How To Overcome Fear & Achieve Your Dreams: Sometimes the biggest hurdle we face in trying to achieve our dreams is the one we throw in our own way: fear. Fear comes in many forms — fear of change, fear of leaving others behind, and even fear of success can impede progress and hamper goals. But dealing with fear — recognizing it and overcoming it — leads to achieving dreams, because you’re no longer hamstrung by paralyzing thoughts and dark fantasies. With a little discipline, you can harness your fears and even use them to get further along your life’s path to success and satisfaction.
The next time fear stops you in your tracks, keep these ideas in mind for coping and overcoming it:
How To Overcome Fear
1) Instead of always focusing on one, big dream (“I want my own business by the time I’m 30,) plan the small steps you can take along that route. For example, being an intern in a business that intrigues you is a great investment in your future. You get an inside peek into how the business works, but not all the responsibility for its success is on your shoulders — yet. When you’ve achieved each “smaller” dream, plan the next one!
2) Make a chart that clarifies your biggest dreams and how you’ll get there. Seeing it all down in black and white is a clarifying experience that lets you cut through the fog and focus. It’s not enough to say, “I want to be rich!” Design a chart with concrete steps that show how you plan to make that dream come true.
3) Make a five-year plan but be willing to change, if necessary. Not every step you plan will be achievable — that’s the nature of life. But if you are realistic and make detailed goals, you’ll find fear less overwhelming because you’ll be prepared. But don’t be afraid to make “carpe diem” your motto — “seize the day!” If you are too rigid because you’re afraid to fail, you’ll be paralyzed by inaction. Fear of failure really means fear of action, because there are no actions that don’t include risk. Embrace the notion of failure as a temporary setback, and there will be almost nothing to fear.
4) Have a support network on which you can rely, people who share your vision and believe in your abilities. People you can talk to when you’re afraid, who can keep the issue in perspective and offer suggestions for dealing with it. No one succeeds on their own; they rely on friends, family, business mentors and others to help navigate turbulent, scary times.
5) Be honest to yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, and always play to those strengths. For example, if you don’t like being alone, should you become a writer? Probably not. But a retail environment or other business might be perfect because you spend time with others. So be realistic, even when you’re dreaming about what you’d love to do most. No matter what you’re hoping to achieve in life, fear is bound to beset you at one point or another. Embrace it, face it, and keep it in perspective.
Prepare for fear even before you start your journey. That way, when it presents itself, you’ll have strategies in place for dealing with it. You’ll have others to turn to who will lessen your fear and help you cope. Set small goals and tick them off your list every time you achieve one. Keeping fear in perspective, and understanding that everyone experiences it sooner or later is the most important strategy for achieving your dreams.