This article contains proven steps and strategies on how to overcome fear in life and become a much more confident person.
Whether we’re willing to admit it or not, we all struggle with fear of some sort at some time in our lives – no one is fearless.
I will help you to understand fear versus anxiety, as well as where your fears are coming from and how to overcome them.
There are some steps you can take to actively become more confident and secure. So, start reading and get on with your life – don’t let your fear hold you back anymore!
How To Overcome Fear In Life
Overcoming your fears is a process – something that you will need to do step by step. It’s not going to happen in a few hours and it may not happen in a week or even a month.
Sometimes, depending on how ingrained a fear is in your mind, it may take you a year or more to overcome it. Still, never give up. Just keep moving and keep looking up.
You’ll eventually see that light at the end of the tunnel – and this time, you won’t think it’s the train coming to run you over, but a new life just waiting for you to live it!
Fear vs. Anxiety
Before you can find out how to get over your fears and become a more confident person, you must first understand how fear works.
Fear is a reaction in your brain that begins with stressful stimuli and ends with the release of chemicals in your brain that cause your heart and breathing rate to increase, your muscles to become energized, and other things.
This is referred to as the fight-or-flight response.
Fear and anxiety produce very similar responses, but experts believe that there are differences. Here I will explain fear and how it works.
As mentioned, when you feel fear coming on, your body goes through some physiological changes known as the fight-or-flight response. This response is necessary for our survival.
Without this inborn, natural response, our bodies would not be able to prepare to flee the situation or to stay and battle the danger we’re faced with.
Anxiety vs. Fear
Anxiety is a vague, unpleasant sense of apprehension. Typically, this is a response to an unknown or inexact threat. Anxiety comes from your thoughts o f the dangers that could result in a particular situation, not the reality.
On the other hand, fear is a response to a threat that is definite or known. There is a very real, immediate, and definite danger, or object of fear.
Though the focus of the response is very different (imagined versus real danger), fear and anxiety are actually interrelated. Fear can result in anxiety and anxiety can result in fear.
However, understanding the difference between the two gives you a better understanding of your symptoms and could be important for helping you overcome them.
Four Types of Fears
Now that you know the truth: We all deal with fears and phobias at some point in our lives – you must also be aware that every single one of us would like to dominate our fears and phobias.
No one wants to allow these negative reactions to keep us from becoming a more confident person. So, we must learn how to use them to our own advantage.
However, you must first learn about the four basic types of fears.
Fear results when you believe that there are specific things, places, or people that can cause undesirable consequences for you when you’re near them.
What is the role of fear?
Fear truly does have a role in our lives. It’s a mechanism that is meant to warn us. It is our biological alarm that keeps us from going into something we don’t know unprepared for the situation.
Once you figure this out, you’ll find it to be extremely useful when you’re in a truly dangerous situation.
Fear is not something that is meant to forbid you from acting or to hold you back. It’s simply meant to warn you to prepare yourself before you launch into a new adventure.
Fear gives you the time you need to prepare yourself and be more equipped the next time you’re faced with a situation.
For example, w e teach kids t o fear their parents – not t o keep them from approaching their parents, but to keep them disciplined and obedient.
Also, dogs are trained to fear their masters, but still they approach their masters with love and excitement. Parents are pleased when their children behave and masters are pleased when their dog behaves correctly.
Four types of fears
There are four basic types of fears. They are as follows:
1) Healthy fears
When you highly respect someone, you fear them. This fear is a byproduct of high esteem and wisdom. You’re not afraid of the person, b u t y o u fear him/her because of your reverence and admiration.
2) Alarming fears
When you feel a sense of danger in a person, place, or thing, alarming fears occur. In this case, fear does not stop you, but it does cause you to be careful in what you’re doing. The whole point of alarming fears is to discourage you from going in the wrong direction.
3) Debilitating fears
This type of fear is when you’re afraid. Basically, debilitating fears make you into a coward. This fear makes you want to disappear from your current situation. This fear is so strong that you give up fighting with the thing that you’re afraid of.
4) Conquered Fears
Finally, there are those people who seem to be completely free of fear – fearless. Or, they claim to be anyway. Some people believe them, but then there are others who do not.
Some people say that fear is not absent, but has been overcome. The fear is still present, but these people are brave and have masterfully conquered their fears.
Top 8 Fears People Have
Now that you understand fear, how it relates to anxiety, and the four basic types of fears, it’s time to discuss the top 8 fears that people have. Fear can be a great thing – a learning experience.
However, if you allow it to, it can hold you back in your relationships, your career, and even in reaching your dreams/goals.
Here I will explain the top ten fears that hold people back and identify the fears that you must overcome.
1) Fear of being rejected.
Many times, people avoid meeting new people and starting new relationships because they’re afraid of being rejected. Even married people often avoid speaking to their spouse about something because they’re afraid that they will be rejected.
So, whether you’re afraid to talk to your boss about a raise or you’re afraid to ask that attractive person out on a date – don’t allow that fear of being rejected hold you back.
2) Fear of being a failure.
