We all have fears.
Whether it’s as big as the fear of failure or just the temporary fear of trying to kill a spider, life constantly presents us with obstacles to overcome.
And you know what? It’s hard!
But there are ways to get through these fears! Below are my six tips to help you overcome whatever fear you are currently facing.
Take a deep breath and think: This is your first line of defense. Breath. Fear often makes us shut down and believe challenges are a lot harder to face than they are in reality. So, before anything else, take a deep breath to clear your mind. After doing so, you can work to think about how to solve the issue logically. While this can be hard in the moment, doing your best to remain calm is key and can help you focus on finding the right solution (I promise one is out there!).
Phone a friend: Good friends are golden (and perfect for helping you get over fears)! Sometimes all that is needed to tackle a fear is to talk to a close friend and ask them for advice. Being open to help and asking for it when needed is a great way to solve an issue faster. This could mean confiding in a friend about an ongoing struggle or simply texting them to yell at you to kill the scary spider (two points in and my second spider reference… so if your wondering, yes, I am afraid of spiders! lol). But in all seriousness, fears don’t have to be faced alone and finding someone to help you though it can be the best way to conquer your fears.
Be thankful for the opportunity to face your fear: Okay real talk everyone! (This is my go-to piece of advice on fear). Especially when up against the fear of failure, it is easy to be so worried about messing up that we forget how fortunate we are for the opportunity to face our current fear. Because ultimately, some fears are a lot better to be up against (in the grand scheme of things) than others. The fear of a presentation is a lot better than the fear of starvation. The fear of talking to someone important is better than isolation. And, the fear of missing a meeting, is a lot less scary than dealing with war. While all fears are difficult, taking time to step back and think about your fears through a wider lens can be a great way of putting it all into perspective. This can help you be grateful for where you are and feel more confident about taking on your current situation.
Remind yourself that you have succeeded before and can (and will) again: No matter where you are in life right now, you’ve made it this far (congrats!). You’ve climbed your mountains and overcome hurdle after hurdle. And just like the others, your current challenge can and will also be overcome! So think back to your past success stories and try to use your (Type A) tactics that worked in the past to fix your current situation. It can also help to keep a list of your past accomplishment and successful strategies somewhere as inspiration and guidance for when you are taking on difficult challenges.
Trust yourself and take action: Sometimes in order to overcome your fear, you have to tell your mind to be quiet and just go! (Disclaimer: this is not telling you to make bad decision but that sometimes fear is just overthinking the “what ifs”). This is especially applicable to athletics (like the fear of taking a shot) but also applies to any kind of big opportunity. Sometimes you just have to stop thinking and take the change or make the move that will lead to success. While your mind will run wild with “what ifs” and try to convince you that you aren’t good enough, that is only fear talking. And as soon as you tune that out, you can be your best self!
Remember you won’t die: In the end, whatever your fear is, odds are you are going to live through it. So go ahead and rise to the challenge! This piece of advice was originally from my public speaking teacher (shout out to everyone in Coms 1030!), who on the first day of class reminded us all that we would survive his class. This motto, while honestly humorous to hear on the first day of class, does have merit to it. No matter how nervous you get, it will all end up okay. So no matter how big or small your fear is, remember you can overcome it, and that even if something goes wrong it won’t be the end of the world.
I hope this advice is helpful to everyone facing their own fears! In the end, the fears we face make us all stronger. So keep going and believe in yourself. Because you can do it!