesn’t work have a plan B in place or fight till death whichever you are comfortable with..

    I think a little more deeper study has to be done in this area before asking people to embrace our fears..And moreover we, the personal development bloggers should only advocate which we are practicing. What do you say Hiten?

    1. Hi Rafi,

      Many thanks for your thought provoking comment.

      I agree that facing fears can be difficult if one has a family to support. However, I believe one will be able to do a better service to one’s family through generally being less fearful, particularly if what the person is fearful about could have an impact on the wellbeing of the family. That is the very reason I personally got into self-development, so that I would better be able to serve my family. Indeed, I agree personal development bloggers should share what they have practiced.

      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Hi Hiten,

    I have always loved this topic of fear and how we can overcome it 🙂

    Couldn’t agree more with the points you mentioned – the best being to overcome fear – you need to face and fight it – there is nothing else that really works. And self-affirmations always do work wonders.

    There was a time when I was working offline at a full time job, but because I wanted to spend more time with my family and kids, I left that and switched over the online world. But that fear – lingering fear that will I make it – I know nothing about it, what will people say, and how will I be able to cope with and handle an area I have absolutely NO idea about – so many series of questions that often flood our minds used to come to my mind too. The only solution I found was to get right into the online world and at least give it a try

    You really lose nothing by trying, but you lose everything by not trying and just fearing things sitting from far. I tried, and I had my shares of down times too, but just as I always say – those fears or failure of fears aren’t really fears – they teach us so much in return – the ARE are stepping stones to success. With each fear or failure that you overcome, you get better and learn something new – you learn to overcome that particular fear and move on – isn’t it?

    Speaking about my kids, my children do have their sets of fears, but by being a role model to them and facing those fears, I am able to teach them that they don’t have to fear things that come forth them. While my elder one is preparing for her medical now, she has her sets of fears, which is very natural. What can I do as a parent because I have my fears too about whether she will make it or not. But keeping those aside, I always encourage her to do her best and put in her full efforts by taking up small bits – as you said break down the activity , and then leave the rest to Him. At least she knows and I know, that she has tried, and that is much more important than achieving success in my eyes.

    Sorry for the long comment – but then that’s just being me. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this important topic with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      Thank you so much for leaving such a brilliant comment! No problem whatsoever about the length. I love reading your comments. Indeed, it wouldn’t have been your comment if it hadn’t been a bit longer! 🙂

      I’m so glad you liked the post. Absolutel,y one can definitely do a lot of things cognitively when dealing with fear. However, the best way is to face up to the fearful activity. It’s great to hear of your positive experiences with affirmations. I too have had great success with them to help change the way I feel and to get motivated to take action.

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences about switching to work online and how you faced up to the uncertainties you experienced. What you wrote contains amazing nuggets of wisdom and as you said, we just need to get on with it and give it a try. You’re absolutely right. Without trying we lose and by trying we lose nothing. At the very least we have learnt a lot from the experience. With each failure we overcome we do get better. Before we know it, we have become so competent at a skill or activity; it feels like it happens naturally.

      The approach you’re taking with your kids with regards to dealing with fears, sounds amazing. It must be great to be a parent who has truly challenged herself, and experienced what one needs to focus on (such as the journey and the learning that happens) as opposed to the end goal and then being able to teach your kids this. Is your daughter going to be studying medicine? That’s amazing. You must be so proud! I wish her all the best. I can so resonate with how you encourage your daughter about trying her best. As you said, the real success will come from the effort she puts in and what she learns along the way.

      Thanks very much for sharing your experiences around this topic, Harleena. I really do appreciate it.

      Have a good week, too. 🙂

      1. Thanks Hiten 🙂

        Yes, she is trying to get into medicine, and while I am proud of her, I really don’t want to raise her and my expectations. I prefer she gives her best, and that’s all I’m really happy with. It’s good to remain calm and normal, or else our kids tend to get tensed – seeing us tensed and worried – isn’t it?

        1. Hi Harleena,

          I think the approach you’re using of not raising yours and her expectations is spot on. Even though I don’t have kids, from a position of remaining emotionally balanced, this just makes so much sense. Absolutely, as much as adults can be seen to remain calm, then this can only be a good thing for kids, as it will help them be calm and relax. I think kids these days get enough pressure to be and achieve at schools and colleges. Hence, if they have a relaxed environment at home, then this can only be good.

