Is Fear Holding You Back? Here's How to Conquer It

Fear Can Stop You in Your Tracks

I was working on a worthwhile project, prospecting for new clients. One day, I realized I was no longer moving forward. I got out a yellow note pad. I wrote my goal at the top. Then, I wrote a short list of reasons why I wasn't succeeding. 

Declare Your Fear, so You Can Conquer It

I looked at my list. To my amazement, none of the reasons were tangible. They all boiled down to one glaring word:  FEAR. When I looked at the list again, I had to admit to myself that I was afraid to take the one action that could open the floodgates and get my prospecting back on track. I had to write a letter to a former client, describing something I had done wrong. I had to describe what I've learned, and ask for another chance.

Perhaps I was afraid my letter would be perceived as a sign of weakness. Perhaps the recipient would pass my letter around and publicly ridicule it.

Perhaps it's silly, but my reluctance to write that letter was slowing down all of my prospecting efforts. I asked around, and I learned that I wasn't alone. I suspect that you've had similar roadblocks.

Dad's Wise Advice on Conquering Fear

Now that I had declared my fear, I could take steps to conquer it. I remembered something my dad told me years ago:  "Deal with fear the same way you deal with shaking hands with someone. Offer to shake the other person's hand. If they shake your hand, you win. If they spit on your hand or ridicule you, you still win. The reason you win is that you did everything within your control. You can't control the other person's response. You'd better make sure you are proud of your own actions, because that's all you can control."

Taking Action Against Fear

I wrote the letter and mailed it. I did not receive a reply. Maybe my letter was received and filed away. Maybe it was shown around the office. It no longer matters. I did everything I could control, so it's OK.  

3 Steps to Conquering Your Fears

When you realize that fear has stopped you, take these three steps to get going again:

  1. Declare the fear that's stopping you.
  2. List the reasons for your fear, and the steps you must take to conquer it.
  3. Take the action you can control, the action you can be proud of.

Your outcome: no more fear. You'll be amazed at how quickly and easily the fear dissolves and you begin moving forward again.

How about you? What fears have you conquered?