Overcoming Fear in All Its Disguises

Overcoming FearFear is one of most common reasons people procrastinate on taking action toward their goals. In an effort to avoid failure, rejection, being embarrassed, disappointing or angering other people, getting hurt and a plethora of other things, we play it safe and avoid trying new things.

Fear is natural. But it’s important to remember that, as humans, we’ve evolved to the stage where almost all of our fears are now self-created. We scare ourselves by imagining negative outcomes to any activities we pursue or experience. In fact, psychologists like to say that fear means Fantasized Experiences Appearing Real.

Identify Unfounded Fears

To identify the unfounded fears in your life, do this simple exercise. First, make a list of the things you are afraid to do. These are not things you are afraid of, such as spiders, but instead the things you are afraid do to, such as skydiving.

Next, restate each fear in the following format:

I want to_______________, and I scare myself by imagining ____________________.

For example, I want to start my own business, and I scare myself by imagining that I would go bankrupt and lose my house.

By completing this statement for all of the things we are afraid to do, it’s easy to see how we create our own fear by imagining negative outcomes in the future.

3 Ways to Overcome Fear

Here are three easy techniques for moving past your fears:

1.    Disappear fear by choosing a positive mental image. When we’re afraid, our minds are full of negative thoughts and images. When you are feeling afraid, tune into the images in your head. Then choose to replace them with a positive image of your desired outcome. For example, if you’re afraid that starting your own business will end in bankruptcy and losing your house, instead picture your new business becoming wildly successful and buying a second vacation home with all of the added income you’ll be earning in your new company.

 
2.    Focus on the physical sensations. You may feel fear in your body as a sinking feeling in your stomach, a tightening in your shoulders and chest, or an elevated heart rate. Next, focus on the feelings you’d rather be experiencing instead, such as peace and joy. Fix these two different impressions in your mind’s eye, then move back and forth between the two, spending 15 seconds or so in each. After a minute or two, you’ll find yourself feeling neutral and centered.

3.    Recall your successes. You’ve overcome countless fears to become the person you are today, whether it was learning to ride a bike, driving a car for the first time, or kissing someone for the first time. New experiences always feel a little scary. But when you face your fears and do them anyway, you build up confidence in your abilities. The situation you’re facing now and how your fear is manifesting may be different than what you’ve experienced in the past, but you know how to overcome your fears. You’ve spent a lifetime doing so successfully.

Feel Your Fear and Do It Anyway

Every successful person I know has been willing to take a leap of faith even though they were afraid. They knew that if they didn’t act, opportunity would pass them by.

Recognize fear for what it is: a mental trick that your ego uses in attempt to protect you from the negative outcomes it imagines. You create your fear and you have the power to dissolve it as well. Use the techniques outlined in this article to overcome this powerful roadblock … so you can turn your dreams into reality and live the life you deserve. Remember, no one achieves greatness by playing it safe.


 

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com 

 

FREE Success Training with Me

ask-jack-online-blogIt’s easy to start the New Year full of enthusiasm and optimism…but as you’ve probably seen in your own life, most people abandon their New Year’s resolutions within weeks.  This can happen for several reasons – either we don’t properly set our goals, we don’t develop a plan for achieving our goals, we don’t have a system for keeping track of our progress, or (yikes!) all of the above.

Whether you are interested in building your own business, achieving a weight loss goal, or have a burning desire to make your dreams a reality, first you must have unwavering faith in yourself. You have the power and ability to be and do whatever you dream; however, most of your limitations come from within.

I’d like to help by giving you the tools you will need to make 2013 your best year ever.

I’m excited to announce that for the first time ever, I will host my February “Ask Jack Canfield” training LIVE and online!

During this powerful LIVE presentation, you’ll discover:

  • Strategies you can use immediately to help make 2013 your most successful year
  • How to fully embrace change and recognize why this is a crucial step on the path towards success
  • How to identify and define your breakthrough goal and define your purpose in life
  • How to transcend your limiting beliefs and overcome unforeseen challenges
  • Effective techniques to stay motivated throughout the year in pursuit of a higher level of accomplishment.

Plus, immediately after, I will include an additional bonus training session to help you Exceed Your Goals in 2013!

I hope you’ll set aside some time to join me for this never before seen training opportunity where we will plan your 2013 success journey and give you the tools you need to achieve peace, balance, and the success you deserve in life.