  4. Rarely been to life coaching blog but impressed with the tips and ideas here. This article is a good useful one. I believe that people will have many opinions on whether to ignore the fear they have in their mind about something or handling that fear. The tips mentioned here are difficult to implement yet they will be effective. People who do something always have the fear of losing something and these tips can make their perspective better.

    1. Hi Kumar,

      Welcome to the blog! I’m glad you found some use in the article. The topic of fear is one close to my heart and I get a real thrill when others are helping themselves to overcome their individual fears. Indeed, you are right. The points I mentioned are not easy to implement. At the core level, one really has to be ready and willing to deal with the fear.

      Your comment about people achieving something and the fearing losing it is important and interesting. I guess this would be the case in particular, for those achieving material gain rather than working on themselves in the inside.

      Thanks very much for your thought provoking comment.

  5. Brilliant article Hiten,
    Breaking through fear isn’t easy and is often tough due to fear of the unknown and not know what to expect on the other side. I think if we’re to change our relationship with fear from anxiety to excitement, that’s when I think transformation will take place.
    It’s all baby steps. 🙂

    1. Hi Onder,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post!

      Absolutely, dealing with fear certainly is not easy. As you quite right said, fear arise so often due to not being sure of what will happen.

      I loved the additional way you included in your comment, about how we can deal with fear, through switching the anxiety for excitement! This is great and thanks for sharing this approach.

      Absolutely, it is all little steps! Thanks a lot for leaving your great comment.

  6. Well said Hiten. I appreciate each of your points, but especially the importance of facing fear head on. I recently heard from a reader who said she thought people talk too much about fear and that by talking about it we give it power over us. Of course I think we’ve learned the hard way over time that it’s quite the opposite, but I couldn’t help but wonder about the age of the writer, because that sounded so much like the thinking of my parents generation.

    1. Hi Marquita,

      Thanks very much for your great comment!

      Indeed, I agree about facing fear being the key way to deal with it. The point you made about the reader you heard from, who said she thought people talk too much about fear and how this creates fear, was really interesting. I’ve never considered this before and can see how this could work.

      It’s great to see you Marquita! Hope you’re having a good week.

  7. A great list to engage our fear, Hiten. For me, it is facing our fear. I don’t like heights and the best way for me to face this was to go up high. I learned to breathe and I learned to know it was okay.

    At times, we are more willing to face big fears than fears that involve others. Whether it is a conversation that needs to happen or an issue that needs to be addressed, we ignore it, delay it. We need to take the same steps as we do with other fears. We need to face it, engage it, and deal with it.

    You offer some practical ways to take these steps into fear. Thanks! Jon

    1. Hi Jon,

      I’m really glad you liked the list! Indeed, I agree facing fear, is key. It’s like what I said in my reply to Harleena’s comment above. We can do a number of things cognitively to help deal with the fear, reduce its magnitude in our mind etc. However, following this, we just need to face it again and again. Thanks very much for sharing your experiences with heights. It’s great that good breathing helped you to overcome this fear.

      I’m so glad you wrote about the everyday fears we can experience. We all have such fears, and learning to deal with these ones is essential to help us remain balanced and happy throughout the day.

      Thanks very much for commenting and showing your support. Hope you’re having a good week.

  8. Great tips Hiten! I’ve recently going through some fear and I wish I’d read your tips sooner. Facing my fear has been the toughest part.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Betsy,

      I’m so glad you liked the tips! Indeed, dealing with our fears is well worth the effort. Otherwise, we risk being held back by illogical ways of thinking.

      Thanks very much for leaving your comment!

  9. Hiten, you make some excellent points in the post. One of the best ways to kill the fear is to face it and conquer it. When we’re able to do that, we begin to see the fear wasn’t justified in the first place.

    The great thing is that once we face the fear, we begin to take actions in other areas as well.

    1. Hi Joe,

      I’m really glad you liked the points in the post. Indeed, it seems like the general consensus from the discussions is that the best way to overcome fear, is to face it. As you quite rightly said, when we do this, we truly experience that the fear was never really real.

      Indeed, conquering fear in one aspect of life increases our confidence to deal with challenges in other areas, too.

      Thanks very much for adding your great comment, Joe!

  10. Excellent post, Hiten! I couldn’t agree with you more on these pointers, mate! I think it’s imperative that we charge our fears head on! They usually are leading us in the exact direction we ought to be going in, anyways. Loved the post, my friend. It gave me some more things to contemplate on the topic. Thanks, bro! 🙂

    1. Hi Deone,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, mate! I loved your comment. It was full of positive energy to help us as you said, to “charge our fears head on!”

