Feeling fear is a natural part of life; you will encounter many situations that make you feel fear, and it’s important that you know how to overcome these feelings so that they don’t stop you from achieving your goals and reaching your full potential. Here are 7 ways to overcome fear and take back control.
1. Understanding the root of your fears
You can’t overcome your fears without understanding them first. It can be hard to confront them and dig deep to untangle the ‘why’ behind your fears, but in doing so you’re able to move forward and experience personal (and professional) growth.
2. Be guided by your goals
A strategy I love when it comes to overcoming fear is breaking down a big goal into smaller, achievable goals. It’s also a good idea to make sure that some of your goals incorporate learning something new so that you’ve still got value out of the experience even if you do fail at some point. Make sure your goals include some that scare you so that you get plenty of practice facing your fears and get more comfortable taking risks.
3. Work with a mentor
Having someone who is outside of your regular circle of family and friends to advise and encourage you to conquer your fears. Mentors are also invaluable for professional development, so this is definitely an avenue to explore if you want that extra push personally and professionally.
4. Find a mantra that resonates with you
Repeating a mantra or personal affirmation when you’re feeling scared helps ease the fearful feelings and grounds you.
A fantastic mantra I recommend is “This too shall pass”. It reassures you that fear is temporary and repeating it when you’re fearful lowers the hesitant feelings you’re experiencing.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela
5. Realise that regret is worse than failure
While trying and failing at something can be hard to deal with, imagine if you had never even tried in the first place! For leaders especially, failure is all but guaranteed due to the nature of leadership and what it involves – but just about any leader you ask will agree with the fact that regret feels much worse than failure!
6. Look at fear in a positive way
See fear as a chance to challenge yourself, and think about how amazing it will feel after you’ve faced what scares you. Focusing on how you’re going to feel afterwards helps with easing the fear you feel in the moment, and actively working with your mind to turn negative thoughts to positive will serve you well in all areas of your life.
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ Eleanor Roosevelt
7. Make small changes for big results
You wouldn’t launch straight into a marathon without training first, right?
Start with smaller actions so that you don’t feel too intimidated. Even the tiniest step is a step forward, and you can’t change the world without changing your own world first.
I hope these tips help you overcome some of the fears you have, whether at work or in your personal life. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these strategies before, or you’ve got any tips that I’ve missed that you find really effective too!
About the Author
Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.
For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.
Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.
She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.
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