10 Ways To Combat and Overcome Fear
Updated: Sep 21
Fear gets to the best of us, whether it is fear of failure, fear of success or even fear of fear. All of us have experienced fear at some point in our lives and it can be a real stumbling block that can hold us back from time to time.
However, fear does not have to hold you back forever if you don’t let it. There are several ways to overcome fear, here are my top 9:
1. SEPARATE REALITY FROM PERCEPTION
Ask yourself what is really going on, locate the facts and place them over your feelings.
2. IDENTIFY THE TRIGGER
Figure out what it is in a situation that triggers you. Learning to identify it will help you learn to combat it.
3. KNOW WHERE FEAR LIVES IN YOUR BODY
A lot of times, fear takes over physically. It affects different people different ways. Identify if/how it affects your physical body and do the work to take care of your body. For instance, if you hold stress in your back, you can learn stretches, foam rolling, and so on to avoid the pain.
4. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Each day, you can try to list out 1-3 things you are thankful for. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, gratitude helps shift the mind into a positive light, which overtime, overcomes fear.
5. LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE
Try to monitor your inner conversations. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself. It can be beneficial to speak positively to yourself and remind yourself of your strengths.
6. CREATE A NEW ASSOCIATION
Remind yourself that the feeling and the moment will pass. Focus on the positive outcome of the situation, rather than the scary in-between.
7. LOOK AT THE GLASS HALF FULL
Perception is a very powerful thing, and how you feel about your situation dictates how you respond. So, think positively and you’ll give yourself a much better chance of success. This won’t happen overnight – try to practice with just one thought at first. What is one recurring negative/fearful thought you have? Work on reversing this one thought. Overtime, this will become a habit.
8. PRACTICE BREATHING EXERCISES
Breathing helps center your body. You can take 5 deep, long breaths at any point to calm and center yourself. It is ideal to start your day with this, but feel free to practice all day long.
9. CREATE A SAFE SPACE
When we feel safe and secure, there is no room for fear. Find somewhere safe you can retreat to when negative feelings begin - whether this is a real place such as your bedroom, or a place in your mind such as the beach. This sense of comfort can soothe you and allow you to face your fear.
10. FACE IT
Last but not least, when you feel ready, face it! After practicing the above strategies and identifying it and getting more comfortable with fear, it can be helpful to face your fear. An important step in managing fearful situations, places or objects involves facing them. It is normal and natural to want to avoid the things you fear. The process of facing fears is called exposure. It involves slowly, gradually, bit by bit, going into feared situations over and over until your fear decreases over time. You can even develop a plan using a fear ladder to help with this.
Please keep in mind, these are just 10 strategies, not everything works for everyone, but this is a place to start. Start implementing these techniques into your life and see which ones work best for you. If you have tried the above strategies but feel that you still need more help or are interested in working with a therapist on using exposure therapy, then contact me by going to the contact page for a free 15 minute consultation!