Do you suffer from anxiety or fear and do you feel it is holding you back?
If you could conquer your fears would it help you move forward in your life?
I’ve been thinking a lot about fear recently
Not the “fear of flying” or “afraid of spiders” sort of fear, but the sort of fear that is inside you and stops you from doing stuff.
Maybe even stuff that you would really like to do
I wish I had done more stuff in my life but all the time fear has been holding me back
The fear that I won’t be any good
The fear that I won’t be accepted
Even the fear that of being successful at the chosen activity!
My stepmother (in my teenage years) once had a real go at me and called me a “coward”
I haven’t seen her for 30 years (we don’t really get on!)
I hate to say it, but she was right
I have been a coward for much of my life
Yes, I am introverted (but there are a lot of brave introverts all over the world so that is no excuse)
But I also suffered from an anxiety
A crippling fear which (for much of my life) had prevented me from doing anything new
And often prevented me from doing “normal stuff”
I remember at University I grew my hair really long
People thought I was a “rocker” or a hippy
Truth was I actually feared going to the barbers
Same as I feared going to the shoe shop to try on a new pair of shoes
I feared that “interaction” with people that such an action would entail
And it would take a real burst of courage to actually do those (what seems simple) things
I’m a bit better now I am older (I’ve had to be)
But every day I find I need to summon up the courage to do something if it is slightly out of the ordinary
Or just something different from the norm
But I digress
So How Does Fear Relate to My Finances?
You are right to ask the question
After all, this is a blog about your family finance, money management and a sprinkling of money-making ideas isn’t it?
Well, that’s how this site started out when I first started it in 2015 (or so)
But the trouble was, even though I was creating good content, nobody was reading it
And the reason that nobody was reading it was that I feared taking the next step, going out to an audience, and getting judged
This is counterintuitive because I really wanted to help people with their money
Plus I wanted to build a business that would allow me to choose which direction to take later in life
And I came to realize that at that point I was just not ready
I hadn’t conquered my fears of being “out there” in any way shape or form
Okay – I had taken the first step (started the blog) but I still feared the second step (promoting it so people could actually read it!)
I’ve got over many of my fears by taking the steps later in this article
And over time I have switched my mindset so that I can (largely) handle my fears and move forward
And over time the emphasis on this blog has changed so that the key focus is on a positive mindset – particularly related to money
So back to the question about money and how it is important to conquer your fears around money and success
And to my statement that “fear is the one thing that holds us back from success”
And the case of money that is almost certainly true
- Fear may be stopping you facing up to your financial status and getting out of debt
- Fear may be preventing you from going for that promotion at work
- Fear may be stopping you from being truly effective in your role so that you can justifiably apply for that promotion
- Fear may be preventing you from starting that side business that you always wanted to start
- Fear may be stopping you from making that connection which could really help your career
So if you truly want to change your money mindset, get on top of your finances and move forward, you need to find a way to conquer your fears
Enough About Me… What About You?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could conquer your fears and live your life in such a way that you were virtually “fear-free”?
Now it’s really difficult to know how anyone else is feeling because you only have yourself as a point of reference, but I don’t think I am out of line when I say that everybody experiences fear in some shape or form.
- Think about the actress about to go on stage
- Or the footballer waiting in the dressing room for kick-off time
- You may have a tricky meeting to run, a presentation to give or a difficult telephone call to make
Everybody experiences fear – it’s how you face the fear that counts
Indeed it is not unfair to say that the biggest difference between someone who is successful and someone who is not is the courage to take significant action over and over again
Put another way – it is fear that stops us from taking action.
If you could conquer your fears you would have a much better chance of a happier life
When Was the Last Time You Were Fearful?
As a little exercise, just have a think about the last time you were fearful
What did the fear stop you from doing?
- Applying for that job that would (maybe in time) have been perfect for you?
- Asking that girl out you have been fawning over for weeks?
- Going to play golf with your friends because you feared you would be no good?
- Fearful of making that phone call that would help you deal with your financial issues
And now have a think about what you could achieve if you could conquer your fears
I recently sat down and really thought about the steps I had taken to help me succeed in my life.
