You feel frustrated and irritated that you can’t accomplish your goals. You can’t figure out why you keep hitting a road block. Do you feel that you give it your all and you still can’t complete your goals? Have you thought about changing jobs? Have you tried to lose weight but can’t? Do you want to leave your unhealthy relationship but can’t decide what’s best?
Is your fear allowing you to remain stuck? If you are ready to take action to overcome your fear, and live your life, then these three steps are for you.
Step 1: Identify your fears
We consume an astounding amount of information daily from social media, the news, watching TV, and at work. Often, we don’t take the time to practice self-care and turn off our minds. This can cause your fears to grow in intensity because you don’t take the time to examine them. You are time poor and you are trying to survive day to day. However, you spend too much time over thinking your fears.
The first step is to identify your actual fears. I want you to think about what the voice inside your head is telling you. Think about what you really fear. Make a list of these fears. Don’t be lazy and avoid this, you have to list them out. Answer the following questions for each fear.
- Are you afraid of taking a risk?
- Are you afraid of what will happen if you reach your goal?
- Are you worried about how your relationship may change if you reach your goal?
- Are you fearful of failing?
- Are you fearful of succeeding?
Step 2: What proof do you have that your fears will come true?
Now take your list of fears and get ready to examine the evidence or proof. If you had to go to court to prove your fear is real, would you win? Fear is based in the unknown so it is impossible to know what an outcome will be. That’s where you have to decide if you are ready to take a risk. Now that you better understand what your fear is you are ready to assess the risk.
The second step is to examine the proof you have that your fears will come true. Take your list and examine these questions with each fear. Write out your answers.
- What evidence do you have that your fear will come true? For example, if you fear standing up to your parents or setting a boundary with your family because it may change how they view you, then what evidence do you have that this will actually happen? What proof do you have that they will view you different? Does it really matter how they view you if you need to create a healthy boundary?
- Has your fear ever come true? If so, what is different about it this time? For example, you need to end your dysfunctional relationship but you are fearful that you will be single for a long time. You remember that before this relationship you were single for over a year. You fear ending the relationship because you don’t want this to happen again. Ask yourself if it’s worth being in dysfunction versus the possibility of being single? Just because you were single for a long time before, doesn’t mean it will happen again.
- Are you using questions that include ‘what if’? If so, change the ‘what if’ into ‘is it worth it if’. For example, what if you reach your target weight and your still not happy? Ask yourself, is it worth it if you reach your target weight, then stop. End the question there. Don’t worry about the ‘what if’ because you will not be able to answer this question until you have reached your goal.
Step 3: Get on with your life and over your fears
Now comes the fun part. You have identified your fear and explored the likelihood that it probably won’t come true. You are ready to get on with your life. You are ready to break free from you fear that has kept you caged and stuck.
Here’s how you can move forward.
- Change your narrative. Start small by re-framing your inner voice. For example, when you tell yourself “I can’t change jobs”, re-frame it to “It is possible to change jobs, I have to decide if I want to try something different.” You have to change your self-talk that is feeding your fear. Once you do this a few times, you will develop a new habit of challenging yourself and it will begin to be more automatic. This is how silence your inner critic and create self-talk that works.
- Make a vision board. Use a space on your wall, a poster board, or cork board to create the vision of your future self. Add pictures, clippings from magazines, colors, quotes, song lyrics, images from online, postcards, maps, or anything that shows how you want to see yourself. Get creative and don’t limit yourself. Make sure you see this vision board daily so it can serve as a reminder and motivation of the direction you are moving in.
- Take your fear list from step 1 and your answers from step 2, place the list somewhere that you can see it every day. This will help remind you that you are no longer stuck. It will show you the evidence that you can move forward. Add any new fears that surface to the list and write out your evidence for each.
You can do this!
You have done harder things in your life than explore your fears. Look at all the things you have been through and you survived them. This means that you do have the strength to work through and overcome your fears. The next time you fear something, identify the specific fear, examine the proof behind the fear, and move through it. You deserve happiness and freedom, the only way to achieve this is to overcome your fears.
What did you fear in the past that you were able to overcome? How did you accomplish this? What are your current fears? Share them with me in the comment section below.
A clinical sexologist and psychotherapist. From sex/intimacy, personal growth, and relationships, I am here to help you every step of the way.