How To Overcome Fear - The Secret Mindset Shift That Will Unlock Your Growth
Updated: Dec 30, 2020
“Fear is like fire. You can make it work for you: it can warm you in winter, cook you’re food when you’re hungry, give you light when you are in the dark, and produce energy. Let it go out of control and it can hurt you, even kill you… Fear is a friend of exceptional people”. – Cus D’Amato.
I’ve always had a profound obsession with the sport of boxing. How professional boxers become masters at overcoming their fears, and actually using their fears to elevate their performance above their competitors.
Many of us avoid uncomfortable situations or situations where we feel fear or anxiety because it is what our instincts tell us to do.
However, what many of us don’t realize is that this actually prevents our growth and prevents powerful breakthroughs in our lives.
If you are someone looking to grow and find more of yourself, in any area of your life - you must learn how to overcome fear in your life.
Fearful, anxiety-provoking, uncomfortable situations will be inevitable on your path to finding more of yourself.
So, if you want to truly grow in your health, your wealth, your relationships, and your overall happiness - you must become a master at leaning into difficult situations, and conquering the fear you have around them.
Today I am going to teach you how to conquer your fears and how to use them to propel you to new heights.
A Deeper Look at Fear:
Fear serves a valuable purpose - it is meant to protect us and keep us alive.
Going back to our great ancestors, when one would encounter a pack of wolves in the wild, their fear would kick in to get their heart pumping, adrenaline rushing, and prepare them for fight or flight response.
Without this – humans would have never survived as long as we have.
However, in modern-day society – we have trouble distinguishing between what will actually harm us (like fearing a pack of wolves), vs. what will help us grow (like fear of failure).
In turn, fear is very necessary – but you must distinguish between two contexts (rational/healthy fears and irrational/growth-preventing fears)and treat them differently.
Examples of Rational/Healthy Fears:
- Falling From Large Heights
- Dangerous Animals
- Physical Harm
Examples of Irrational/Growth Preventing Fears:
- Fear of Failure
- Public Speaking
- Social Phobia
It is evident that these are two completely different sets of fears – healthy fears are necessary, as these are all instances where your survival is in question.
Irrational/Growth-Preventing fears, on the other hand, are not survival-based and are greatly amplified by our imagination.
However – the feelings we feel are the same in both instances.
In both categories, your heart starts beating fast, adrenaline starts rushing, and your anxiety kicks in.
Healthy fears should be respected – as they are meant to keep you alive.
Irrational/Growth-Preventing fears should be conquered – as they limit your growth.
If you have big goals – say becoming a millionaire, or building a great legacy; you absolutely must know how to conquer your fears.
The Mindset - Shift How You View Fear:
First, let's consider the role mindset plays in overcoming fear.
One of the most interesting things I've learned about the human brain is how it produces the exact same chemicals when one is feeling fear, and when one is feeling the excitement.
Most people don't know this, but the only difference between what makes someone 'afraid' and what makes someone 'excited' is their mindset, self-talk, and the label they put on what they are feeling in the moment.
So this means that technically, you and I could have the exact same chemicals in our brain about a particular situation - but if your thoughts tell you that you should be afraid, and my thoughts tell me I should be excited; we'll have completely different reactions to the situation.
Why does this matter?
This matters because it will usually result in two completely different outcomes to the same situation; one of those reactions will help you grow (excitement and courage) and one of those will hold you back from growing (fear and paralysis).
The next time you're feeling fear - try instead telling yourself that this is a situation you should be excited about.
The results will amaze you - you'll find more courage, boldness, and enthusiasm in yourself that you never knew you had.
You'll also handle whatever situation you must face, a lot better than if you let yourself get all wrapped up in fear and anxiety.
Feel Your Fear, Accept It - Then Do What You Need To Do:
There is truly no way to eliminate fear as it is biologically part of how we function as humans. It's what keeps us alive, and is built into our DNA.
So beyond mindset - how exactly do you overcome fear?
You first need to understand that fear isn't something you can 'out-think' alone. It is something you must overcome by 'taking action'. By doing the very thing that you fear.
Growth comes from when you feel that fear, deliberately push through it, and do what you must do anyways, regardless of how you feel inside.
The hardest part is usually the anticipation and 'build up' to doing whatever it is you are afraid of. It is in this moment where most people let their fear consume them, make them turnaround, and not do the thing they are afraid of.
However - for the few people who are able to push through this 'build up' and commit to taking action regardless of how they feel; they reap the rewards of massive growth.
Therefor the key the overcoming fear and to growing; is getting really good at pushing through that initial resistance and jumping into action.
When you're actually in the moment of doing what it is you're afraid of, and you've decided to go through with it, it is never as scary as your mind makes it out to be in the build up.
In turn, as Joseph Campbell says "the cave you fear to enter, holds the treasure you seek".
Once you enter that cave, you overcome the fear that was holding you back, and you reap the rewards of taking action.
The better you can get at leaning into these situations, overcoming your fears - the more you will grow and the greater rewards you will reap.
The Difference Between Conquering Fear, and Running From Fear:
Overcoming fear is all about getting the reps in. The more you do what you are afraid of, the less fear you will feel and the more you'll minimize what used to hold you back from growing.
The reason this is so important is because fear is going to try to knock you off of your path, and attempt to scare you out of doing the things you know you need to do, to get where you want to get in life.
You must not let this happen – you must overcome that fear, stay on your pathway, and do the things you know you must do.
If you are an aspiring content creator, but fear what people will think of the content you put out – then get out there and put content out, get feedback, and keep improving.
If you are pursuing a career in sales, but fear talking to people and public speaking – then get out there to get those reps in in talking to people and public speaking.
If you are an aspiring artist, but fear people will not like your music – then get out there, put your music out, get feedback, and grow!
Without getting your reps in and facing your fears, you’re just stalling your very own growth.
Whatever your field is – you must follow this blueprint.
If fear holds you back from doing the things you must do, you miss out on great learning and growth opportunities.
These opportunities are essential in you reaching your goals – so embrace them.
Look To Your Own Life:
The truth is - the key to major breakthroughs in your life will always be within the areas that you feel discomfort or fear in; as these are what hold you back from growing into more of yourself.
So think of the major areas of your life: your health, your wealth, your love/relationships, and your happiness - ask yourself, which area needs the most growth from me?
In any area that is lacking growth, relative to the others - it is usually an indication that there is some fear in that area that is holding you back. So ask yourself "what am I currently afraid of in this area?".
Find the fear, lean into it, overcome it - then and only then will you grow, and will you have the power over your mind.
The Bottom Line:
In closing - follow your fears in the areas in which you wish to grow.
If you fear going to the gym - go to the gym.
If you fear public speaking or making sales calls - go public speak, and go make sales calls.
If you fear talking to people - go out and talk to people.
This is the ONLY way you will grow, and this is how you will find more of yourself.
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My Challenge To You
Write down two irrational fears/anxieties you currently have in an area you care about (e.g. your career, social life, or health) – make it a goal of yours to deliberately push through that fear and do what you are afraid of whenever that fear arises again in your future. Keep doing it.
Get those reps in and you will experience a breakthrough in that area; I guarantee it.