Fear is an unpleasant emotion everyone must experience in their lifetime, we all have something we are scared of, and these things are capable of hindering us from taking a specific action. There is a need to overcome your fears especially because it comes in different ways.
Many people desire to experience a positive change in their lives, they have dreams, plans, and future ambitions, but fear kicks in whenever they try to move towards the change they desire.
Of course, we’ve all probably heard the phrase “face your fears,” which is easily said during a motivational speech or counsel, but how easy can it be to take that action? In most cases, people have full knowledge of what they fear, but what they find difficult is how to address the issue to do away with the fear.
However, since fear is an emotion, it can be controlled if you are work on your mindset. In this article, we discuss ways ten possible steps to take to overcome your fears and start living your dream. But first, let’s highlight some common reasons why we fear to achieve our dreams, along with some probing questions that would help change our mindsets.
Common reasons why people fear change
1. Being criticized
Many people fear change because others doubt their capability. When you frequently hear people criticize you, calling you unworthy or incapable, and their words may begin to resonate in your mind and gradually become your inner voice. Criticism is most effective when it comes from the people closest to us
Questions to ask yourself: What if I can, and my critics are wrong? Would not taking action prove them right?
In some cases, people criticize because they are incapable or jealous of others. So most times, the criticism isn’t about you but them. Being held back by their criticism only proves their assumptions right and makes their incapability stop your dreams.
In this case, change your mindset by acknowledging that everyone is different, and the failure of your critics doesn’t determine the outcome of your venture. Also, know that if others have achieved success in that field, it is possible to succeed once you overcome your fears.
Whenever you intend to take action, you begin to question your ability, skills, and capability to execute the process successfully. Self-doubt could be caused by a variety of reasons, which include criticism, low self-esteem, or past experiences.
Questions to ask yourself: Why can’t I? How can I be sure of the outcome if I don’t try? What if I get it right this time?
Self-doubt often comes with negative thoughts and questions. For a change of mindset, you have to counter those negative thoughts with positive ones. In reality, we would never know the outcome of a venture if no attempt was made.
Furthermore, if there are possibilities of success in that field, you didn’t achieve it in a previous effort. It means there was something you didn’t do right, know of, or lacking. Try to find out where you went wrong and learn from the experience. Even the most successful pioneers had to fail a couple of times.
Nobody wants their resources to go to waste in an attempt to chase something they are unsure of. And when it comes to pursuing our dreams, our brains may begin to create a mental list of problems and shortcomings that could arise. We start to think of the money, time, and effort involved, and the other things we could invest them in.
Questions to ask yourself: Isn’t this what I want? Would I regret not pursuing my dreams? What actions would I take if I knew success was sure?
Risks are inevitable, and not chasing your dreams is a risk in itself. Think about how your life would be if you end up doing something different from your dream job or that career you’ve always wanted to pursue. Would you feel fulfilled? Or would you have regrets? Have the mindset that there is still something to lose, in one way or the other. Therefore, taking risks to achieve fulfillment is worth your resources.
4. The fear of success and failure
Most times, it’s not just failing people are scared about; some people are afraid of the change that comes with success, holding them back. Success makes us stand out and distinguishes us from the crowd. This sort of change could make us nervous and stop us from taking action as we fear being rejected or lonely
Questions to ask yourself: I’m happy living a mediocre life? Is this lifestyle worth settling for? What do I want to be remembered for when I leave this world?
Consider the lifestyle you want to lead, the example you’d like to set for future generations, and the things you’d like people to say about you. Have the mindset that regardless of what you do, some people would still reject you. So if changing your lifestyle to live, your dream would make people dislike you for being different. Don’t be scared to take the actions that would change your life, as long as it’s something positive and makes you feel fulfilled.
Ten Steps to overcome your fears
Having reasons to chase your dreams isn’t enough; the right guidance to face your fears is also necessary. To this effect, here are ten steps you can take to overcome your fears and start living your dreams.
