Control your fear. Seems like a bold statement, right?
Because at the end of the day, we need fear to keep us on our toes and ready for fight or flight situations… but that doesn't mean we allow it to rule our lives, particularly when it comes to our online business.
Does fear keep you from moving forward in your business? Does it prevent you from trying new things, taking a different strategy, or trying out a new idea?
Fear is a learned response, and the good news is that if it can be learned, it can be unlearned.
I’ve written before about facing your fears head on because often, it’s the aversion to doing something outside the norm that keeps you stuck. I want to help unstick you, and it starts with identifying what exactly you’re afraid of.
Table of Contents
Control Your Fear in Less Than 10 Minutes
What Is Fear?
When you boil it down, fear is about the unknown. It’s natural to feel fearful when you’re encountering something new, and it’s a natural survival instinct that keeps you alert and safe.
But what happens when we are in a fearful state? Fear raises stress hormones in the body in case we need to react quickly–you know, the whole fight or flight thing. The emotion of fear is a real chemical process and over the long term it can get stuck in your tissues. The fear emotion is a release of chemicals into your blood and if you remain in that state too long… let's just say that it ain't good for your overall state of health.
Being paralyzed by fear is a real phenomena!
But fear (and stress) is meant to be short-term. We need to deal with it head on. Overcome it. That’s how we grow and evolve.
How to Overcome Fear Using Personality Hacks
Knowing what your personality default is will help you hack your way out of what’s holding you back from being the raging success you were meant to be.
If you’ve taken Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies personality quiz, then you understand what motivates you. And you can motivate yourself right out of whatever fear is holding you back from achieving the life you were born to lead.
As a quick synopsis, Rubin believes we all face two kinds of expectations: internal and external. She further breaks personalities down into four categories: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels.
Upholders respond equally to both inner and outer expectations. They are the goal achievers in the world and accomplish whatever they set their mind to. The key for them to overcome fear is to set clear goals and stay flexible on their accomplishment. I'm an Upholder 😉
Questioners will meet all expectations if it makes personal sense to them. But they can get stuck in analysis paralysis. To conquer fear, they need to set their own deadlines and limits.
Obligers meet outer expectations easily. They often sacrifice inner goals to meet outer expectations. To conquer fear, they benefit from an accountability partner or someone who expects them to succeed.
Rebels resist all expectations unless it's important to them. But they can still hack fear. They need to choose to overcome it and then remind themselves of their choice. They can also partner up with an obliger to help balance their energy.
Put on your big-girl panties ‘cause this is going to get uncomfortable. But don’t fear it!
If you don’t know what you’re afraid of yet, start with identifying where you’re experiencing stuckness in your life and/or your business. Where are you experiencing:
- Lack of flow
- No joy
These will give you clues for where to start looking for what you’re afraid of.
If you don’t know what’s broken you won’t know how to fix it.
Name it. Call it out. Just like I do with Neville.
Who knows, facing your fears may just be the secret sauce you’ve been waiting for.
Take the time to uncover those thoughts that are holding you back. It is possible to overcome them once you know what they are.
Ways to Control The Fear Response
- First of all, breathe. Deep inhales to a count of 3, hold for 2, exhale for 5. This will calm the mind, reset your sympathetic nervous system, and allow for clearer thinking.
- Recognize: understand that not all fear needs an immediate response, just recognition. What are you afraid of? Take a minute to consider your options. Write it all down. One thing I do all the time is consider the worst-case scenario. More often than not, that scenario isn’t as bad in black and white as it seems in your mind. Recognize what the fear is and acknowledge it.
- Confront: confront the fear. Make a plan with deadlines. For all the worst case scenarios above, do some problem solving. Think about what you’d do if it actually happened. Acknowledging that there is a way around the fear will diminish the grip fear has on you. Take the surprise out of fear and you disarm it.
- Visualize: visualize a positive scenario around the fear “as if it is already accomplished”. This will prime your body and mind to look for a positive outcome. If you’re one of those people who believes the worst always happens, consider this: maybe it’s because you’ve put so much energy and thought into affirming the negative outcome that it becomes reality.
Don’t overthink fear. Overthinking is the same as putting all your attention on something. And energy flows where attention goes.
Remember, the Wizard of Oz was just a little guy behind the curtain.
Perception is also part of the issue. How you perceive something to be plays a large role in how you manage the resulting emotions that come about when that perception is challenged or confirmed.
For example, when I got started as a freelance writer, I had the perception that I had to work long hours to make money from my side hustle. But once I faced the fear of putting myself forward for higher paying gigs, my income doubled and my hours dropped.
Don't let the fear of the unknown (and your perceptions) stop you from taking risks.
Remember, writing down all the worst-case scenarios and fears around something will help you to problem-solve and raise awareness. Even if the worst-case scenario comes to pass, you're ready for it, can course correct and pivot as needed.
Embrace fear as something that needs to be healed. Overcoming it will add another arrow to your quiver of confidence.
[Tweet “Self confidence comes from surviving a risk. ~Jack Canfield”]
By its very nature it’s drawing your urgent attention to something, it’s calling for awareness. Fear is not to be feared, but used as a tool for growth. Use that to your advantage.
Someone before you has traveled the steps you need to take, and they have left you a path to follow. Read their success stories. Surround yourself with reminders of what life is like once the discomfort has been overcome.
Use inspirational quotes in your space or on your phone as pop-up reminders throughout the day.
Make it a game. When you make something serious fun, it takes the sting out of it.
“Do one thing every day that scares you” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Don’t allow fear to rob you of opportunities in life.
Identify where you’re holding back and what the fear is behind that. Then make a list of possible scenarios–good and bad. Use a lot of energy and attention to visualize the best possible outcome as if it was already done.
You got this!