A bunch of y’all have been sending me emails asking me how to get over fear.
The big problem that seems to be around is: Fear of doing [that thing] you really want
And “that thing” includes a whole lot of stuff, like following your dreams, doing what you love, wanting to quit your shitty job, walking away from a destructive relationship and also talking in front of a crowd.
Yeah fear is a bitch (or is it?)
I think there’re a lot of cliché how-to-get-over-fear articles and blogs out there. They work, but sometimes the advice are so tired that it becomes unrealistic.
After all, we’re all emotional creatures. We want empathy and someone real we can relate to.
See? So writing about fear can be a bitch too.
I’ve feared the fuck out of many things
That means to say, I’ve had fear that made me seem like a pussy, holding back and then regretting later on.
But also… I’ve mostly gotten over my shit.
I’ve fought fear throughout my life. I dealt with dancing in front of people, screwing up and looking bad, an uncertain future and just losing more people in my life.
I also have an irrational fear that I may lose a limb or getting paralyzed.
My biggest fear is that either me or my brother would die before my mom. That’d be messed up as that effectively means half the family would be gone and my mom would have to deal with that.
This was taken last year during a battle I took part in at a local jam. Looks cool?
What you do not see however, is the immense amount of nervousness I felt hours before. I was scared shitless! I was afraid of letting my team down, letting myself down and basically looking like an idiot.
But it was all worth it. Pretty proud of this picture.
Fear is the simple answer to why you’re unhappy…
Before we go into the How-To I just want to talk a little “behind the scenes” of fear and how it runs in your life.
I’m not trying to simplify your problems, but I want you to open up to this simple idea:
Everything in life, that is making you unhappy, is due to fear only.
Simple as that.
All your problems give you stress only because you fear something.
All your challenges feel overwhelming because your perception of it is filled with fear.
You’re unhappy because fear has clouded your mind and instead injected all sorts of mindfuckery to make you feel unhappy.
I get angry all the time. I especially get angry when thinking of some assholes who deserve a beating by me. I realized a lot of that anger came from the fear that I may actually lose in a fight. That’s a story for another time.
So if that’s simple, what do you do ?
…and the solution is simple too
There’s only one cure for fear.
As long as you know what will come next, your fears would most definitely disappear.
It’d help right? To know what’d happen, so you can either enjoy and celebrate if things turn out right, or take it easy as it probably wouldn’t be that bad.
Remember, problems don’t cause stress or fear. It’s your perception of it.
Now, of course it isn’t that easy…
We’re all emotional creatures after all. We tend to fuck it all up for ourselves.
I get that. I mess up all the time.
I wished so hard before that things can come easy and wouldn’t be so damn hard.
And it’s super annoying when you get cliché answers like, “Just do it” or “Don’t think about it”.
Fear can be simple. The cure is simple. It can be.
So please, for the sake of this article, and yourself, keep that simplicity in mind: You’re unhappy because of fear, and the solution is only knowledge.
Let’s dive deeper.
The honest and real guide to getting over your fears
1) STOP fighting fear!
I want to go deeper and give more background on the concept of fear.
Fear is why you’re unhappy. But it isn’t fear that makes FEEL all that shittiness.
Fear is what keeps you alert. That’s all.
Fear is the common sense that ensures you don’t do something stupid like jump off a building or cut yourself with a knife.
Fear is the acknowledgement that you do get scared of certain things in life. We all have our unique pet peeves.
What then, makes you feel all fucked up inside?
It’s the conflict that arises inside of you when you try to fight that fear.
When I mentioned fear prevents you from jumping off a building, you must be like, “Yeah that makes sense”. Period.
Now think about this: Imagine, just for the fun of it, you walking to your window now, looking down, and wondering what would happen if you’d to jump off. Imagine you standing over the ledge, with half of your feet hanging over thin air. Think about that weird, vertigo feeling that creates butterflies in your stomach.
Then try to justify it with some bullshit like, “It’s only 2 stories” and if you don’t do it, your friends are going to call you a pussy even though you did nothing wrong.
Finally, visualize the amount of blood that’s going to splatter all over and how many bones you’re going to break.
See what I did there?
It’s an elaborate slideshow of imagination, justification and visualization. It certainly exaggerates, but, this may shock you, you do it everyday already. You exaggerate everything when you constantly ask, “What if? What if? What if?”.
