5 Tips to Overcome Your (Probably Irrational) Fears

UPDATED: October 28, 2019
PUBLISHED: January 4, 2016

Fear can be crippling. Fear can be debilitating. Fear feeds resistance and stops us from achieving dreams, from challenging the status quo, from using our voices, from trying something new.

It’s doubtful that there are many businesspeople who have gone through their career without experiencing fear—loss of face, loss of market share, loss of revenue, or worse still, loss of forward momentum. Many question Can I? Who would want to listen to me? Do I have the experience to do this?

Crazy thoughts and irrational fears.

The truth is that fear, for many of us, is present every day. The question is how to turn the feeling of fear into a powerful tool. Here are five key tips to remove the fear and achieve the success that you want:

1. It all starts with YOU.

The only judgment that matters is the one you have of yourself, so decide what is it that you are going to stand for, what your testament is to the world, what difference you want to make today to influence the lives of others around you. When you have a sense of clarity and purpose for yourself and your life, when you are clear on your why, you can then begin the journey to achieve what you desire from your life, business or profession, and enjoy longevity in your success because you are living life on purpose.

2. Trust your intuition.

Understand what makes up your value system and own it. Live it. Work it. If you don’t start leading from within, taking control to acknowledge your own values and beliefs and the person that you are on the inside, you will never be capable of being the better person on the outside. This system is unique to you and it is your responsibility to take ownership. There are times when it will be challenged or when you will give in to other’s values—and you will look back and wish you had trusted your intuition. That intuition, that gut feeling? Don’t ever mistrust it. It is a key part of you, and you should learn that it is one of your best assets. Ignore at your peril.

3. Be brave.

Stepping out of your comfort zone creates a new perspective—we know this. Yet fear gets in the way and we get trapped, stuck in status quo, a place of stagnation and no growth. Be brave and take a journey to the edge. This alone will strengthen you and give a massive boost to your self-confidence and self-belief. Stepping out of your comfort zone empowers and engages, it forces you to face your fear head-on. Imagine the possibilities and use this to fuel your bravery as you discover new opportunities and unlock new pathways to success.

4. Stand in your spotlight.

Don’t be afraid to be brilliant. Have the resilience to shine and follow your dreams of business and personal success. There is nothing wrong with making your own profile, or your own brand, as strong as you possibly can. Because it is only when you are operating from that position of self-leadership that you can truly give to others.

5. Chase progress over perfection.

Most of us instinctively spend time and energy seeking the big goals and achievements—those moments that are incredibly satisfying and equally, at times, hard to come by. Focusing only on the bigger goals can lead to disappointment and frustration, and while those big picture goals are important, we often lose sight of the incremental successes and achievements along the way. Take time to acknowledge and recognize the small wins each and every day.

6. Take action.

Much of what we fear is the future. It is important to bring our overthinking mind continuously into the present, focusing on what needs to be done right now, and take action and get on with it. Action allows us to overcome fear and inertia because by taking action, by doing it anyway, by being brave and going for it, we feel back in control.

7. Embrace decision-making.

When you hold back from making decisions out of a fear of failure, it engenders that same fear in others around you. This means lackluster projects, an endemic inability to change the status quo and a potential lack of future leaders around you. A large part of being brave is to risk failing, make the tough calls, and show those around you that this is OK.

It is those people who are willing to challenge themselves, who make themselves accountable for their own success, and ultimately their own happiness, who recognize the need to reach a little bit further, a little bit higher, who end up with the biggest satisfaction. Be 5 percent braver than everyone else. Dig deep and share your unique talent, your thought leadership, your expertise. Create energy and that energy will drive change for you and those around you. It is those who take the leap, who face their fears who are able to create momentum in their success dreams.

At the end of the day, what will it cost you if you don’t at least try?

What are you afraid of? Face the things that scare you with help from 7 motivational and fear-conquering quotes.

Sydney-based Janine Garner is an internationally-acclaimed entrepreneur and Fortune 500 mentor, keynote speaker and author. She is a partner at Thought Leaders Global, which helps clever people to become commercially smart, and the founder and CEO of the LBDGroup, a networking community that connects like-minded women together to help them achieve extraordinary growth. Janine is passionate about bringing brilliant people together to achieve remarkable results through collaboration, connection and influential leadership.

She is the winner of an International Stevie Award, a Top 10 finalist in the DARE Magazine Daredevil Awards and was listed in 2013 as one of Australia’s “Most Inspiring Women” by Madison Magazine. Janine is also the founder of Australia’s first gift giving circle, the First Seeds Fund, committed to supporting women and children at the grassroots of Australia with a focus on education and employment.

She is the author of From Me To We: Why Commercial Collaboration Will Future Proof Business, Leaders and Personal Success (Wiley 2015) andIt’s Who You Know: How a Network of 12 Key People Can Fast-Track Your Success (Wiley 2017).