As a former war veteran and survivor of drug and alcohol addiction and PTSD, I have realized that there are a number of fears holding us back from achieving our goals. My personal experience has taught me that in order to get past these fears one must confront them head-on rather than practicing avoidance.
I taught myself to embrace and face my fears and was able to overcome my own obstacles, eventually founding my program Existing2Living, which helps others to do the same in order to reach new heights.
Hear is a list of what I believe to be the 5 most common fears prohibiting success and my tips on overcoming them.
Fear 1: Not being good enough
We fear that no one will want to hear what we have to say, that our product cannot compare with others in the marketplace, or that our idea isn’t worthy enough to share with the world.
A mantra I always repeat to myself in any endeavor is “It’s about progress, not perfection.”
I encourage changing the content you put into your consciousness. Read more stories of how people came from nothing to build something. Use those stories to push you forward.
Confidence is the result of having successfully survived a risk, so take small risks and celebrate each little win on the journey. These wins will reinforce that you are better than the person you were yesterday.
Fear 2: Not knowing enough
We keep delaying action until we feel like we know everything there is to know to be successful without recognizing that the not knowing and the failure is a part of the learning process.
Break the journey down into small steps. Work backwards from your goal. Set milestones to get there and then create action steps ONLY to the next milestone. Simply create a step-by-step roadmap for yourself so you don’t have to think about what to do, this will help to eliminate self-doubt.
Find someone who has done what you want to do and learn from them. People are much more willing to help than we think, and if the biggest fish in the ocean is too far out of reach, find someone one step ahead of you, or two, or three and find out how they took those steps.
Fear 3: An unknown future
Starting a business is a risk and with risk comes the fear of an unknown future, the fear of what lies ahead looms heavily amongst us.
The future is always unknown, whether you’re starting a business or not. Push yourself to step outside your comfort zone to get acquainted with the unknown.
Fear 4: Failure
Although this is a symptom of fearing an unknown future, fear of failure holds so many of us back that I felt it is worth addressing separately.
Reframe failure in your mind. Failure is nothing more than a lesson. In fact, we often learn more from failure than we do from success. By looking at it as a learning opportunity, we come to value it.
Fear 5: Fear of fear itself
This is a fear that most people don’t talk about, but is the most important fear to address. Once you manage this fear, it will make all of the other ones on this list that much easier to face.
Fear, stress and anxiety are emotions people tend to strive away from. However, studies have shown that people who perceive stress as a positive force to improve performance, consistently perform better than those who view stress as negative.