If you are unable to attend live, register for the training anyway and I’ll send you instructions on how you can access the replay.

Saying No to Others is Saying YES to Yourself

Say NoThere are only two words that will always lead you to success. Those words are yes and no. Undoubtedly, you’ve mastered saying yes. So start practicing saying no. Your goals depend on it!

If you are constantly saying yes to other people, then you are constantly saying no to yourself and your goals. Ask yourself if what is being requested of you is in line with your goals, will it benefit you in some way and bring you closer to your success, or will you simply be spending your time on someone else’s good opportunity?

How much time do you waste with projects and activities that you really don’t want to do simply because you are uncomfortable saying no?

Success depends on getting good at saying no without feeling guilty. You cannot get ahead with your own goals if you are always saying yes to someone else’s projects and agendas.

What a simple concept this is, yet you’d be surprised how frequently even the world’s top entrepreneurs, professionals, educators and civic leaders get caught up in projects, situations and opportunities that are merely good, while the great is left out in the cold—waiting for them to make room in their lives. In fact, concentrating on merely the “good” often prevents the “great” from showing up, simply because there’s no time left in our schedules to take advantage of any additional opportunity.

Is this your situation—constantly chasing after mediocre prospects or pursuing misguided schemes for success, when you could be holding at bay opportunities for astounding achievement?

If saying “No” is so important, then why is it so hard to say?

Why do we find it so hard to say no to everybody’s requests? As children, many of us learned that “no” was an unacceptable answer. Responding with “no” was cause for discipline. Later, in our careers, “no” may have been the reason for a poor evaluation or failing to move up the corporate ladder.

Yet, highly successful people say “no” all the time—to projects, to crazy deadlines, to questionable priorities and to other people’s crises. In fact, they view the decision to say “no” equally acceptable as the decision to say “yes.”

Others say no, but will offer to refer you to someone else for help. Still others claim their calendar, family obligations, deadlines and even finances as reasons why they must decline requests. At the office, achievers find other solutions to their co-workers’ repeated emergencies, rather than becoming a victim of someone else’s lack of organization and poor time management.

“It’s not against you, it’s for me…”

One response that I have found helpful in saying “no” to crisis appeals or time-robbing requests from people is… It’s not against you; it’s for me.

When the chairman calls with yet another fund-raising event that needs your dedication, you can say, “You know, my saying no to you is not against you, or what you are trying to do. It’s a very worthy cause, but recently I realized I’ve been over committing myself. So even though I support what you’re doing, the fact is I’ve made a commitment to spend more time with my family. It’s not against you; it’s for us.”

Few people can get angry at you for making and standing by a higher commitment. In fact, they’ll respect you for your clarity and your strength.

So, how can you determine what’s truly great, so you can say no to what’s merely good?

Start by listing your opportunities—one side of the page for good and the other side for great. Seeing options in writing will help crystallize your thinking and determine what questions to ask, what information to gather, what your plan of attack might be, and so on. It will help you decide if an opportunity truly fits with our overall life purpose and passion, or if it’s just life taking you down a side road.

Talk to advisors about this potential new pursuit. People who have traveled the road before you have vast experience to share and hard-headed questions to ask about any new life opportunity you might be contemplating. They can talk to you about expected challenges and help you evaluate the “Hassle Factor”—that is, how much time, money, effort, stress and commitment will be required.

Test the waters. Rather than take a leap of faith that the new opportunity will proceed as you expect, conduct a small test, spending a limited amount of time and money. If it’s a new career you’re interested in, first seek part-time work or independent consulting contracts in that field. If it’s a major move or volunteer project you’re excited about, see if you can travel for a few months to your dream locale or find ways to immerse yourself in the volunteer work for several weeks.

And finally, look where you spend your time. Determine if those activities truly serve your goals or if saying “no” would free up your schedule for more focused pursuits.

Be brave in saying no to good opportunities, stay focused on your higher goals and let people know that you are committed to those goals. People will respect your clarity and drive.

Remember, just as you are in control of your feelings and attitudes, other people are in control of theirs, so if they do get upset with you for saying no…well that is a choice they make for themselves.


 Are you “stuck” in this area?

If you need to change your behaviors, create new self-talk, and develop a plan to get what you want from life, I’m happy to help you move beyond your barriers at my powerful Breakthrough to Success training.


WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul®and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com