5 Tips to Help You Overcome Your Fears

What Keeps You From Getting Started?

I love the Lord of the Rings movies. In my opinion, it is the greatest movie trilogy of all time.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo and Sam start their journey to Mordor. Sam walks to the furthest point he has ever been from the Shire and stops. After Frodo convinces him to keep going, Frodo shares this quote from his uncle Bilbo:

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Bilbo has got a point. If you pursue your dream, you don’t know how things will turn out. You may fail. Your path there may be hard. You may achieve your dream and realize it wasn’t what you expected.

The bigger problem is that most people don’t get out of the door. Maybe you want to pursue a new career path. Or start your own business. Or finally ask that person out on a date.

As soon as you consider going after what you want, your mind starts hammering you with fearful thoughts.

“What if you fail?”

“You have no idea what you are doing.”

“What if he/she says no?”

It’s like a massive pro wrestler named Fear is leaning against your door, blocking you from opening it. You want to move forward, but you’re stuck inside.

Here is how you can start getting traction over your fears.


5 Steps to Start Overcoming Your Fear


1. Get present.

Part of what gives your fear such power is focusing on long-term goals that are huge and overwhelming. Your mind gets hooked by your end goal and you’re stuck thinking about the future. And accomplishing nothing today.

Thinking that you won’t enjoy life until you reach that goal is a trap. You need to get your attention on the here and now to have a chance to move towards the there and then.


2. Define your first step.

What is the first step that you can take today in the direction of your goal? The tinier and easier it is, the better. Russ Harris recommends breaking goals down this way:

Immediate goals: Goals you can achieve in the next 24 hours

Short-term goals: Goals that you can achieve over days or weeks

Long-term goals: Goal that take you months or years to achieve

Start small. Define what that first little step is. Once you take the first one, you can think about the second.


3. Get in touch with your values.

I would never ask clients to do things that scare them just for the sake of doing so. I want to encourage people to take action that honors who they want to be. For most people, being who we want to be doesn’t mean avoiding our fears; it means facing them.

Facing your fears requires knowing who you want to be. Get clear on your values. They can empower you in taking your first step. And all the ones that follow.

In building a business, I deal with fear a lot myself. I constantly run into obstacles that intimidate me.

When I get stuck, I reflect on my values of working with courage and grit. Reminding myself of those values helps me find the strength to move forward.


4. Commit to taking action.

I am a pro at overcomplicating life. I know that I am far from alone in having this “skill.” This is where I think Nike’s slogan of “Just do it” is brilliant.

To get anywhere, you have to get moving. A better life won’t fall into your lap.

We worry so much about the outcome of our actions that we never act. Steps that you take that don’t go as planned can be corrected. The steps you never take cannot.


5. Get support.

Frodo needed Sam’s support on his journey. He would not have made it without him.

It’s the same for you and I. You need people in your corner who are for you. Who love you whether or not you achieve your goals. Who love you enough to challenge you to face your fears.

Invite those people into your journey. Ask them to keep you accountable. If you don’t have anyone like that in your life, your first step is to find people that would be supportive of you.

Are you struggling with loss & grief, anxiety, or burnout and live in Ohio? Reach out to me at Oak Harbor Counseling Services. My office is conveniently located in northern Columbus. You can learn more about my counseling practice here or email me at [email protected].
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Brent Flory

Brent is a licensed professional counselor in Columbus, Ohio. He works with adults and adolescents, and specializes in helping people who are struggling with anxiety, loss & grief, and burnout.
In his spare time, he enjoys hanging out with his family, playing basketball, and eating too much ice cream.

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