When utilized properly, fear can keep us alive, alerting us to dangerous situations and risky behaviors. Truth be told, fear is actually a survival mechanism—those who have no fear aren’t aware that touching that poisonous spider will kill them. But fear can also be crippling as well, hindering your every thought from turning into a positive action, creating a sinkhole for your soul. When your fear takes over and stops being helpful, it turns into your own worst enemy, one that you must conquer from within.
Your Inner Fears are Preventing Your Success
While there are many different things that fear can keep you from doing, the easiest way to boil it all down into one digestible thought is that your fear is keeping you from success. Whether that’s successfully going outside and walking over a bridge or success in your relationships and career really isn’t important—all success that is owed to you is being taken away by fear.
This is an inner enemy which makes it hard to see. When outside forces are acting on our lives and preventing our success we can see them clearly. For instance, we know when we tell a co-worker something and the next thing that happens, you’re being passed over for that promotion you were in line for, the co-worker might have prevented your success by badmouthing you to the boss. Or if you have a bed that doesn’t let you sleep through the night leaving you groggy and unable to perform your job well, it’s easy to tell that the bed is the problem.
But with inner enemies, your focus isn’t on “what” is making you experience failure, it’s only on the actual failure you are experiencing. This leads to more self-doubt, further fueling the fear within and causing your enemy to grow stronger and more convincing each day.
How to Face the Enemy Within
The hardest part about conquering your inner fear enemy (aside from recognizing it) is understanding how to face and defeat it. That’s because everyone’s fear feeds on a different part of their life. For some, the fear of rejection is crippling their relationships, both business and romantic. For others, the fear of being seen as stupid might prevent them from speaking up, thus causing them opportunities at success.
- The reality of any inner enemy—especially fear—is that it feeds on the weakest characteristics and flaws that you think you have. Note that the key word there is think and not just “flaws that you have.”
- The reality of flaws is that most of them are perceptions held by the “owner” of the flaws that are actually teeny tiny little instances where something happened and a negative response occurred.
To better explain how your flaws are fueling your fear and that the flaws you think you have are likely misconceptions, let’s take a look at an example:
When Amy was 14 years old, she approached a guy she liked who laughed when Amy mispronounced a word. Amy felt stupid, small and rejected, leading her to think to this day that any time she approaches someone she is looking to build a friendship or relationship with, they will will reject her, laugh at her and think she is stupid. This is due to Amy’s perception of how the encounter went.
In reality the boy Amy approached when she was 14 had a crush on Amy too and was just nervous that she approached him. This nervousness made its way out of the awkward teen in the form of a giggle that Amy completely overreacted to. Now the boy, Tom, has a complex where he thinks girls run from him because he is too nervous, leading him to be even more nervous and crippling his social interactions due to fear of failure.
Do you see how the perception of an incident or occurrence can lead to the building of fear inside? Left unchecked, this fear will keep feeding on that incident, fueling your insecurities and ultimately, preventing your success.
How to Conquer Your Fear for Good
So, how do you deal with this fear? Well, the biggest step is understanding that your perception is what is making you afraid. Actually, it’s an irrational perception where the fear builds up consequences that terrify you into inaction. In reality, moving past your fear and out of your “safety” or “comfort” zone will almost never be as bad as you think it is.
Let’s look at Amy. What will happen if she goes up to a guy she likes now? Well, what’s the best that can happen? He responds and they fall in love, get married and forget the world? Okay, not bad. But what’s the worst that can happen? He tells her he’s in a relationship or even just flat out rejects her and she never sees him again? Okay, not bad either!
The point is, give your fears a run for their money and see just how they stand up to your perception of what you think will happen and what will actually happen. There is simply no other way to know if your fears are founded in truth than to challenge them with action. What’s the best that can happen? You succeed? What’s the worst? You fail? Unfortunately, you’re already failing if you let fear control your life.
To find out more about how to overcome fear and defeat your inner demons, Check This Out Right Now: Rules for Successful Living