How To Overcome Fear-5 Key Points

These principles and ideas can be applied to a fear of failure as it relates to:

  • Change
  • New job
  • New position
  • New business
  • Public speaking
  • Asking someone to go on a date

Let’s get to the five key points.

Watch the video or read below.

Point # 1-
A group of us went to the lake and decided to do some cliff diving. We found a cliff that was set out over the water so we didn’t have to worry about landing on anything but water. The water was deep so we didn’t have to worry about hitting bottom or landing on a large boulder. We climbed to the top and as we were discussing who was going to jump first we started to consider all the things that could go wrong. What if I slip right before I jump? What if I do a belly flop and it stings? What if..?

Then I peaked out over the edge almost as if to make sure the water was still in the lake and it looked further than before. Five more minutes of discussion and I peaked over the edge again. Once again it looked even further. As we sat there waiting the fear became worse and it affected my own vision as I looked over the edge. The action step didn’t change. Nothing changed physically. The water was still there and the cliff didn’t get any higher. The only thing that changed was the thoughts going on inside my head. The fear was worse than before.

Point #1-the fear will get worse the longer you wait to take the first step towards action.

Point #2-
Our fear can affect us physically and can lead to our failure. Consider the golfer about ready to play a par three. The goal is to hit the ball onto the green as close to the hole as possible on the first shot. On this particular hole the green is surrounded by water so the possible outcomes of not hitting the green can be a penalty stroke, a re-hit over the water, loss of the hole, loss of money if the golfer is gambling, loss of the ball, loss of pride. This is intimidating to the average golfer as well as the very good golfer.

Physically the very good golfer and the professional golfer are the same. The only difference between them is what goes on inside their heads. When the very good golfer approaches this hole they feel fear when looking at the large lake surrounding the green. They may even reach into the bag and grab an old ball for fear of losing the ball into the water. They focus on not hitting the ball into the water then proceed to hit the ball directly into the water. The professional golfer acknowledges that there is water then focuses on the green and that is usually where they hit the ball. The professional golfer focuses on the positive outcome, the target. The amateur golfer focuses on everything but the positive outcome.

Point #2-focus on the positive outcome.

Point #3-
Professionals can let fear affect them as well. Professional baseball players will often struggle when getting to the World Series the first time. A few years later they get to the World Series again and play great. During the regular season they had the same statistics that they did a few years earlier when they reached the World Series and struggled. Physically they are the same player but now they mentally handle the fear. They have dealt with this fear before and it’s easier the second time around.

Let me share my own story as it relates to fear the second time around. I went to the racetrack with my father to race Indy cars up to 150mph. I never drove a racecar before and I was scared. You sit in a car that’s about the size of an oversized go-cart. You are laying down with only your head sticking out of the convertible go-cart. You take turns on a bank while staring at the wall as you whip around to the straight away holding onto a steering wheel about the size of a large coffee saucer. Yes I was feeling fear.

With each lap I was able to pick up the speed as I became more comfortable with my surroundings until the final lap when I was going 140mph.

Two weeks later we decided to race again. This time it took one lap for me to max out the speed and I was able to get up to 150mph.

Point #3-it gets easier even if you didn’t succeed the first time. Take note that if you can step just a little outside of your comfort zone you can expand your comfort zone. Continue expanding your comfort zone until you can take on anything.

Point #4-
Results, results, results. Have you ever heard this? Focus on the results. Focusing only on the results and not on the action steps to get those results can lead to more fear of failure. The fear of failure to achieve these desired results can affect us when taking the action steps.

I have found that focusing on the action steps necessary to get the desired results increases my chances of achieving the desired results. Let’s use golf as an example.

When I place a bet that I can shoot a 75 today I focused entirely on the 75. If my first shot of the day goes out of bounds or in the water I start to feel the anxiety immediately. To shoot a 75 in golf I know that I can only afford a couple bad shots the entire day. Stress, tension, and anxiety can greatly affect the golf swing and make matters worse.

Now let’s say my goal today is to enjoy the day of golf regardless of the outcome and take a smooth swing on every shot. My only focus is everything that happens from the time I start the swing until the moment I strike the ball. On these occasions I have shot my best rounds. Others have told me stories of shooting their best rounds when they didn’t know their score until completing the round. In other words, their focus was not the score itself.

Point #4-focus on the action steps required to achieve the desired results.

Point #5-
Have you ever approached someone to ask them out on a date or talk to them about an idea or a business? Before you approach them you put yourself through all the possible negative outcomes and possible embarrassment or rejection. Approach the woman and ask her out and she says, “yes”. You just put yourself through all this stress and increased your own fear for no reason. The same woman may instead say, “Thanks for the offer. I am flattered and I would have gone out with you two months ago but now I have a boyfriend.”

The second scenario you still feel good because you at least tried. You didn’t get the desired result but it was nowhere near as bad as you thought it was going to be.

Point #5-it is not as bad as we think. We dream up the worst possible negative response and that is rarely the case.

In studies of people at the end of their life I have read that one of their biggest regrets is they didn’t take enough risks. They didn’t try new things as much as they wish they would have.

“If you try you may succeed or you may not. If you don’t try you fail every time.”

Here is some video footage of the racing at 150mph that I edited for my Dad’s enjoyment. You’ll see why.

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