What would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing?

Two decades ago, a close friend (Ann) gave me the book ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers the reading of which transformed my life.

I saw how fear of what people thought of me and fear of failure had held me back from way too long. Soon after, I left my job of 15 years and struck out into a fresh career path and didn’t look back.

I faced my fear and did it anyway.

I learned that fear is part of life – indeed some fears are helpful. You’re afraid to stick your hand into a fire or to jump off a cliff. If you weren’t afraid of anything, you wouldn’t live long.

But most fears are crippling and influence your decisions in negative ways. The more fears you have, the less freedom you have to chase your dreams.

If you are stuck in fear right now, here are a few things you can try:

1. Become more aware.
Look at all your fears and make a list of them.
Which are causing you the most pain.
Which do you spend the most time working around? Which are the most limiting?

2. Determine why you’re afraid.
What are the possible consequences that cause you to be afraid?
How real is the fear?
Can you stop something from happening by worrying – or is the worry robbing you of enjoying today?

3. Deal with your fears a little at a time.
For example, if you’re afraid of public speaking, try giving a speech to your partner or a friend.
Then trying giving it to three of them.
Build up your tolerance until you can speak to more people.
Take one step at a time.

4. Use techniques to lower your fear.
There are many tools for dealing with fear – here are just a few:
• The Emotional Freedom Technique is popular – find it online or speak with a practitioner.
• Hypnosis and meditation are good options.
• If you are not making progress on your own, you can find a coach to help.

5. Use a journal.
We take the things we write more seriously than our self-talk.
You talk to yourself constantly throughout the day.
Use a journal to record your thoughts, fears, and your progress.

6. Develop a new understanding of failure.
Many of the fears we have are related to a fear of failure.
Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen if you fail?
Failure can be a great thing if you learn from it and apply it to your life.

What other ideas and techniques do you use to banish irrational fear?