      What you wrote about our fears leading us in the exact direction where we need to be was very interesting. I never considered it like this before. What you stated is very true, indeed. Those fearful activities are a sign that need to undertake them.

      Thanks so much for leaving your comment and for showing your support.

  11. Great post on fear, Hiten! You offered great advice on how to deal with it, from facing it (which most of us are afraid to do!) to really seeing its purpose and differentiating whether it’s real warning or just ego construction to keep us safe. I’ve come to learn that, as long as I’m human, fear will always be a part of my experience. Rather than being afraid of fear–or any emotions we deem negative, e.g., angst, disappointment, etc.–I let them be. Sometimes, I even interview them to have them tell me what they’re here to do (I’ve written about that in the past on my blog). Other times, it’s simply to stop the automatic negative self-talk that ego proffers to keep me safe. Even just shifting myself physically, like slapping my hands, interrupts and unconscious downward spiral of fear, so that I can choose a higher state of consciousness. Thanks again for this great treatment of an important topic!

    1. Hi Alice,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for sharing additional ways of how we can cope with fear, in your comment. As you quite rightly said, as humans we will always experience fear. And I can totally resonate with the point you made about letting fear be. We can just observe the fear arising and have faith that it won’t last and will pass away.

      I loved your approach of having interviews with them, to ask them what they want. I’ll check out your blog to read more about your thoughts in this area. Indeed, the approach you use by changing your physiology such as slapping your hands sounds like a great way to deal with fear. This shows that we can use both our mind and body to deal with fear.

      Thanks so much, Alice for adding so much more to this post.

  12. Hello Hiten, fear is something that can stand in your way of may things. I can not really relate to fear because there’s not much I really fear except people 🙂 any ways it is a good thing to confront your fears to over come them.

    Thanks so much for a great read.

    1. Hi Rob,

      Indeed, as you said, fear can be a real block in our path, unless we do something about! It’s great to hear there isn’t much you fear about! Thanks so much for leaving your comment, my friend. I’m really glad you liked the post.

      Hope you’re having a good week! 🙂

  13. HI Hiten,

    I’m glad I’ve found your blog.. such a wonderful site with great posts!

    I like it when you said: “Everyday fears are usually worry, about what might happen…In reality, no one has disapproved about anything. You have created a false fear of something, which hasn’t even happened.”

    True. Oftentimes, because of fear we hardly achieve our goals. We have to re-calculate the probability rate of the event that we fear if it is going to REALLY happen. If, just if, our fear of rejection, disapproval or failure happens then let’s switch to another way. Like, living a purposeful life, it is about the journey, and there are many ways to get there. We just have to stay open to the possibilities. Sometimes amazing things can happen!

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Welcome to the blog!

      I’m so glad you like the site and the posts! I appreciate you saying so.

      What you wrote in your comment reminded me of what a friend once told me at my public speaking group, about life being in the here and now and it not being a dress rehearsal. Of course, if what we’re doing would have negative consequences on others, then the fear would have merit in it. However, in most cases, its fear of disapproval when no harm is really coming others!

      As as you quite right said, we need to be open to all possibilities. An attitude of their being abundance and possibilities everywhere makes life so much more fun!

      Thanks so much for leaving your wonderful comment and adding so much more to this post!

  14. Great topic. Everyone deals with fear but not everyone overcomes it. I have found self-talk and my thoughts greatly determine my actions and if I overcome a fear or not.

    I try and make it a point to face my fears by doing what I fear. For example, the fear of public speaking can hold a lot of people back but joining a speaking group (Like Toastmasters) can really help when it comes to overcoming the fear.

    1. Hi Dan,

      I’m really glad you liked the post, mate!

      I loved the point you made about self-talk and thoughts determining whether we overcome fear or not. It is usually our thoughts and what we say to ourselves that help to contribute to our experiencing fear. Just like we can use our thoughts and self-talk to create fear, similarly we can use our powers to think and talk to ourselves tohelp overcome the fear we’re facing.

      Thanks so much for sharing your approach to dealing with fear. Facing fear really is essential. Indeed, joining a group like Toastmasters is probably the best way of overcoming the fear of public speaking.

      Thanks so much for adding so much more to this post, Dan.

      1. I think we often forget about the power of our thoughts. But our thoughts and self talk really drive our actions and attitude about life. Glad to be a part of your amazing community. Talk to you soon.

