For many people, there is a misconception that the most courageous and self-confident individuals are somehow immune to fear. But this could not be farther from the truth. By definition, we display courage by overcoming fear and persevering toward a goal. Thus, fear is a necessary pre-existing condition in order for courage to even be displayed. And even those who appear to have greater self-confidence still experience worry and fear when they’re in the spotlight. These are simply natural emotions that each of us experience when some type of risk is involved. Fear simply reflects our innate humanness when we encounter situations with potentially bad outcomes.
When we become afraid, we may be persuaded to shy away from taking action. Instead of pushing ahead and taking a chance, we avoid the risk altogether. When this occurs, we miss out on valuable chances to grow and develop greater self-confidence. And instead, we sit back and hope a better opportunity will one day come along that’s less risky. But in most instances, that day never comes. Fortunately, each of us can take steps in overcoming fear and realizing the ultimate success we desire. By adopting a few best strategies, we can push through our anxieties and enjoy greater self-confidence along the way.
Overcoming Fear Requires an Action-Mindset
First and foremost, in overcoming fear and pursuing greater self-confidence, we need to be proactive. When we experience anxiety and worry in a new or challenging situation, the best thing to do is act. If we avoid the situation or wait it out, we stand to lose valuable opportunities in our life. Certainly, our actions may result in a failure, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Even failures help us grow and evolve, moving ever-closer to our goals of success. While bold action in the face of fear requires taking risks, it’s better than the alternative in the long run.
Understanding this, there are some strategies you can use to help you get past our natural tendency toward inaction and inertia. The first is simply recognizing your fear and verbalizing it. By expressing how you feel to yourself and others, your emotions will lose some of their strength and power. At the same time, imagining what you will do should the worst-case scenario occur is also helpful. By visualizing the worst outcome and having a plan, you’ll gain greater self-confidence and be able to act. Both of these techniques are great for overcoming fear so you can move forward.
Build Greater Self-Confidence Through Reflection
A high level of self-esteem will help you in overcoming fear, but it requires effort in developing greater self-confidence. The reason many of us lack self-confidence is because we allow failures to define us. When we fail at a task, we take it personally, and it becomes associated with identity and who we are. But everyone fails! In fact, even the most successful and confident people in the world often arrived there because of many, many failures. They didn’t allow a setback to characterize who they were but instead used them as stepping-stones to improve. By separating our failures as well as our successes from our own identity, we pave the way to have greater self-confidence.
In addition to this important perspective, we can also become more adept in overcoming fear by reflecting on past failures. If you’re like most, you have your fair share of setbacks and missteps over time. But guess what? You’re still here and doing fine! You’re much more resilient than you give yourself credit. (Read more about maintaining resilience in a crazy world in this Project Bold Life story!) In reflecting on all your failures, you will soon appreciate that the fear and worry you are experience are often exaggerated. And by recognizing how you dealt with these past failures, you’ll gain greater self-confidence as well.
Cultivate the Right Skills and Attitudes
Creating greater self-confidence demands investments and effort. In this regard, in overcoming fear, you can pursue specific activities to improve your perspective and abilities. Fear and worry often invite negative thoughts, which can undermine one’s self-esteem. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you’re surrounded by positive influences to help balance these emotions. Certainly, acknowledging fears and these negative feelings are beneficial. But at the same time, so is being around others who see the glass as half-full and the future as bright. Visualizing your ability to reach your goals and the best-case scenario is also helpful in conquering our worries.
At the same time, you can learn a great deal from others who have developed greater self-confidence and overcame their anxieties. Finding good role models who inspire you can help you in overcoming fear by studying their behaviors and choices. Likewise, learning new insights and approaches to specific tasks will naturally boost your self-esteem and confidence. And when seeking support, migrate toward those who have excelled in your chosen area. Each of these activities will reduce your level of worry and motivate you to take the necessary risks to succeed.
Recognizing the Value of Fear
The bottom line is that fear itself is not the enemy. Fear and anxiety both are natural emotions that encourage us to do our best. These drive us to better prepare for a situation so that we may excel. Fear enables us to recognize that some risks exist, and by better assessing the situation, we can minimize these risks. But when we overreact to fears and allow them to prevent us from acting, it’s our response that becomes detrimental. To a great extent, overcoming feat simply involves appreciating its value and moving ahead.
By employing the strategies above, you can develop greater self-confidence that will let you get past your anxieties. The more you practice these, the easier it will become in overcoming fear and realizing your goals. No one is naturally endowed with a high level of confidence and/or a lack of fear. Every successful person in life has had to cultivate greater self-confidence through specific tasks. And they have had to summon enough courage each time to look past their fears and take action.
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