One of the biggest fears in the world is a fear of failing. Most of the time, people won’t do something new unless they truly believe that they can be successful at it. You need to realize that failure is just part of life and learning from that failure can help you to eventually become successful.
3) Fear of the uncertain.
When it comes to trying something new, people often avoid it because of the fear of uncertainty. Many times, they wonder, “What if I don’t enjoy it?” The fear of uncertainty can keep people from doing things differently than the way they’ve always been done in the past.
However, when you always do things the same way and expect different results, you’re only banging your head against a brick wall.
4) Fear of being alone.
Many times, people stay in horrible relationships and avoid being alone because they’re afraid of the loneliness.
However, being alone and feeling lonely is part of life. It’s going to happen. You must learn how to tolerate those feelings and find ways to keep yourself company to manage your fears.
5) Fear of change.
The world is always changing at a very rapid pace. However, most people actually fear change and therefore, resist it. You should be aware that the fear of change can cause you to become stuck and stagnant. It can cause you to miss out on some amazing opportunities in life.
6) Fear of people judging you.
When people are afraid of being judged by others, they will shy away from social situations and even the opportunity to advance their careers.
Those who fear being judged often exaggerate how others will see them in a negative light and underestimate their ability to deal with not being well-loved by others.
7) Fear of bad things happening.
One thing is for certain in life – bad things are going to happen. You must learn that you have to take the good with the bad. When people are always in fear of something bad happening, it often puts restrictions on their activities.
They will avoid doing things or going places because they’re afraid that something bad is going to happen to them.
8) Fear of being hurt.
Sure, everyone should have a little bit of fear of getting hurt. Think about it, if you weren’t afraid of getting hurt, you wouldn’t check both ways for traffic before you start to cross the street. When put in this perspective, this is a healthy fear.
However, some people are so afraid of being emotionally hurt that they avoid getting involved in relationships of any kind.
They keep family members at arm’s length, never get romantically involved with anyone, and even avoid having friends. They are afraid that they are not strong enough to withstand the inevitable hurt.
I’m not saying that I’m completely fearless now – not at all. I’m just a human being who has learned that I don’t have to let my fears get the best of me.
I am good enough, smart enough, strong enough – I am ENOUGH… and there’s nothing to fear about that!
Soon I will explain how you can overcome your fears and become a more confident person. Keep in mind that this is a process. It’s not going to happen overnight – and it shouldn’t.
Chances are, your fears didn’t magically develop overnight, but were a process, so learning to overcome them is a process as well. Have patience with yourself and learn to love yourself through this process.
SEE ALSO: How To Improve Your Communication Skills: Must Read Tips For Anyone
Tips for Overcoming Your Fears
You know that fear is one of the most basic and most necessary mechanisms for survival.
There are healthy fears and there are unhealthy fears. Healthy fears protect us and help to prepare us for situations. On the other hand, unhealthy fears can overwhelm and debilitate us even when there is no real threat present.
However, overcoming fear is something that anyone can learn to do. Still, most people cling tight to their fears because it is simply who they are. So, if you’re not ready to face (and overcome) your fears, chances are that you most likely won’t.
Just keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with not being ready to get over your fears. Everyone moves at their very own pace. That being said, if you’re reading this text, chances are that you’re ready to move forward.
Here are tips for getting past your fears.
1) Be aware of your fears.
Before you can even consider overcoming your fears, you must first realize that these fears are wreaking havoc in your life. It can be so easy to become attached to your feelings and thoughts that you believe that is all there is, and this simply isn’t true.
2) Identify your fears.
In order to overcome your fears, you must first figure out specifically what you’re afraid of. Think about what you believe is going on in the situation you’re afraid of. What is it that you’re really afraid of? Learn to observe yourself and your reactions.
3) Be in the present.
Think about what you’re lacking right at this moment. When you put yourself into the now, you see everything how it is – you simply accept things as they are. Being in the present can be something as simple as feeling your breath and noticing what your body is doing.
4) Practice gratitude.
When you are feeling a fear coming on, start thinking about things that you are grateful for. For example, if you’re afraid of speaking in public, be grateful that you have the chance to communicate with others. They are there because they want to hear exactly what you have to say.
5) Start talking about it.
Many times, w e hold i n o u r negative feelings/thoughts/words because we’re afraid of what others may think or how they may react. Talking about it helps, but you should never throw a pity party for yourself.
6) Get some therapy.
Therapy can be extremely beneficial and can even change your life – so if you can find a really good therapist, great. However, finding the right one for you can be really difficult. Simply listen to what your heart is saying and choose a therapist that you connect with.
7) Start reading.
Find a great book that is based on your personal, specific fear. This will help to open new doors on how you can overcome that fear . Additionally, read inspirational and motivational books that are related to the issues you’re dealing with.
8) Start taking some actions.
The truth is that fears are just that – fears. They are something that has been created by your mind to make reality seem much scarier than it really is. Once you begin to take action and face those fears, the fears become weaker and you finally realize that reality really isn’t as bad as you think.
9) Change your perspective.
Learning to deal with and overcome your fear is about putting your thoughts into perspective. When we’re fearful, it’s typically because we’re too focused on the negative.
