Fear occurs when you sense that something can hurt you, either emotionally or physically. This doesn’t mean that there is always a real threat. Sometimes you may overexaggerate what could happen, and sometimes you may use your past experiences and current beliefs to instantly remind you of how scary things really are – even if it isn’t true.
Fear is an important part of your life, though. Without it, you would walk into dangerous situations repeatedly and, to be honest, you would likely be dead by now. Your fear holds you back from things like ignoring danger signs, approaching dangerous people in a dark alley, and running towards a wild animal. So, you have to appreciate it on some level!
But, for the most part, fear holds you back from having experiences that will benefit your life and make you feel amazing. These experiences can be with your family, friends, lovers, or yourself, and they have the potential to benefit your relationships, success, wealth, and happiness in a big way. That’s why overcoming fear that holds you back is so important. If you can do it, you can move towards things you never imagined for yourself.
This article is not about discovering your fears. You probably already know what they are.
– You may feel fear that you are not good enough or worthy enough.
– You may fearful of love because you feel as though you will be emotionally hurt.
– You may fear things like heights or flying or snakes!
– You may fear things like death and illness.
Whatever your fears are focused on, go through the following 10 techniques for overcoming fear, see what resonates with you, and then use what does to help you achieve the life you want.
1. Use Subliminal Messages
Your subconscious mind is where your beliefs and fears are held. It has a lot of control over how you perceive things, which controls what you will do and what you will not do. You may want to do something on a conscious level, but at a subconscious level your mind is screaming, “No! Don’t do it because it is dangerous!” so your subconscious mind and conscious mind have a little argument, your subconscious mind wins out, and you don’t do it.
If overcoming a fear is a goal of yours, subliminal messages can help. What they do is send your subconscious little messages that your conscious mind wants it to know without having an argument. These messages hammer in messages that you really want to believe, and the more they do that, the more they convince your subconscious that these messages are the truth.
It’s kind of like when you are hungry and want to eat something, but don’t know what to eat. When you see flashes of a certain food on TV or hear someone talk about a certain food in a background conversation, your subconscious picks up these messages and holds on to them. Then when you go to eat, you often crave the foods you saw or heard about. Expect with subliminal messages you can pick want your subconscious hears according to what fears you want to overcome in your life.
Websites like Subliminal Guru offer tons of different subliminal messages that are perfect for overcoming fears of rejection, death, flying, needles, change, failure, the dark, the dentist, success, and so much more. All you have to do is download them and listen to them. The great part about these premade subliminal messages is that they are hidden behind tracks of music or noise so that your conscious mind doesn’t focus on them, but your subconscious mind still hears them.
2. Observe How Others Overcame Their Fears
Inspiration is a great tool for overcoming your fears. When you see that other people did what you are scared of and had a positive outcome, you can quickly get a nudge of inspiration that helps you bypass your fears and go for a similar outcome.
Even if you see someone conquer a fear that you don’t have you can get inspired. If someone else is brave enough to do it, then you are too! A quote I often think about in regards to this is by Nathan Fillion. He said, “Saw a little girl touch a big bug and shout, “I conquered my fear! YES! and calmly walk away. I was inspired.”
You don’t have to see someone overcoming their fear for this to work. You can read about it or hear about to get inspired too, so start searching for those stories.
3. Develop More Faith
Faith is an often overlooked but powerful technique for overcoming fears. It gives you a strength that you didn’t know you had, and it helps you move forward despite the messages your subconscious mind is screaming at you. Faith can move mountains, as the saying goes, because it helps you feel like nothing is impossible.
Faith does not have to be about God; although, believing in a higher power does help you feel as though you are walking with someone instead of alone. When you feel like someone is always by your side to help you and – in a sense – hold your hand, then you are more willing to face your fears head on.
But, faith can also just be about faith in the world, in your strengths, in your abilities, and in other people. For instance, developing the faith that everything you do works out in your favor will help you do things that may seem scary but have the potential to do great things for your life. In addition, when you have faith that certain people have your best interest at heart, you will be more likely to take steps that they recommend, even if those steps require you to face some personal fears.
Think of it this way: If you are going to cross a swinging bridge across a canyon, you need faith. The bridge could break. You could fall off. A tornado could come through and rip the entire bridge off as you are crossing it. These things are unlikely, but they are potential scenarios that could make crossing the bridge scary. But, if you have faith that things are going to work out alright, you will cross that bridge. You may do it with one eye closed and holding on to the edge tightly, but you will do it!
4. Use Positive Visualization
Chances are that you visualize the things you fear in very scary ways. Most people deepen their fears simply by visualizing disastrous results.
