How to overcome fear in 6 steps, Part 3: Embrace fear

Identify what causes you stress and anxiety to gain fearless focus

(Editor's Note: This is the third part of a series.)

Do you embrace your fears, or do you run and hide from them? If you avoid or ignore the experiences that scare you, you’re essentially feeding your fear with more fear.

It’s scary to most of us to embrace our anxieties. But learning to accept your fears is an important step toward mastering them. Mastering your fears is the second step in my six-step technique to master fear.

It doesn’t mean you are free of fear. Mastery means you are in control – your fear doesn’t control you. The process includes bringing your fears to full consciousness, embracing them and gaining control.

It’s important to recognize that you experience fear in many emotions that are often not thought of as fear-based. Stress, frustration and anxiety are usually based in fear. When you control your fears, you generally gain control of these emotions. Causally, most of us think we just want to decrease our stress!

We refer to four categories of fear as the big four fears: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection and fear of selling.

Fear of selling includes not only selling services or products; it also includes selling yourself, such as in a job interview; or selling your ideas, whether to a boss or peers, significant other, friends or children.

Here are the 6 steps to master your fears:

  1. Identify your fears
  2. Embrace your fears; fear feeds your fear
  3. Separate yourself from your fears; they aren’t you
  4. Understand your worst-case scenario
  5. Do a reality check, with the probability of your worst-case scenario coming true
  6. Have a fearless focus. Once your fear is under control, you can set it aside and use the energy to create the reality you want

Identifying and embracing your fears takes courage ― and you have courage. If you examine your life, you’ll find many examples of times you’ve had courage.

When I was in Costa Rica a couple of years ago, I worked with the leaders of the Central American Western Union office. As an exercise, I had people draw a picture of their fears. If you remember the show Lost, there was a terrifying killer smoke monster. One of the local leaders drew a picture of the Lost smoke monster as a representation of how he viewed his fear.

What does your fear look like and feel like to you?

Once you have an image of your fear, you can begin to desensitize it.

Categories: Management & Leadership