Taking Action Even When You’re Scared to Death

Fear is a normal emotion. Sometimes, it can be beneficial because it makes you aware of risks, keeps you alert, and improves mental focus. However, too much fear will have the opposite effect. Don’t fret as even the most successful people experience this feeling. The key is to prevent it from dictating your actions.

The Many Shades of Fear

This human emotion isn’t all black and white. Fear can take many forms, from mild anxiety to downright debilitating overthinking. Under certain circumstances, it can protect you from danger and stop impulsive behaviors. But, because it’s closely tied into your gut instinct, it can also help you improve your decision making.

But not all types of fear are good for you. In fact, this emotion often does more harm than good. It can keep you from reaching your full potential, fuel procrastination, and cause stress.

Let’s say you want to ask for a promotion to get the head of the department. You might be afraid that you’ll lose your current position if things don’t work out as you planned. What if your immediate boss feels threatened? Or what if your colleagues don’t like you?

The risks are real, so it’s normal to experience fear. However, you’ll never know what you’re missing if you don’t try. Who knows? You might be the person they were looking for and hoping you wished for such a position. Five years from now on, you could head of the department. Do you want to live your life wondering What if?

How to Conquer Your Fear

No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to get rid of fear completely. Instead, you should make it your ally.

Picture yourself reaching your goal, whatever it is. Imagine the worst-case scenario and then come up with a backup plan. Ask yourself: what are the facts? Am I making assumptions? What’s the best thing that can happen? Who can I call for help?

Use your fear as a source of guidance. Assess your inner fears and seek possible solutions. Using our example above, you could start inspiring those around you. This way, if your plan doesn’t work you still have created visibility you need for the next available opportunity. With this approach, you’ll get to do what you want and mitigate risks.

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