Posted by: successforrealpeople | October 1, 2008

Success Is Overcoming Fear

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

How often has fear held you back from doing something?  We’ve all had times when we’ve let fear take ahold of us and prevent us from going after something we wanted; a job promotion, a love interest, a college degree, you name it.  So how do you overcome those fears?  You look fear right in the face and then press on!

Let’s take a closer look at fear.  Fear that warns us of imminent danger is both necessary and biological.  It’s the body’s way of protecting us from harmful situations.  When the body senses danger, a fight or flight mechanism is triggered and the body responds.  This is to ensure our survival.  The other type of fear is fear of a perceived outcome.  Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of embarrassment are some of the more common ones.

This second type of fear comes from your belief system.  It’s your thoughts, not reality, that creates this fear.  So what can you do to eliminate the fear?  You first begin by focusing on the desired outcome rather than on the feared outcome.  Remember that fear is an emotion and our emotions change all the time.  Secondly, any fear that is faced head on disappears.  For some people this may be too intimidating so start with small steps.  You want to ask your coworker out on a date but are paralyzed at the thought of asking him/her in person.  Ask in a memo or email instead.  The point is not so much in how you do it, but that you DO do it.

While in college I had been asked to be a guest speaker for one of the local high school’s Sophomore Awareness Week.  I was asked to speak about my best friend who had been killed in an alcohol related accident.  My first thought was, I don’t have any experience with public speaking.  I was worried that the students would find my speech boring.  And I didn’t even know where the school was located.  I had worked myself into a complete panic just thinking about it!

The day of my friend’s funeral (I was only 15), her mom hugged me and said “Don’t let her death be in vain.”  I felt her telling me that I needed to do this.  So I mustered up some courage, wrote my speech and delivered it to over 200 kids.  With knees shaking and voice trembling, I got through that speech.  I can’t tell you how grateful I felt to know that maybe, my friend’s death would not be meaningless after all.  I later learned that the students thought my speech was the best.  That one incident helped me to overcome my fear of public speaking.  I actually love it now.

So remember, it’s not what you fear that’s the problem, it’s the fear itself.  Fear is an emotion based on a belief.  Change your focus and face those fears head on.  Success comes to those who will do the very things they fear.

Wishing you much happiness and success!


  1. great topic; it was a very interesting read. =)

  2. Thank you! I have found that overcoming my fears has really helped me to live a more fulfilling and rewarding life.

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