So stop fighting fear.
They say that anger and resentment are like the poison you drink hoping your enemy would die of. I say fighting fear is giving that poison a good mix.
2) Breaking down “Just Do It”
I don’t like clichés, but Just Do it works.
The problem is that nobody cares to elaborate.
Here’s how you Just Do it.
– Take baby steps, ONE at a time. Ensure that his is an easy step. If it’s hard, you’re just doing it wrong.
– With that in mind, stop thinking about the ultimate outcome you want to achieve. Only focus on this particular baby step, try your best, work hard and see what you can get out of it.
– Keep going with the baby steps. Yes, it’s going to seem insignificant, but that’s whole idea of taking baby steps. You’re supposed to do it one at a time, until you reach the end. When you’re there, you’d realized how much you’ve achieved.
One of my first baby steps to dancing in front of other was standing near the dance circle, psyching myself up. I didn’t even think of jumping into the circle. It sounds weird, to make a big deal out of standing there, psyching and hyping myself up (hilarious even). But at least I did something. And it helped major. Then I told myself to jump in.
– Now, this is the most important part: You’ve to go home and recognize the progress you made, small or big.
The problem with fear is that we unknowingly create the conflict, mentioned in point (1) inside of us and then we go down the negative path in both our heads and with our feelings. We start to feel like shit and stop thinking that progress is possible.
So despite making some baby step-sized progress, we belittle it. We think it’s nothing as we did not achieve the ultimate outcome and allow the conflict inside to overwhelm us.
That is why when fears sets in, you’re like, “Oh my god that was so embarrassing”, “Why did I even bother to try?” and “I’m a loser”.
Fuck that. Stop all of that.
Instead, go home, recognize the baby steps you took and acknowledge that you made some progress.
Think, “I did this today. Next time, I’ll try a little harder” and at least let that seep into the unease you’re probably feeling and let it be your light.
Then go sleep on it.
3) You can’t escape the pain period
Bam. My favourite phrase, the pain period.
If you want to get over your fears, you’re going to have to put in effort to Just Do It, and it’s initially not going to feel that great.
It’s your fear after all, and you most likely suffer from that conflict inside from time to time, if not all the time.
Sounds daunting? It is.
If anything, the purpose of this point is to make sure you realize that getting over your fear is not an easy thing, so forget about garbage like overnight cures, magic pills or whatever hypnosis.
I’m not trying to debunk other fear “gurus” or methodology. Heck, if someone was cured of his fears overnight somehow through hypnosis (or even religion), that’s great! But see how he made those steps to actually get to that point? He then becomes fearless, which is awesome, but that’s not to say his journey was easy.
So welcome the pain. You can’t escape it. You got to put in effort and work hard.
Now, again, sounds daunting? Doesn’t have to be. Refer to above.
4) It gets easier
Good news! It gets easier!
I don’t know why, for whatever it is, when it comes to challenges, overcoming obstacles and shit, they don’t mention how much easier it gets given time.
We get so caught up by the enormity of the situation and put in so much emphasis on the How-To, that we think it’s always so complicated and supposedly difficult. Hell, then we think that’s all good cause “The Journey is the reward”.
It may be that way at first, but it really gets easier as it goes along. So that shitty feeling from the conflict? It gets better, by a lot.
How easy do you want it to be? How fast do you want to get over your fears?
It’s up to you. Refer to above.
Let’s touch on the simplicity aspect of this article again: It gets easier.
So stop over thinking.
Yo, I don’t know you, and what fear is it you want to conquer.
Maybe it’s quitting your job, standing up to some idiot, daring to follow your dreams or even watching some horror flick.
We all wish there’s an easy way out, but there isn’t okay?
At the end of the day it’s really up to you to how much you want it, how far you want to go and what you really want in life.
Maybe you’re already feeling that conflict inside as you’re reading this.
But well… if others can do it, there’s really no reason why you can’t to.
There’s more to getting over fears than “Just Do it”, “Fuck it”, “Stop thinking about it” , “You’re not your fears” or “Don’t let fear control you”.
Lol hate clichés man.
P.S. If you want that extra edge in getting over your fears in a systematic way, get my book, Ready Your Life.