Fear is something that cripples people and keeps them from pursuing and reaching their dreams. This does not have to be so! I truly believe that a person does not have to have fear in their life. I can honestly say that I do not have any fear in my life. Now, I am not perfect by any means, but fear is not something I have because I have dealt with it. I know from personal experience that, as we settle just a few basic issues, we can be free from fear. A few weeks ago I spoke to a group on fear and here are a few of the insights. Disciplining your thoughts Fear is an action of the mind. Fear is a use, or rather a misuse, of the imagination. In reality, when you fear something, you are simply choosing to imagine a future happening. You are fearful that your spouse will divorce you or that the snake will bite you, or that you will lose your job. So when we fear, we are simply letting our minds imagine a bad future. There are two things you can do. One would be to imagine a good future. The other would be to stop thinking about the future and just take one day at a time. If you are a fearful person, either one of these would be preferable to living in the prison you currently live in. We have to discipline our minds and choose not to think about a bad future. We can do that. We can choose our thoughts. It just takes discipline. Accepting the realities of life Much of what people fear are the realities of life. People die, people lose jobs, people choose to do crazy things in relationships, etc. There is nothing you can do about that. Period. Some people are afraid they will go bankrupt or broke and worry endlessly about it. What should they do? Work hard, save, invest and live life. Could you go bankrupt? Yes. These things happen and all you can do is work to make your life what it can be and accept that sometimes things happen, even tragic things. If they happen, you experience the pain and emotion then – there is no sense forcing yourself to experience it before it happens – IF it happens! This is a mental adjustment we make that enables us to get over fear. Giving yourself good information Much of what we fear is irrational and not based on good information. For example, someone afraid of snakes will scream when they see a garter snake, even though there is absolutely nothing the snake can do to them! Take the time to educate yourself about whatever it is you fear and see if that doesn’t help you gain the mental edge you need. Taking control only of those things you can control Much of what we fear is out of our hands, and we can’t control it. You can’t control if your spouse leaves you. You can control how you treat your spouse. You can’t control a downturn in the economy. You can control whether you save for a rainy day or not. You can’t control whether or not you will get a fatal disease. You can control whether you eat right and exercise. Control what you can control, and let go of the rest. These are some basic points that I use to shape my heart and mind so I don’t have to spend my life in fear. Also, I think one of the overriding principles of life we can embrace to overcome fear is that we can relinquish control, and trust that someone greater than us is fully aware of what is happening on this earth and in our lives. I, for one, leave a lot of my fears on this theological hook. There are a few others as well, I am sure, and many you probably use yourself, but for now, this should be enough to chew on. Getting over fear is an issue of the mind and the spirit, and believe me, the battle over fear can be won. Chris Widener is a businessman, author, speaker and television host. A prolific writer and producer of CDs and DVDs, his most recent book is The Art of Influence. Widener is the host of the national interview show, Made For Success, and co-host of True Performance with Zig Ziglar. The Chris Widener newsletter is one of the most widely distributed on personal and professional development. Visit his website for more information.