Fear is a powerful emotion. It can save us from a life-threatening situation with a fight or flight response. It can also keep us from experiencing valuable growth when we overcome new challenges. Fears we create from within can hold us back from reaching new heights in our careers and personal relationships. They can be destructive and self sabotaging with a crippling impact on us over time.
Have you ever thought about the price you pay when fear wins? In some ways, the price we pay is not even possible to calculate because it can be subjective. In other situations, we can calculate a monetary value when we let new opportunities pass us by. No matter how you look at the loss, you can also see how much potential we have when we conquer the fear that holds us back from reaching a goal.
Here’s the short list of what we can miss when we let fear take over.
- New job
- Career development
- Personal development
- Degree or certificate
- Personal relationship
- Volunteer experience
- Experiences with family or friends
- Money – savings, retirement, mortgage payoff, vacation
I’m willing to bet you have more that come to mind when you think about what can be missed when fear wins.
Can you really put a value on these things? Yes. Each one carries a monetary value and also a personal growth value. We can’t learn without experience and we can’t have the experience if we don’t try.
It’s easy to make resolutions, jot down a list or think about what you want to accomplish. Then fear creeps in and all of the good energy turns into all of the reasons something will fail. I found a great article on Forbes about 14 Ways to Conquer Fear. It doesn’t mean you need to practice all 14. You can select one method or all as long as you continue to try to make the effort one step at a time to conquer the fear.
1. Understand fear and embrace it.
2. Don’t just stand there. Do something!
3. Name the fear.
4. Think long term.
5. Educate yourself.
6. Prepare. Practice. Roll play.
7. Utilize peer pressure.
8. Visualize success.
9. Gain a sense of proportion.
10. Get help.
11. Follow others, find a recipe.
12. Have a positive attitude.
13. Be willing to pivot.
14. Focus on others as your motivation.
I’ve used many of these over the years when I faced my fears. Whether it was when I relocated to Arizona or advocated for the inclusive playground in my community, fear crept in almost every day that I was working toward the goal. I embraced the fear and I also practiced visualizing success. I thought about what success looked like, pictured it in my mind and allowed the journey to unfold because I was going to accomplish what I set my mind to do. Visualization turned out to be one of my strongest tools when I started to feel fear bubbling up. And guess what, I accomplished those goals. The road was not always easy, but the bumps became the lessons I needed to learn.
Have a positive attitude.
A positive attitude is possibly one of the most important ways to conquer fear and accomplish that challenge or goal. I always liked the saying, “Your attitude is your altitude.” Your attitude can help you grow. It can also deflate you and hold you back. It’s your choice for how you view the world and your current circumstances. The challenges and setbacks shouldn’t define us. They are the best lessons for growth. Being positive doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time and everything is rosy. It means you have the ability to look at a situation and find the positive aspects instead of focusing on all that may be wrong. Flex that positive attitude muscle and build up your positive mindset.
Fear will always be a part of anything new or challenging we do in our life. It shouldn’t cost us in time, growth and money though. Choose one thing from the list above to help you refocus and turn the fear into something productive. You have the dream and aspiration to do more. Don’t let fear take that from you. You deserve more and you know it.