1. Create a plan to actively overcome your fears
You don’t want to take any drastic actions such as traveling out of the country or quitting your job without having any actual plan. Taking impromptu steps may lead to a disastrous outcome and turn your fears into reality.
What you want to do is create a flexible and well detailed; you may want to write them down to revise them regularly. Writing them down also helps you keep track of the whole plan and serve as a constant reminder.
2. Establish goals with a timeline
Your plan would be vague without a timeline, saying, “I want to become a lawyer in the future” sounds like a vague wish and may not be positive enough to become a reality. However, saying something like, “Within the next seven years, I must have finished law school,” sounds more realistic and could propel you to take a more tangible step towards achieving your final goal of being a lawyer.
Therefore when mapping out your plan, create achievable long-term goals. Also, make sure to add short-term goals in-between such as doing the necessary research, taking other online courses while in college, or starting a side hustle to generate extra income for your business. Also, create short-term goals that bring you closer to your final destination as well as keeps you proactive for the final destination.
3. Be inspired by successful people
Regardless of how successful the people you admire may seem, they were once like you, starting with a dream. And like you intend to, they went further to chase their dreams and made them a reality. When you overcome your fears, you have taken the first step to become like them.
Read about those who have achieved success, there are many lessons you can learn from their story, and it would help you stay motivated and enlightened throughout your journey.
4. Make your dream your priority
Allow your ambition to succeed drive you to make daily decisions that take you one step closer to achieve success. By making the end goal your priority, you get to pay more attention to the process.
This is something more productive to do, rather than feeding your fears. Create time and work on your plans daily by taking those tiny steps and decisions that count.
5. Prepare to face obstacles as you overcome your fears
Make plans to overcome predictable obstacles; this would make it easier to handle unforeseen ones. Anticipating obstacles gives you a more realistic view of what to expect and gives you time to formulate counter-tactics.
Have in mind that there would always be barriers to overcome. It is best you see them as challenges and not as threats. This way, you do not rekindle your fears and want to quit; instead, you develop strategies to overcome them.
6. Don’t seek validation of your dreams from others
Not everyone would buy the idea you have to share; some people may want to be “practical” and limit your capability. Do not depend on others for validation because not everyone would support and encourage your vision. Even the people close to you can weigh you down with their opinion.
7. Keep track of progress
Paying more attention to how far you’ve come, rather than how far you have to go, would help you stay motivated. The journey could be a long one, and you may periodically need to review your plan, make adjustments, and measure your progress. As you overcome your fears, you will find it easier to appreciate each bold step.
You can use a wall marking or a paper calendar; there are also mobile apps that can help you make checkmarks for each day you work toward your goal. With these tools, you can leave a trail on your work and measure your progress.
8. Cultivate the habit of persistence
You are bound to face challenges as you progress, and you’ll feel like giving up. Whenever you feel this way, think about the reasons you decided to chase your dreams in the first place, those reasons should keep you going again.
Being persistent is an effective way to stay on track; cultivate a regular habit that helps you grow; it could be writing one song every day or studying one chapter for your research.
9. Focus on how you feel, and visualize success in pursuing your dreams
Because you have goals and deadlines to meet, your fears would come roaring at you. One of the ways to overcome your fears is to keep your worries and emotions in check, you want to continually take note of how you feel and make necessary adjustments. If your dream is something you are passionate about, the courage to keep up will come naturally.
Furthermore, visualizing success is another very effective way to stay motivated. Imagine how you would talk, walk, and be addressed once you’ve made it. Think of how it would feel to talk about your journey to success and become an inspiration to others. Visualization is a powerful technique, and it is readily available anytime you feel down.
10. Believe in yourself
Always remind yourself of the goals you’ve achieved and how you’ve pulled through obstacles In the past. Accept yourself for who you are, for your capability and your shortcomings.
Although you may feel less of yourself sometimes because you lack some things or have limited access to necessities, avoid talking yourself down. Instead, become aware of these shortcomings and create ways to sort them out or make adjustments.
Engaging yourself with positive self-talk, activities that make you feel good, meditation, and positive hobbies can help you stay positive and boost your self-esteem.