Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by fear - that it stopped you from doing something you wanted to do? This is actually a common problem faced by many people on a regular basis.
Fear has the power to hold you back from taking risks, following your dreams, or becoming successful at anything you attempt to do. If you allow it to control you for long enough, it can eventually destroy your quality of life and keep you locked in a prison of inactivity.
What many people don't realize is that fear is just a conditioned response - nothing more. It's a natural reaction to a frightening or unfamiliar situation. While it is usually automatic, there are things you can do to overcome it.
1) Check your expectations.
One major contributor of fear is having negative expectations. Do you find yourself expecting the worst in every situation? Do you worry obsessively about what could go wrong, rather than focusing on your strengths and capabilities?
If you make a conscious effort to expect the best, see the positive side of each situation and keep reminding yourself that you can handle more than you often think, you'll find yourself with much less fear to deal with. Even if feelings of fear do manage to creep into your consciousness, you'll still be able to keep them in perspective and balance them against an underlying sense of confidence.
2) Discredit your fears.
Even though you probably know that the majority of things you fear will never actually happen, it doesn't feel that way when fear has a hold on you! If you look a little more closely at your fears when they arise, you may be able to dismiss them more easily.
For example, if you have a fear of public speaking and your boss wants you to give a presentation at work, you might feel like your life (and perhaps your job) is on the line. You may fear getting fired, or worry that your colleagues will make fun of you if you don't do a good job.
But is any of this likely to happen? Probably not! Rather than worrying about what "might" happen if you don't give a solid presentation, you could decide to take action and be well prepared, practice your presentation on friends and family members, write notes to yourself and so on.
3) Do the very thing you fear.
When you remember that fear is simply a feeling, it loses much of its power. It can't harm you and you can choose to ignore it and move forward anyway.
If you weigh the pros and cons in any situation, you may decide to feel the fear and do it anyway! It's not about being reckless with your decision-making but rather to empower yourself to know when a fear is groundless and can be conquered.