Fear and self-doubt are emotions every normal person faces. They can be two of the biggest obstacles to success and happiness.
While it may seem that some people are better at dealing with fear and self-doubt, I think every one of us struggles with this at some time. We can all learn how to better control these feelings.
Identify what it is you’re really afraid of. What do you fear? Most of us don’t have to worry about being eaten by tigers. Our lives are seldom in that kind of danger. The most common fears in modern society are failing, and making a fool of one’s self. But what are your fears?
Perhaps you want to start a business, but your fear of failing and losing money and status stops you.
Maybe you are wanting to get back into dating after a relationship has ended, but you can’t seem to find the courage to take the first step. Maybe your fear is being rejected?
Once you know what your real fear is, you can find ways to deal with it. You can certainly be more objective if you know the facts.
Find situations related to your fear that are only mildly uncomfortable. Perhaps you fear public speaking. What could you do that’s similar, but less terrifying? What about giving a speech to a group of friends, or start conversations with strangers. Visualize yourself giving a speech and speak up more.
Set yourself up to win in small ways. As you gain confidence, increase the stakes. Become accustomed to being successful in situations that cause you fear.
Take action. Too much thinking creates and magnifies fear. Taking action diminishes fear. The best way to overcome fear is to take immediate action before you have the chance to talk yourself out of it.
Visualize yourself being unafraid. Imagine you could create, from scratch, a perfect version of yourself. What would you be like? What skills, beliefs, and attitudes would you have? How would the perfect "you" handle a situation that currently scares you? Fix that picture in your mind, then act as if you are the "perfect you".
Be realistic. What is the worst that will happen if the thing you fear comes true? It’s likely nothing you can’t handle! What happens if the publisher rejects your book? What if your speech doesn’t go well? What’s really going to happen to you? Will you still be safe? Will your family still love you?
Ask yourself if your fear is real. Sometime you may have told yourself that you are afraid of something for so long, that you now believe it without question. But is that still true? Maybe it was never true! Be willing to question your beliefs about your fears.
Get help. There’s no shame in getting help. You'd do so if your car’s engine blew up. You’d seek assistance if you broke your leg. Get the help you need to deal with your fears.
Imagine how much better your life would be if you conquered your fears and self-doubt.
Confront your fears head-on, act in the face of your emotions, and live a fuller life.