Fear is a key part of the human psyche, which can an effect throughout our lives. It can take the form of abject terror, nervousness, or gnawing worry. Sometimes fear is something very clear that we can even taste, sometimes we do not even realize we are afraid, but it effects our behavior. Fear can rule our lives if we let it, even if these fears are irrational. While fear can play a positive role in life, it is certainly more often negative, so an important part of personal growth can be finding ways to overcome your fears.
Recognize Your Fears
The first step to overcoming fears is often recognizing what one’s fears are, and what role they play in your life. While many fears are have obvious causes and effects (if you are in a stuck elevator, you know why you are afraid and how it makes you feel), some fears can be hidden, both in their source and how they effect our lives. If you are have something that you don’t want to do, such as a deadline for a project you don’t want to work on, you may procrastinate, not consciously realizing that you are afraid and procrastinating, but doing it nonetheless. During this time your fear will be in the back of your mind, there with you, draining your energy. Realizing what you are afraid of (perhaps being judged on the project) can in itself reduce your fears.
Challenging Your Fears
If you are afraid of something, one way of dealing with your fear is to face and challenge them. If you are afraid of heights, go to the top of a tall building and look down. If, as in the example above, you are afraid of being judged and are procrastinating, then go ahead and get your work done right away. Face our fears reduces their intensity, and can show you that you had nothing to be afraid of in the first place.
Build Mental Control
This is as simple as learning to control your mind to avoid fear. When you start feeling fear, fight the emotion. Do something to distract yourself, and stop the emotion in its tracks. This is especially important for people who let their fears get out of control, and keep worrying about the same things, or move from one worry to another. Just stop worrying so much.
Deal With The Material Root Of Your Fear
This is a matter of recognizing what it is in the world that makes you afraid, and changing your world or yourself to deal with what you are afraid of. If you are worried about walking at night, take a self-defence course. Or move to a neighborhood where it is safe to walk. If you are worried about being judged, improve your skills so that you can be more confident that you will be judged positively.
Relax And Build Confidence
Fighting fear is one side of the strategy; the other is to take the opposite approach and building up your confidence. The more confident you are, the more you believe in yourself, the less fear will enter you mind. This involves both building mental control and dealing with the material roots of you fears, as well as just relaxing and learning to think about something else when you are afraid. Meditation and Yoga can help with this, as well as achieving successes in your life and reaching goals, whatever they are.