Fear is such a simple yet powerful word, and it can affect many areas of a person’s life. Living in fear not only limits a person’s potential, but also prohibits him/her from living life to the fullest.
How is fear defined? Merriam-Webster states, “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.” Fear is one of common and basic human emotions, and it can be real threats as well as imagined dangers. This blogpost focuses on the latter which I called self-projected fear in life.
How to live with fear
You may be afraid of making mistakes, disappointing your loved ones, being rejected, being ridiculed, feeling lost, embarrassing yourself, and etc. Living in fear isn’t uncommon, but it surely prevents you from living your best and fullest with confidence. Read on to learn what you can do to stop living in fear and embrace life as you go onward.
1. Recognize that fear is natural and inevitable
Fear is a natural emotion and aspect of life designed to help alert potential threats, serve as a protective mechanism, take proper precautions and help make better choices and decisions. It’s crucial to recognize and make adjustments when fear becomes irrational or imaginable which can lead you to procrastination, avoidance and/or anxiety.
2. Identify your fear sources
When facing fear, first of all, take some time to investigate and identify your fear sources. Write them down or type them out. When you are finished, discern which cause of fear is true and legitimate and which is based on your projections. Come up with actions or solution to address the true concerns, but reflect and let go of your projected fear.
3. Adopt a positive and growth mindset
I am confident to say that if you look for fear, you will find it everywhere. When the glass is half full, do you focus on the emptiness or do you tend to see the full portion? A growth mindset allows you to see half empty glass as an opportunity for you to fill up the glass. It will furthermore foster your learning, resilience, persistence to confront fear. How do you reframe your current fear into possibilities or the achievement of your goals?
4. Address fear with solutions
After the assessment of your fear, don’t stop there and feel paralyzed. Instead, brainstorm and come up with potential strategies or solutions to conquer your fear; may it be the fear of physical health, unknowns, failure, success, rejection or imperfection.
5. Get SMART
Being SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time) will reduce your fear of accomplishing huge and daunting goals. When your goals are complicated and involved longer-term commitment, don’t flight or freeze but break them into smaller and realistic chunks. Gradually, you will get there.
6. Imagine the possibilities
Fear speaks to you in a negative way, and oftentimes it feeds you the worst scenarios. Instead of listening to your own worst-case scenario, ask yourself “what if.” What if it turns out to be okay or better than your expectation? It’s only fair if you allow yourself to imagine the possibilities, isn’t it?
7. Get physical and practice mindfulness
When fear sets in, your mind and imagination can take you to somewhere that’s beyond the reality and cause stress and anxiety in your life. Exercising or practicing mindful activities can bring you back to the present and help you fully engage and be present at the moment. Remember to take a walk or take a few minutes to meditate when fear devours you next time.
8. Find your support
Having a safe space to identify, process and troubleshoot your fear will benefit you tremendously as you face it. Whether you engage with your trusted friends, colleagues, family or a professional coach, being able to open up, ask questions, process your fear and getting the needed encouragement will propel you forward with confidence and clarity.
I understand no one can get rid of fear completely; however, you don’t have to live in fear. Instead, I sincerely hope you will find ways to live with fear courageously and make the best out of your life.
About Faye Weng
Your Online Life and Career Coach
Faye Weng is an expert life and career coach who works with clients to take back control of their lives by rediscovering their passions, living/working with a clear purpose, and becoming people who can positively impact the communities around them. As your life and career coach, Faye will help you minimize noises and distractions, focus your effort and attention on the right things, execute a clear plan of action, and celebrate alongside of you when each milestone is reached. Click here to book a complimentary session.