The steps that will enable you to take that significant action, repeatedly so that it just becomes a matter of routine
And then I thought that it really comes down to one thing (and with apologies to a top sports manufacturer) – “just do it”
If there is a barrier in your way or something which you must do then take a deep breath and “just do it”
Trouble is that’s not really advice that is going to be helpful to somebody who is fearful of “just doing it”
If you have an issue that’s holding you back, or something you really know you should do but aren’t doing because of “the fear” then the advice “just do it” isn’t going to work very well
So how’s about this idea:
Conquer your fears by starting small.
Commit to One Small Thing Every Day
Get used to doing little things that scare you and build-up to the big stuff
So commit yourself to do one thing that scares you every single day for the next month
And then at the end of the month commit yourself to face one bigger thing (a “big deal thing”) that you have been fearful about
Write down your achievements (I recommend keeping a “conquer your fears” journal)
Here are some examples of what I mean:
Here are examples of a few things you could do:
- Phone a friend you haven’t spoken to for ages
- Knock on the door of a neighbor (invent a pretext if you have to) and just make contact
- Make a phonecall that will help you financially
- Volunteer to do something at work out of your normal day to day role
- Sign up for a dating agency and complete the profile (singles only!)
- Have that “tricky conversation” that you have meant to have for ages with a colleague at work
Don’t be afraid to repeat a few things – you don’t have to do something brand new every day but you do need to commit to doing something that will move you forward
And Commit to a Bigger Deal at the End of the Month
Examples of “big deal” actions you could take to conquer your fears
- Join a golf club
- Apply for that promotion at work
- Ask somebody out
- Sort out your finances
- Make that presentation at work that you’ve been dithering over
- Think about something you really want to do and join a club or group in your local area. You may not know anybody and it may be scary at first but you’ll soon settle in
- Start training for a 10K run or even a marathon!
Imagine that you did both of these things for a whole year
Rinse and repeat
You’d have around 350 “small ticket” things you had achieved and 12 “big-ticket items” where you have faced your fears head-on
And all written down so you can go back over your achievements
And I bet that at the end of the process if you went back to read those fears you had documented at the beginning of the process they would seem trivial
How would that make you feel?
Remember That Action Dispels Fear
When you’re fearful, go ahead and act on your goals.
Action dispels fear. You can only really conquer your fears by taking action
There’s a quote by Dr. Steve Maraboli which emphasizes just how important action is…
“The universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts – it gives you what you demand with your actions.”
– Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
He is spot on with his analysis
It is absolutely essential that you must act in order to conquer your fears
And I promise you that once you do, you’ll realize that a lot of your apprehension and fear just disappears.
Your decision to start simply shines a light on the dark shadows in your mind and you’ll realize there was never a boogeyman out to get you.
Fear is actually an illusion.
Your mind realizes that you’re not playing around.
Until now, you were a spectator… but things have changed.
You are now a player!
Here are a few other tips which should help with your journey to conquer your fears
Many of our stresses, challenges, and concerns are things that we actually anticipated.
Take the time to find solutions and put them into place before you need them.
When you can see a challenge that is likely to come up, simply prepare for it instead of worrying about it.
Focus on the Good Outcomes.
Most people look for the worst and expect it to happen.
Expect the best and it’s much easier to take action.
Be a “glass half full” kind of person
Learn to Relax.
When you feel stress and anxiety coming on, a few slow, deep breaths can make a huge difference.
To a large extent, our psychology follows our physiology;
Breathing is the only part of our physiology that we can really control.
Use that control to your advantage.
Fully Engage In Your Life and Get Away From the News.
The news is so negative.
Instead, find something interesting to do with your time.
If you’re conquering less stressful things all day long, the more stressful things don’t seem so bad anymore.
Take a piano lesson, go hiking, or go skydiving.
It will make your life more interesting, too.
Realize That You Are Enough.
Even if you have things to learn and skills that need to be honed, that doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of the task at hand.
Plan to acquire the resources you need, but do everything you can with the resources you have now.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Don’t let negative people drag you down.
If you surround yourself with positive people some of it is bound to rub off on you!
Other people can help you conquer your fears
How to Conquer Your Fears – Summary
In summary – the only way to truly be free is to conquer your fears.
The only way to conquer your fears is to do the things that frighten you.
Here’s a video which I like which talks about fears and how to start dealing with them
- Start small and build-up
- Record your successes in a journal
- Prove to yourself that you can do those things successfully.
- Then move onto bigger things
Follow the suggestions above and start your journey to conquer your fears and move from fear to freedom starting today!
Here is a 30-second summary: