10 Strategies to master your mindset and reach your potential.
Fear is a common human experience, often triggered by the fear of failure, rejection, or inadequacy. If we let fear take hold, it can keep us trapped in our comfort zones, preventing us from living up to our full potential. Living in fear creates a paradox where we’re unhappy with our current circumstances yet afraid to pursue anything better.
However, fear can also be a powerful motivator that propels us toward the life we truly desire. If we learn to harness fear, it can become a tool for finding fulfillment. In this article, we’ll explore how to overcome fear, and even use it to inspire us to greatness.
To conquer fear, we must first understand the psychology behind it. In healthy human psychology, fear and anxiety have a useful place. Acute fear is a natural emotion that signals a potential threat to our safety, allowing us to take quick action to protect ourselves. Our ancestors used this response to survive.
Chronic fear, or indirect fear, occurs when the acute fear response becomes hypersensitive. We experience ongoing low-level stress, often due to external factors such as media exposure, which can create a sense of fear and pessimism. Unlike acute fear, chronic fear can suppress our natural life-saving response and make us feel helpless.
According to research from Harvard, just over 19% of the population has experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year. Anxiety disorders are common in the U.S. today, with chronic fear being the primary culprit. We often blame external factors such as media or caffeine, but this is counterproductive. We must take responsibility for our emotions and take steps to change them.
The key to overcoming fear is to learn to dance with it. In the video below, Tony Robbins shares how we can use fear to our advantage instead of letting it control us.
Signs Of Living In Fear
Many people don’t realize they’re living in fear. We can become so comfortable with our lives that we mistake fear for contentment. However, when we become too comfortable, we stop growing. Here are some signs that you’re living in fear:
Perfectionism. The need to be perfect is a mask we use to protect ourselves from true intimacy and connection. This is impossible to achieve, and it holds us back.
Settling. If you’re settling for less than you deserve in your relationships or career, you’re letting your need for certainty rule your life.
Procrastination. Constantly putting off your goals is a classic sign of fear-based thinking. It’s time to stop making excuses and start taking action.
Numbing yourself. When we’re living in a beautiful state, we don’t need drugs or alcohol to enjoy our lives. We feel joy and connection with the world around us.
Conquering Your Fears
If you’re plagued with chronic fear, you’re not merely experiencing anxiety – you’re living in a state of perpetual distress. Fear can influence every aspect of your life and become a destructive pattern. It’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of hopelessness and frustration, but the bright side is that the emotions linked with fear can motivate you to break free.
Do not allow fear to dominate your life. There are various methods for overcoming your fears, including practicing self-care, engaging in physical activity, or seeking help from a professional. When you choose to confront your fears, you can develop strategies to manage them and find a sense of calm.
1- Identify The Root Of Your Anxiety
If your anxieties have taken control of your life, it’s time to take a step back and figure out the source of your distress. Take out a pen and paper and jot down all of your fears. Once you’ve identified them, separate them into two categories: tangible and intangible fears. Tangible fears are those that have a realistic chance of happening, such as losing your job or your home catching on fire. Intangible fears, on the other hand, have little chance of occurring, such as an alien invasion or a global economic collapse. By recognizing these deep-rooted fears, you can begin the process of self-reflection and learn how to stop living in fear.
To gain control over your fears, write down a list of actions you can take to prevent the tangible fears from becoming a reality. By doing this, you give yourself a sense of control and power over the situation.
2- Accept That Life Happens For You
Understanding and accepting that life happens for you, not to you, is the first step towards fulfillment. Instead of playing the blame game, take ownership of your life and see the world as a place of opportunity, not obstacles. Recognizing the source of your anxiety is not an excuse to continue living in fear but a way to empower yourself to take control of your life.
Changing your mindset is the key to changing your story. The first step is to recognize that you have a choice. You can choose to let outside forces control your emotions, or you can choose to take charge of your life and learn how to stop living in fear.
3- Avoid Making Excuses
Excuses are a defense mechanism that we use to avoid facing our problems. It’s easy to push our dreams and desires aside when we have excuses, such as not having enough time or money. We hide behind these excuses instead of taking action to move forward.
Excuses are comfortable when we’re living in fear. But they’ll also keep you from making progress. The next time an excuse floats into your mind, ask yourself if you’re truly where you want to be in life. Are you choosing to be comfortable instead of facing a challenge?
4- Turn “Shoulds” Into “Musts”
If you make your goals an absolute must, you’ll do whatever it takes to make them happen. Sacrifices won’t be a question, and excuses will go out the window. Successful people understand that fear can be a powerful motivator. They know that the price they’ll pay if they don’t give their goals and visions every ounce of energy and focus they have is far scarier than the fear they face.
To adopt this mindset, imagine yourself at 80 years old, looking back on your life. If you didn’t achieve your goal, how would it have affected the course of your life? What are your regrets? What do you wish you had made more time for? Use fear to propel you towards your ultimate goal.
5- Develop a Growth Mindset
People often give up on their goals because they think they’re beyond their abilities. Successful people, however, foster a growth mindset. They don’t see their abilities as fixed but rather as flexible. When faced with setbacks, they work harder and adopt new strategies. They don’t give up when things become challenging but find new ways to adapt and work harder to achieve their goals.
6- Embrace Pain As a Teacher
Every successful person has faced obstacles and overcome them. Painful experiences can help refine what we truly want and what we don’t want in life. Failure, disappointment, and dead-ends can all be used as a means of reflecting and asking ourselves, “What didn’t work? What do I really want?”
We are built to adapt. Embrace your inner strength and use each experience as a tool to learn more about yourself and what you must have in life. Whenever you feel ready to give into fear, remind yourself of someone you admire who faced adversity and emerged victorious. Their success was built on the foundation of learning how to stop living in fear.
7- Prioritize Self-Care
Mastering your emotions and changing your mindset is psychological, but it can also be physical. The next time you feel fear creeping in, try changing your posture and adopting a “power pose.” It can make you feel more confident and less fearful.
Other self-care habits have a positive impact on your state of mind as well. Physical activity is proven to reduce depression and anxiety, so next time you feel afraid, get outside and go for a walk, practice yoga, or ride a bike. Mindfulness meditation is also an excellent way to combat anxiety and depression, and it can even lower blood pressure. Eliminating caffeine and alcohol from your diet is another self-care tip that’s essential to reducing anxious feelings. When you combine physical and psychological self-care, you have the recipe for how to stop living in fear.
8- Cultivate An Abundance Mindset
Fear cannot coexist with positive emotions. You cannot feel both scared and joyful, afraid and peaceful, or fear and gratitude simultaneously. But you can replace one with the other. When you are grateful, fear disappears, and abundance appears. You shift your focus from the negative to the positive. Your focus determines where your energy flows, so when you change your mindset in this way, you naturally bring more positivity and less fear into your life.
Adopting an abundance mindset is key to unlocking how to stop living in fear. You can keep a gratitude journal, practice priming or meditation, use visualization, come up with empowering incantations, and more. Next time you feel anxious or afraid, you will have a powerful toolbox that you can access to overcome those emotions.
9- Be Present In The Moment
When we’re living in fear, we’re often also living in either the past or the future. We let our past mistakes haunt us and affect our future decisions. We live in so much fear of what could happen that we forget to enjoy what is happening. As Tony Robbins reminds us, “The past does not equal the future unless you live there.”
In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to live in the past – reconnecting with toxic people and reminiscing about old relationships. It’s also easy to get caught up in fantasizing about your next relationship or vacation plans that may never manifest.
Stop missing out on your life. Put your phone down. Step away from the computer. Try a new sport or game. Meet people in the here and now. Start living instead of worrying.
10- Face Failure Head-On
No matter how much work you put into overcoming fear, you will fail. It’s part of the process. Failure provides insights and corrects faulty approaches. The sting of failure teaches resilience and provides unique information for adjusting your strategy and approach the next time around.
With the right mindset, you can change your story and say goodbye to living in fear. Decide that your dreams are more important than your fear of failure. Master your fears and become the most joyful and successful version of yourself possible.