Motivational speaker Robert Schuller said:

"If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been."

One of the ironic things about fear is that most people for whom fear is a mental obstacle understand, at least subconsciously, that their fear is indeed causing them to be less of the person they could have been. I believe this lies at the root of much of the abject frustration that exists in the world today. Let's see if I can help by giving you some ideas on how to overcome fear and mental obstacles.

It's important to understand that significant fear cannot be overcome overnight. That's why it's significant. To effectively deal with this kind of fear, it's helpful to break down the object of your fear into small, more manageable chunks. For example, if you're scheduled to give some sort of presentation to a group, but have great fear that you'll make a mess of it, you might break the task down as follows:

  • Knowing the subject matter to be covered
  • Developing the actual content of the presentation
  • Creating the materials to be handed out to attendees
  • Scouting the venue
  • Visualizing the successful presentation
  • Rehearsing the presentation to yourself
  • Rehearsing the presentation to a group and soliciting feedback
  • Editing the presentation as necessary based on feedback

One of the benefits of breaking a task that you fear down in this manner is it can provide you with some insight as to what, specifically, about the task causes you to have fear.

Going back to the example above, if it's simply a matter of not being completely confident in your knowledge of the subject matter you're covering, you can easily overcome that by conducting some research and study. If, like most people, you have a fear of the actual speaking in public part, regardless of topic, you can reduce that by visualizing a successful presentation and doing dress rehearsals.

Whatever the fear, by breaking it down into more manageable chunks, you'll be able to spread those chunks out and climb over them more easily. And if even the chunks seem overwhelming, just break those down into smaller bits to make them even more manageable. Remember, you're ultimately in control, and there's great power in that knowledge.

Each time you face a fear, no matter how small, and overcome it, you gain great strength. That strength turns to courage, and that courage to confidence in the doing--no matter what "doing" you might be called upon to do.

Please share on social media if you found this post helpful. If you have a comment or question I would be happy to discuss.

Published on: Oct 13, 2014
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