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Behind Every Fear is Success –
How to Conquer Anxieties That Are Holding You Back

By Audrey Robinson

September 2019 - It always seems like there's a mountain between us and our dreams. People who want to achieve something great, reach a lofty goal, or start something new will often hesitate before taking the leap. That little bit of hesitation is fine - it's not wise to do anything monumental without pausing to make important considerations.

The hesitation becomes a problem when it transmutes into fear or anxiety that holds you back from doing something you're perfectly capable of doing. If fear is standing in the way of your success, it's time to evaluate the situation, work towards resolving that fear, and do the thing you've always dreamed of doing.

Acknowledge That You're Scared

Most people don't want to admit that fear is a major component separating them from their goals. They'll come up with a list of alternative excuses, but those excuses often won't hold water. Sometimes, excuses are issues that must first be solved or cases where a little creative thinking can bring about a perfect workaround. If your excuses aren't that rational upon further examination, you need to acknowledge that you're feeling a little afraid. It's nothing to be ashamed of - it happens to everyone.

Ask Yourself Why You're Scared

Realizing that you're afraid is the "what". The "why" is even more important, as this is where you'll find the solution. Why are you afraid to move forward with your great idea, your request for a promotion, or to continue your education? For many people, it's the fear of failing. This is even more true when the goal requires money. Nobody wants to feel like they've let their family down by misappropriating funds, and nobody wants to be broke.

In truth, there is always a risk of failure in everything. There's a risk that you can burn your macaroni and cheese! Learning to accept that there's a risk and understanding what you can do to mitigate or minimize that risk will make the process easier. Remain mindful, but consider how much control you actually have. Utilize healthy coping mechanisms for your anxiety, and work through your concerns with rational thought.

Look to Other People for Inspiration

Find someone who has already done what you're setting out to do. You don’t have to know them in person. Maybe they've released a book or done a TED talk or a magazine interview about how they accomplished what they wanted. If your goal is something smaller, like moving up the career ladder, you might have a coworker who has seen success and would be willing to talk to you about it.

If you utilize their advice, you'll have fewer reasons to feel anxious or afraid. They'll likely give you the advice they wish they had. You can learn from their failures and mistakes through the gift of their hindsight, preventing you from stumbling down the wrong path. The wisdom of others is an invaluable tool.

Take Small, Actionable Steps

Find something within the situation that you can control, and focus on that thing. It's a very grounding ritual for anxious people, and it can help you gain greater confidence in any given scenario.

What little things can you do that will help pacify your anxiety? Let’s say your goal is to start your own business, but you're worried that you won't have enough money to get it off the ground. Perhaps you could keep a spending diary and get a better idea of where your money goes. If you can make personal budget cuts and save up to put forward a substantial amount of your own capital, you'll have to ask investors and lenders for far less. This increases your odds of approval, and your own contribution will demonstrate your commitment.

Prepare and Fortify Yourself

Come up with backup plans and alternative strategies. Hopefully, you'll never need to use them. It will give you peace of mind to know you have an alternative direction or a solution on standby in the event that the first move you make doesn't play out the way you had envisioned things. Successful people are really good at pivoting - the creators of YouTube initially wanted to make a video dating service. Today's YouTube is a complete pivot, and it's all because they used their backup plan.

Make Your Way to the Top, Piece by Piece

Break your larger goal into very small, attainable pieces. Reward yourself for every success you experience. Constant positive reinforcement will help to diminish your anxiety. Take a few moments to recognize when things are going well, even if you're moving towards your big achievement at a slow and measured pace. With time, the anxiety will slowly fade away. You'll come to expect the success you deserve.

It might take you some time to completely conquer fear and live out your dreams - no one builds an empire overnight. Recognizing your fears, controlling what you can control, and seeing the fruits of your labor will help to keep you on the right track.

About the author

Audrey Robinson is an avid writer with a great passion for self-improvement and education. She is often found online, sharing her suggestions about creating the best version of oneself.



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