Let’s talk about fear. Not the kind provoked by things that go bump in the night. But rather it’s sneaky cousin that comes in unnoticed, but cripples hopes and dreams.

When it comes to goals and especially reaching goals, Fear has the ability to stop us dead in our tracks.

Or as Les Brown puts it:

Fear is the most subtle and destructive of all human diseases. It kills dreams and hope.

Les Brown

How do you know if you’re afflicted by fear?

Working toward a noble and worthy goal can burn like a fire in your spirit and can give you the driving force you need to persist even through the most difficult and trying times. That is why having a worthy goal is so important. Because of our human condition, fear is an inevitable by-product of striving for a goal.

We are conditioned to maintain the status quo because it is familiar. It is what we know. It’s what the people around us know. And it likes to remain the same because there’s very little risk in that space.

To identify fear along your journey, lookout for the fingerprints it leaves… Feelings of doubt and uncertainty. Friends and/or family’s discouraging words. Frustrations building up (usually to lack of progress). Imposter syndrome. Procrastination on big 10X tasks….

The list goes on.

Just because you’re not feeling afraid like a child feels afraid of the dark, does not mean there isn’t an element of fear worming its way into your mind to halt your progress.

Rooting out fear to achieve your goals

I know it seems like there is no hope since “we’re conditioned for it” so how could we possibly overcome it?

The first step is recognising those feelings/symptoms of fear. Like in recovery, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

Once you’ve identified them, put them in context. Determine if there are situations, events, spaces that trigger the fear response? Perhaps a critical parent, or going into the office, or preparing to knuckle down and complete a big task, perhaps something you’re unfamiliar with. It can be anything.

Once you’ve created awareness and identified your triggers, you’ve empowered yourself to do something about it.

4 Powerful Ways To Turn The Table On Fear

Having identified your fear response and triggers, you can use one or all of these steps to help you tame it.

  1. Find Your Cheering Squad – just as there are the nay-sayers, there will be the people who believe in you and who will cheer you on. Having one or two people you can contact in moments of doubt and hesitation can go a long way in renewing your belief in yourself. Share your goal with them, ask them to keep you accountable, and more importantly ask them to call you out on your BS.
  2. Mediate On Your Goal – Here I don’t mean sitting cross-legged on the grass chanting “Ohm”. I mean taking a moment to review your goal. Imagining what it will feel like once you’ve achieved it, and reminding yourself WHY you are going for it. This is a reality check. The idea is to jolt you out of the pity party or excuse mill you’ve gotten caught in, and set you back on track.
  3. Take Action – Do the thing. Take the small step. Just keep moving. It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you keep going. There is always something that can be done, and taking even the tiniest step in the right direction can have a tremendous effect on your attitude. If you’re uncertain or struggling, ask one of your cheer squad to help you, even if it is just moral support.
  4. Call It By Name – You’ve identified it. You know more or less when it will strike and what it looks like by now. So call it out. And make it silly if you can. Say things like “Hey fear! Hey insecurity! Thank you for being around to guide me, however today I’m going to give this a fair shot, and I would appreciate it if you could sit in the corner and keep your opinions to yourself for now”. Acknowledging your fear response and ‘talking’ to it removes it’s power and allows your voice to be your strength.

Action Cures All

At the end of the day, you cannot rid yourself of fear, but you can manage it, and use it as a tool to help you move forward.

As much as it would be great to have access to the Room of Requirement, we don’t, and it is up to us to make our dreams a reality.

Stay the course on your goal. Use the tools available in this series to help strengthen you on your journey.

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Until next time,

The SkillzTrader Team

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