How to Overcome Fear: The Practice of Facing What You Are Afraid of

By Dominica

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Last Updated: April 16, 2022

Chances are, you’ve been gripped by intense fear before. It can feel very frightening. Life throws all sorts of things our way and being in the unknown can feel quite scary. I can say for myself that overcoming fear is a continual practice.

Fear holds so many people back in life and can keep you from experiencing peace. It can be quite debilitating and cause multitudes to live each day riddled with anxiety. Fear causes people to remain locked in prison cells when they would love to feel free. 

Fear also stagnates your growth and creates other negative emotions.

The fear I’m talking about is negative, though there is a good kind of fear. This is the fear that rises when you are in danger, such as when you hear a very loud noise and your body reacts with the fight or flight response, signaling to you that you may be in danger. 

This kind of fear is a survival kind of fear, and it is a positive thing. 

 

Bust Out of the Prison of Fear

The kind of fear that keeps people in bondage is the irrational kind of fear. The kind of fear that acts as your enemy, or wants to conquer you and keep you down.  Think of fear as a tornado that whirls and twirls destroying whatever is in its path. 

Before you know it, all of your “stuff” can be gone, and you wonder what in the world hit you.

Fear must be identified and conquered to live a life of freedom, joy, peace, and success. If you understand the right tools, this is quite possible. Fear does not want you to reach your potential. It does not care about your goals. Therefore, you must learn how to contend against it.

Have you ever been plagued with fear? 

Have you ever been tormented by fearful thoughts so much so that you couldn’t sleep or were on edge all day?

Do you wrestle with fearful thoughts like,

  • I am afraid I’m going to lose my job
  • I’m afraid I’ll get cancer and die
  • I’m afraid my partner will cheat on me
  • I am afraid my kids won’t turn out right
  • I’m afraid I will fail

 

Resist Mulling on Negative Thoughts

Some of these kinds of thoughts are common. If you only entertain them for a few seconds and move on, you should be fine. However, if you entertain them in your mind for long periods of time day after day, fear will begin to get hold of you and try to bring you down.

I am aware that some people live their lives filled with fear in quiet desperation.

You might not know it because they don’t talk about their fears, but inside they are struggling day in and day out. They’re afraid they will falter in some way, they’re afraid of the economy, getting sick, and so on. Ultimately, they’re afraid of the unknown.

If you wrestle with fear, you can get out from it, but it will take time, effort, and practice. 

 

Face Fear Head On

It’s time to face fear head on. It’s time to confront it and learn how to overcome fear, to let your thoughts become positive and your emotions be joyful. Whatever your fears are, it’s time to minimize or eliminate them.

Confronting and overcoming fear means that you will have to step out of your comfort zone. It might not be comfortable, but it is well worth it. 

Take a few minutes and write down your fears. 

Think about what kinds of fearful thoughts plague you. 

  • Do you fear a breakup?
  • Loss of job?
  • Flying?
  • New relationship?
  • Dating?
  • Your spouse cheating?
  • Having no money?
  • Sickness?
  • Losing a loved one?
  • Success?
  • Being on your own? 

List everything that you can think of.

Now take those fears and write a positive sentence that reflects no fear.

For example, if you fear that you will fail if you begin your own business, write:

  • I am highly capable of beginning my own business
  • I'm confident that I can do it and if any issues arise, I am confident that I can handle them
  • I have great courage to face any fear that pops up
  • I can do it!

Courage is the ability to do something despite fear. Trying something new is bound to bring some anxious thoughts, but be courageous and do it anyway. Look fear in the face and say, “I see you, but I’m walking through you.” Successful people have wrestled with fear, confronted it, and plodded on courageously.

So can you.

 

Practice Silent Meditation and/or Prayer

Adopting a daily practice of silent meditation and/or prayer can help you overcome fear too. In that quiet time, you can relax and learn to become more of an observer of your thoughts, rather than letting your thoughts control your emotions.

You can become a witness to the mind from the perspective of your spiritual being, and this will help you as you navigate your days.

  • Take 10 to 15 minutes a day and just sit in silence. 
  • Take a few deep breaths and relax. 
  • Focus on your breath. 
  • If a thought pops into your mind, simply observe it and then let it float away. 

It’s alright if thoughts come. Simply be an observer. You can also take some time to pray if you have a higher power, concerning any fears you’re contending with at the moment. Ask for help.

Cultivating a practice of quiet meditation or a relationship with your higher power can help you decrease fearful thoughts and enjoy more peace.

 

Overcome Fear & Live More Mindfully

Go ahead and live in the present moment full of faith and love, knowing that you can quiet your thoughts.

You can overcome fear with dedication to working on the thoughts underlying the emotion. Spend time daily boosting your faith and cultivating that sacred, quiet space where you connect with the source of peace and love that can help you calm any fear.  

Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

 

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6 comments on “How to Overcome Fear: The Practice of Facing What You Are Afraid of”

  1. I feel the instructions given to be most encouraging in life journey especially during period of uncertainty where fear creeps in. Quiet time in meditation proves most fulfilling. Thanks for the info.

  2. Thank you so muchfor the positive encouragment. I do meditation, prayer, walking and stretching. I do think I should do more as a scheduled daily not to wait until fear or uncertainty try to move in.

    1. Good for you Doris, that's so inspiring! You should absolutely do more of the things that make you feel healthy. 🙂

  3. More of this! This is the Practice of reconnecting to one’s soul, where all divine wisdom and higher intelligence flows. For In the silence, wisdom rises up. As we quiet our minds we tap into the heart through which limitless peace and loving energy pour out. To turn and be willing to sit with it, just as it is, cultivates courage. Through the practices mentioned in this article, one invites a shift. First we must be willing to shift, then lift.
    By taking time to commune quietly in nature, this daily process of coming home to resting in the heart where all manner of peace and love abide, becomes less of a practice and more of a (wo)manner of how we show up to greet the world. I would add this, each day carve out some time to appreciate beauty. Resting in silent observation 🙏

    1. Great advice Grace, thank you! For some of us, just sitting still with our thoughts is one of the hardest things to do. But as you say, we can learn to sit with it and be at peace with observing. 🙂

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