Conquering fear

​Question one: “What must I do?”

You already know the answer.

Question two: “What more do I need to do it?”

Nothing. 

You can start today, right now. You have immensely powerful resources at your fingertips. You don’t need more money, more experience, more contacts or more time. You need to stop erecting barriers for yourself to climb.

A third question: “Then why aren’t I doing it?”

FEAR.

It’s scary moving from the comfortable and known into the challenging and unfamiliar. Even when the change is for the better, we still lose something. It’s easier to stay where we are than to risk our ego.

A fourth question: “So how do I overcome fear?”

Enter Tim Ferriss:

“Typically, people don’t overcome their fears because the fears are nebulous and undefined,” Ferriss tells Business Insider. To get over them, then, you need to drag your fears out into the open and confront them.”

​How? Ferriss calls it “fear setting”.

​“Begin by thinking of a goal that is important to you but that you’ve kept yourself from attempting, and divide a piece of paper into three columns.

– In the first column, write down all of the things that could go wrong should your attempt fail. Think of the most terrible things possible.

– In the second column, determine ways that you can mitigate the possibility of each of those bad consequences from happening.

– In the third column, think of how you would recover from each of the scenarios you imagined and wrote in the first column.”

Another way is to manipulate your perception: Pain is inevitable. Life is messy. We’re going to get hurt. But pain does not have to mean suffering.

Or maybe you don’t overcome fear, you just replace it with another, stronger fear.

What’s scarier? Changing, taking a risk, learning about yourself and the world in the process and possibly failing? Or staying exactly as you are for the rest of your life while the rest of the world grows, evolves and leaves you behind?

Fear is also easier to overcome when we have someone to hold our hand. When you were a kid and you were scared, what did you do? You grabbed mummy or daddy’s hand and they helped you to realise that what you were scared of wasn’t that bad after all.

Your partner, your friends, your mentors can serve a similar purpose. In the face of fear, they can support you, comfort you and help you to see how inconsequential your fear actually is.

You know what you must do. You need nothing more to do it. But still, you delay. You’re scared. 

But fear, in most cases, is a human construct, an emotion, an image, an illusion. Which means it can be beaten.