Fear is one of the biggest factors that keeps people stuck. So the temptation is to think that you need to learn how to become fearless. Not true. Fear is part of the human state. It is normal to feel fear. In some situations fear is very useful.

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What Everyone Should Know About Dealing With Fear

What everyone should know about dealing with fearFear is one of the biggest factors that keeps people stuck.

So the temptation is to think that you need to learn how to become fearless in order to get unstuck.

Not true.

Fear is part of the human state. It is normal to feel fear. In some situations fear is very useful.

For example, fear will make you stop and check things out before leaping into the unknown unprepared. It will make you check and assess the risk before taking action. All healthy stuff.

Fear has a positive role to play as well as being a natural part of the human state. So focusing on becoming fearless isn’t necessary or appropriate.

However, fear becomes a problem when we let it get such a vice like grip on us that it keeps us stuck and stops us from taking action.

That is why it is important to learn effective ways of managing fear. But that on its own isn’t enough to kick fear into touch.

Here’s why:

Let’s imagine you have learnt effective ways to stop fear keeping you stuck. You have put all your new fear fighting skills into action.

But chances are you are still feeling some fear.

Here’s why:

When you are about to do something new, make a big change or shoot for a bigger goal, you are stepping out into the unknown. Something you haven’t experienced before. You are stepping outside your comfort zone. And that feels scary. Even when you are well prepared.

The thing to do is not just focus on the fear.

Focus on fostering courage as well.

  • Yes, learn what you need to do to manage your fear.
  • Yes, put things in place to reduce risk to manage your fear.
  • Yes, focus on what you need to do set yourself up to succeed.
  • Ask yourself “What needs to happen for me to feel safe to move forward, despite the fear?

But when you have done all of this, it is time for courage to look fear squarely in the eyes and say:

“Step aside because I am coming through.”

Work on ways you can be more courageous, not fearless. The first will move you forward. The second is a state that doesn’t exist.

Think of fear like “The Force” in Star Wars. There is a dark side to it. And there is the good side.

The dark side is the side that keeps you stuck and not taking action. The good side is where dealing with fear and courage stand shoulder to shoulder ready to beat the crap out of the dark side.

So my friends, may the force be with you as you deal with your fears and foster courage to move past it.

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  • Josh Hanagarne

    The things that scare me the most usually have the biggest payoffs. Except for my fear of sharks. That has not resulted in anything but bad dreams. 

  • I have found that too Josh. When I left the Corporate world 10 years ago, I was scared stiff about all sorts of stuff. But it was the best decision of my life. Over the years I have started to associate big fear with being close to a big breakthrough to something much better which does help. But it does mean learning to be OK sitting in uncomfortable feelings and uncertainty. But the pay off makes dealing with those feelings so worthwhile.

  • Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com

    Hi Ali! You make a REALLY good point here by reminding us that fear, like so many things, isn’t necessarily bad. Most of it has to do with our perception of it. I like how you suggest that we practice being courageous instead. Or what’s the book title, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” By recognizing fear has many benefits that we can “use,” that keeps from focusing on it and making it even worse in our minds. Thanks for these great reminders! ~Kathy

  • Kathy, I think if we shift the focus from becoming fearless to becoming courageous it can benefit us in many ways and on many different levels.

  • Wendy Cullinane

    I agree Ali – fear is a normal part of our human condition… and yes, we make up some of the craziest stuff to be afraid of. The biggest risks I have taken have always paid off with the biggest rewards. But that only comes with experience. Love the picture by the way – is Junior your art director now – I see his influence here. x

  • Whenever I hear the word “fear” I always think about this one quote and it puts me in perspective. It’s from the movie Dune –
    “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Great post. Thank you!

  • Same here Wendy – the biggest risks I have taken have given the biggest rewards. But important to ensure they are fully assessed calculated risks first.

  • I love that quote Carolann. Thanks for sharing it.