All humans fear. It started when we were afraid of the dark, and those monsters shifted and molded to parallel our experiences with death, rejection and separation as we grew older.
Fear is imbedded in our identity. We could have been born into certain kinds of fears based on the household we grew up in and the people who raised us. The fear of failing might’ve been the very motivation behind doing well in a culture of respect and pride.
Fears are legitimate and valid and very, very real. They cripple us. They silence us.
Let’s think back to a time when we were afraid. How did we overcome it? We faced it. Simple as that.
To overcome fear, we need to seek out opportunities to face it. Usually, the initial reaction is to run the other way, hoping for a way out, one part of the fight or flight response.
Facing our fears is impossible when we turn away. When we face our fears head on, we peel back the layers of fear until it becomes something conquerable.
Let’s look at the fear of rejection: The paralyzing feeling of never being enough for someone or something. It is absolutely damaging to our emotional, physical, mental and relational well being. That’s what fear does—it injects itself in every fiber of our being and it takes hold.
So, how do we overcome the fear of rejection? How do we find the strength to overcome it rather than let it overcome us? Take a deep breath, and try out the following steps to overcome fear.
Identify the fear
What are you afraid of? Ask specific questions, reach into past experiences and name the fear itself. It is empowering to call it out for what it is as and expose our fears into the light.
Learn and process
This is where resources, research and recruitment of others’ help come in handy. Reaching out to community for book recommendations, podcasts, therapists and having conversations about the reality of our fears can be immensely helpful as it washes away the element of isolation.
Overcome and conquer
Overcoming and conquering fears comes through consistency and keeping your efforts in perspective. When we are afraid, it is important to set our minds on the positives: that we are courageous and strong; that we have much to be grateful for; that we are not alone even if we might feel lonely.
So when we face our fear, we are intentionally going after that thing––the job position, a relationship, anything that requires an application––by putting ourselves out there.
Let’s start by celebrating the victory of submitting or saying something that involves a risk for the sake of it. If we can do that, we’re on our way to eliminating the very things that grip us too tight.
When’s the last time you overcame a fear?