Recently I heard someone say that humans are born with only two fears, fear of falling and fear of loud noise. Everything else is learned. That doesn’t mean that fear isn’t real or justified, but it does mean that fear can be conquered—not unlearned, but conquered.
Fear can be grouped into two categories: those that hold you at status quo and those that don’t. The fears that hold you at status quo can include fear of failure, fear of rejection, and fear of change. Fears that may not affect your performance include fear of snakes or fear of spiders. While it can be wildly refreshing and motivating to overcome your fear of snakes or your fear of spiders, chances are the snakes and spiders have not been holding you back from being your best self.
The fear that keeps you at arm’s reach from achieving your vision or the fear that keeps you from being your best, these are fears worth conquering. Too often people are afraid of the unknown. When you take time to explore what you know about your fear, it somehow loses some of its power. The exercise below will help you explore the unknown to begin taking steps towards overcoming your fear.
What fear has been holding you at status quo? Using the questions below, I encourage you to explore the unknown.
- What happens if you __________? People rarely take time to think through what will happen if what they fear actually happens.
- If you _____________, then what? People also forget to think about their options when what they are afraid of actually happens.
- What does it mean if you _____________? People often manifest fears based on an assumption that a certain outcome will occur. What else could it mean if __________ happens?
- Think of a time in your life when you’ve experienced __________________. How did you overcome it then? Sometimes people forget that they’ve conquered their fear in the past and reflecting on the past can sometimes provide useful insight for the future.