However, when you look at the negative, you’re actually making a big deal out of nothing. There are s o many different possibilities o f what could happen that it’s not possible to predict what will happen.
10) Explore the roots of your fears.
Take some time to think about your fears and the roots of those fears. Sure, this is likely going to require some time and meditation. Look inside yourself and figure out when your fear started.
If you’re afraid of failing in public (1), when did that start — were you shamed at some point when you were younger?
11) Remember to breathe.
Breathing can actually set you free. Breathing anchors you in the present and helps you overcome (and even kill) your fears. This is one of the simplest, and most effective, ways to overcome your fears.
Finally, no matter what fears you’re dealing with, always listen to yourself and your inner GPS. That is the only thing that really matters in the end.
SEE ALSO: How To Overcome Insecurities And Low Self Esteem In Life
Tips to Increase Confidence
Now that you know what causes fear and how you can overcome it, you must learn how to build your self-confidence. You should know that self-confidence is the one thing that keeps you from being scared out of your wits (fear).
When you have self-confidence, you feel like nothing and no one can stop you from living.
Whether you want to admit it or not, your perception of yourself has a huge impact on how others see you. The more self-confidence you have, the more likely it is that you will be successful.
Sure, there are many factors that have an effect on your self-confidence that you have no control over. However, there are lots of things that you can do to actively and consciously build up your self-confidence.
Here I will give you ten strategies that will get you to where you need to be to overcome your fears and reach your true potential.
1) Dress well.
While it’s true that clothes don’t make the man, it is also true that the clothes you wear do have an effect on the way you feel about yourself. No one in the world is more conscious of the way you look than you are.
When you don’t look your best, it changes the way you carry yourself and the way you interact with others. Take the time to care for your personal appearance such as bathing and shaving often, making sure to wear clean clothes, and paying attention to the latest styles.
Of course, this does not mean that you need to go out and spend tons of money on new clothes every season. However, select a few high-quality items every now and then and purchase them.
The higher-quality clothes will last longer than the cheap ones. Also, since you’re buying less clothes, your clutter will decrease, which also helps increase your confidence.
2) Start walking faster.
One of the most obvious ways to see how people truly feels about themselves is to pay attention to the way they walk. Is their walk energetic and purposeful or is it slow, tired, and painful?
People who are confident in themselves tend to walk quickly. Confident people have places to go, things to do, and people to see. Even if you don’t really have anywhere to be in a hurry, your self-confidence can be increased if you put a bit of pep in your step.
Simply walking only 25% faster makes you look and feel important.
3) Practice good posture.
In addition to the way they walk, people’s posture also tells the story of how they feel about themselves. People who walk or sit with slumped shoulders and move lethargically exude a lack of confidence.
They’re not at all excited or enthusiastic about what they’re doing and they consider themselves as unimportant. When you stand up straight and
practice good posture (2), you automatically feel more confident. Simply stand u p straight and make eye contact.
This will make a positive impression on others and will make you feel much more empowered and alert.
4) Make an effort to compliment other people.
Typically, when you have poor self-confidence, you project that thought on to others through gossip and insults. In order to break this cycle, you should embrace the habit of praising others.
Don’t participate in the backstabbing gossip, but make the effort to compliment others. This will help you to become well-liked and to build your self-confidence. When you look for the best in others, you automatically bring out the best in yourself.
5) Learn to speak up.
Many times, in group discussions, people don’t speak up because they’re afraid that others will think they’re stupid. Of course, this is not a justified fear.
The truth is, most people are much more accepting than we imagine them to be. In fact, everyone else is most likely experiencing the same fears.
When we make an effort to contribute to group discussions at least once in a while, we’ll become better at public speaking, more confident in our thoughts, and our peers will recognize us as leaders.
6) Start working out.
Just as your appearance has a lot to do with your confidence, physical fitness also has an effect. If you’re not in shape, you’ll feel unattractive, insecure, and you’ll have less energy.
When yo u work out, yo u improve your overall physical appearance and health. Plus, having the discipline to work out makes you feel much better, therefore giving you the positive momentum that you can build upon.
7) Contribute to others.
Many times, we focus entirely too much on our own personal desires instead of focusing on the needs of others.
If we stop worrying about ourselves and focus on how we can help others, we don’t worry so much about what we are afraid of or what we’re doing wrong.
This will increase confidence and help you to effectively and efficiently contribute to society. The more you contribute, the more you’ll be rewarded with recognition and personal success.
I hope this post was able to help you to understand where your fears are coming from and how you can overcome them to become a more confident person.
Whether we want to admit it or not, everyone struggles with fear at some point in their lives – it’s just part of life. You must recognize that fear should be a learning experience and it’s not meant to paralyze you.
The next step is to take some time to figure out what your fears are and where they are coming from. Then, you should take action to overcome those fears and increase your confidence.
Remember that you must be patient with yourself. You didn’t magically become fearful of the world around you overnight, so you’re not going to overcome these fears overnight either.
Learn to love yourself and be patient with yourself. Learn to stand up and face your fears head-on instead of running in retreat – trust me, you’ll be so glad that you did!