All of us experience fear now and then. And all of us know the effects fear can have on us. Fear can hold us back from pursuing our dreams, whether those dreams are about starting a business or starting a relationship. It can keep us stuck where we are.
If fear is keeping you from being who you want to be or what you want to accomplish, start by understanding what your particular fear means.
Here are five common sources.
1. FEAR = For Everything A Reason.
Fear isn't always bad, of course. It keeps us from doing lots of things that are dumb and dangerous. But the kind of fear that gets between you and the things you want often disguises itself as reasonable caution. To understand the difference, ask yourself what's on the other side of your fear. If it's something with little payoff besides risk-taking, it's likely the wiser path to listen to your fear. But if the fear is holding you back from something significant you want--especially if it's a significant change in your life--it's time to fight.
2. FEAR = Face Everything And Recover.
Fear frequently rears up when we begin to gain a level of understanding about our lives. Recovery--whether it's from a past event or a present obstacle--is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, but it's natural for a part of you to prefer the comfort of the status quo. If you're thinking through something serious in your life and everything locks up, that's fear trying to take charge.
3. FEAR = Find Excuses And Reasons.
When we try something new, there's almost always a period of uncertainty and discomfort. It's at exactly that point that fear kicks in and pushes us back to safe ground. If this pattern develops long enough, eventually we don't even consider change but go straight to the reasons why it won't work. It's your choice: you can either allow your world to shrink because you've been paralyzed by fear and negativity, or just commit to taking the next step and watching the world start to open up.
4. FEAR = Frantic Effort to Avoid Reality.
Fear takes us away from what we know and tries to lure us into a kind of alternate reality--one that rewards us for timidity, for staying quiet and staying put, for settling. Of course, we know those things aren't true. Rewards come to those who jump in and take chances. Sometimes you have to shove fear aside to stay grounded in the real world.
5. FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.
Danger is real; fear, on the other hand, is a product of our thoughts. We create it, and ultimately we give or deny it power. Fear can sure feel like reality. You overcome it when you remember you are strong because you know your weaknesses, you are powerful because you know your flaws, and you are determined because you know reality from fear's falsehood.
6. FEAR = Forget Everything And Run.
There's no denying the temptation: when things turn tough, the easiest way through is to turn and run. But that's not the path to achievement and success. But if you can find the courage to stand your ground, you hold the power.
Fear shows up in lots of different forms, but the only way out is through--staying present in the moment and committed to the things you want to accomplish. It's your life you're standing up for. See it as an adventure. Feel the fear and do it anyway.