        1. Hi Dan,

          Absolutely, as you say, our thoughts and internal talk determine our attitudes and behaviours in life. We can change a few words in what we tell ourselves and literally change our lives.

          Thanks so much for your comment, Dan. It’s always great to see you at the blog! Cheers.

  15. Great post on fear!! I enjoyed reading the tips!

    I used to be resistant to facing fear. I was just too afraid of finding out more. In the end, I suppressed much of what I felt.

    Then, there came a day when I felt that I could no longer live in this manner anymore. I was not happy being in the comfort zone either. I knew that I had to break free.

    At first, it felt scary. But as I learned to embrace my fears, I experienced release. I continue to work on fear. As I shed the layers, I become more free to be who I am.

    1. Hi Evelyn,

      Welcome to the blog and I’m so glad you enjoyed this post on fear!

      Ah, I loved what you wrote in your comment. I could so relate to what you said about experiencing a time when you felt enough was enough, and you knew you just had to do something. I was exactly the same when I was overcoming the fear of speaking because of stammering.

      Absolutely, as you said, at first it is scary. However, with each step we take to overcoming a fear, we become more and more free.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us.

  16. Hi Hiten,

    Nice post , every person in this word is suffered from fear like some has a fear of loosing job, some has loose their loved ones, fear of failure, fear of success etc.
    Many of us desperate and feel uncomfortable and terrified when it occurs so its a need to learn how to overcome those fears. Obviously your tips are quite usefull to overcome these fears.

    Thnx for sharing !!!!!

    1. Hi Rupali,

      It’s great to see you here, my friend! 🙂

      Indeed, as you quite rightly said, all of us have fears about something. We always will. I loved what you wrote about the fear of success. You are so right. A lot of the time, we can fear failure. However, we can also fear that we might just be successful. Thanks for adding this.

      I’m so glad you liked the tips and thanks for your very insightful comment, and for adding so much more to this post.

  17. Glad you touched on this topic, Hiten. Fear’s the one thing that scares a lot of us from being our best, highest self. We gotta challenge the fear, like you point out. While it’s real sometimes 1%, it is mostly not real.We always take the worst case scenarios when thinking about something.

    I have two techniques to face fear. One is as you say, take the fear on. The thing is we’ve confronted fear and conquer it everyday. But we continue to be fearful. I wrote a post about how we should recall and remember our previous conquest of fears and apply that to the current situation. You overcame it once before, why not how?

    Second, I’ve been reading around the blogosphere and applying in my life – love. Only way to combat a fearful or anxious-situation is by extending our love to it. Love and embracing love is one way to stop embracing fear. Feeling love, acting out of love, sending our positive vibrations of love all help.

    1. Hi Vishnu,

      I just loved your comment, my friend. I could really resonate with the approach you shared in your post and I can definitely see how this would work. Indeed, as you said, we all have had experiences where we’ve faced problems and were able to get over them. This in itself implies that we have the resources to overcome the problem we’re currently facing. We can as you said, remember how we felt and what we did previously, and apply it the present issue. Many thanks for sharing this powerful approach.

      I also liked the other way you use to deal with fear through applying love to it. This is similar to what I meant about letting our fear in. We can extend this by doing what you said, and applying love to it. It really is an interesting state of consciousness when we accept such things like fear, which up until now we’ve done whatever we can to resist. It’s like love is so much stronger than fear and can overbear and transform it.

      Thanks for your really thought provoking comment, Vishnu. I really appreciate you adding so much more to this post. Hope you’re having a good weekend.

  18. Hii Hiten sir,

    ‘Fear’ is a great topic to topic which is inevitable. I think sometimes it’s good to have fear, otherwise is shows our overconfidence. Relating the example from Julius Ceaser, Ceaser says “I am the elder brother of fear and fear has fear of me.” He neglects the warning of soothsayer and his life ends.
    Its the drama, but in real life we should have fear of performing restricted stunts. They can really harm our life.

    Regarding the stage fear, other life challenge, etc. then we have to definitely work out on that. Else they will become a huge hump in our development.
    Well your technique of breaking the challenge in modules really works. It makes situations very easy to handle.

    1. Hi Ashish,

      I loved what you wrote about fear and overconfidence. Indeed, overconfidence breeds its own problems like ego and greed. Experiencing some fear helps us to remain humble. The example you gave of Julius Caesar was brilliant and something we need to be mindful of and ensure we don’t develop an attitude like this.

      As you quite rightly said, we definitely need to work on our life fears else they will stunt our development.

      Thanks a lot for commenting and adding so much more to this post.

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