For instance, if you are scared of public speaking, you may visualize everyone being bored in the audience while you stutter out the words you need to say in a robotic way. This type of visualization is going to not only confirm your fear to your conscious mind, but it will make your subconscious fear even worse. Who wants to face a fear when they are going to have those kind of results?
You are going to visualize something when you think about a fear anyway, so you might as well make it positive. For example, visualizing the audience laughing with you and learning a lot from you can help you make the choice to face your fear of public speaking instead of run from it. Write the story you want to happen and then visualize it with emotion and passion.
Research has shown that by visualizing what we want and having success moving towards it, our brains fall for the trick. A relaxation response is triggered, and our heart rate decreases, blood pressure lowers, and we feel much more comfortable about the situation.
5. Use Self-Hypnosis
Self-hypnosis has long been used to overcome unwanted habits, beliefs, and mindsets, which means that it is a perfect technique for overcoming fears. When you can get at the root of the fear, and change your belief or mindset around it, then you can change how deep the fear is in your mind.
Like subliminal messages, hypnosis reprograms your subconscious mind to give you the belief and mindset that you want with the help of a tool. But, unlike subliminal messages, self-hypnosis relaxes you and works with your subconscious mind and conscious mind together.
You don’t drift away from consciousness like they portray in the movies; instead, you get to a place where you are aware but relaxed, and you introduce new positive views into your subconscious mind. Those views and ideas stick with you and influence the decisions you make. The more you listen to a hypnosis geared towards overcoming your fear, them more your subconscious mind will start to adopt those views and affect your conscious mind positively.
6. Focus On How Strong You Are
Many fears are silly compared to what you have been through. But, fear can make an ant seem like the size of an elephant! Taking a step back from your fear, and comparing it to other things you have faced in your life, can really help you put your fear into perspective and get the courage to face it.
For instance, you may have a fear of speaking to people. That fear is going to make you feel weak and insecure. But, if you picture all the obstacles you’ve overcome and successes you have had, you will see how strong, smart, experienced, and capable you are, and it will become much easier to talk to people with this new attitude towards yourself.
Don’t focus on your weaknesses in situations that scare you. Instead, focus on your strengths and be confident in them. Pound your chest (this really works). Stand up confidently. Constantly remind yourself of your strengths. Go forward as a confident and strong person.
7. Stop Living A Life That Perpetuates Your Fears
Just as subliminal messages can help in overcoming fears, they can also help in creating fears or deepening them. The news you watch, the negative media you see online, and the fearful friends all play a part in your fears and developing them. If you live a life surrounded by fear, then you will have a very hard time overcoming your fears.
Focus on surrounding yourself with encouraging people, positive news, and uplifting media. Don’t waste your time staring at negative messages that makes you feel scared, and don’t allow yourself to get caught up in a conversation that is fear-focused. If you want to make overcoming fear a part of your life, live a life that is focused on faith, trust, bravery, and happiness.
8. Face Smaller Fears Every Day
Instead of facing your big fears first, face smaller fears every single day. The more you get in the face of your fears and feel slightly uncomfortable, the more willing you will be able to face bigger fears and feel really uncomfortable.
As you prove to yourself that you are capable of facing your fears, and that doing so does not affect your life in a negative way, you will become stronger and your comfort zone will expand helping you make bigger and braver choices in life.
Some experts say that you only need to do this for 20 seconds a day. That is enough time to move out of your comfort zone and prove to yourself that you are capable of overcoming fear that is holding you back.
9. Start Questioning Everything
Many fears are brought on because you believe what other people tell you. These can be people in authority or of influence, or just random people spewing off nonsense on the side of the road. Instead of taking things at face value, start to question things and whether or not they really have a lot of merit behind them.
For instance, if someone told you that flying was the most dangerous thing in the world, and you took that at face value, then you would be scared of flying. How could you not be? But, if you question what they say, then you will get online and start researching answers for yourself and you will find that driving is much more dangerous than flying as the odds of dying in a car accident in a lifetime is 1 in 98 as opposed to 1 in 7,178 in a plane.
10. Educate Yourself
Ignorance is not bliss. The more you learn, the more you understand how the world works, how you work, and what you are capable of. You don’t have to educate yourself around your fears to overcome them. Often, the simple act of educating yourself in one area can deeply affect another area of life.
For instance, the more you learn about the benefits of meditation, the more inclined you will be to face certain fears that help you practice meditation, such as fear of being in social events, fear of closing your eyes in public, or fear of letting go. Don’t ever underestimate the power knowledge has to help you face your fears and go after what you want.