8 steps on how to overcome fear and achieve goals

Dr. Ankit Sharma, PhD

Updated on:

how to overcome fear

The sad truth is all of us are afraid of something. There is no shame in admitting it, even daring explorers like Christopher Columbus & Marco Polo must have had some fears within them, but they didn’t let that fear win. They confronted it & came out victorious. It’s easy to pretend fear is not affecting you & to make excuses as to why you have not achieved what you are competent of. Instead of turning around & hiding from it, we can treat fear as a signal to take action, not an excuse. Look at your ambition. If you let fear drag you behind from attaining it, then you have officially given in. Fear of ambiguity, failure & other common fears all come from one area: the limiting beliefs holding you back. Today, we will discuss how to overcome fear.

Ways To Overcome Fear

how to overcome fear

1. Recognize Your Fears

Learning how to overcome fear is like facing any challenge; you must recognize the challenge to overcome it. What are you afraid of? Think quietly for a few minutes & watch your thoughts, feelings & bodily reactions. Note down what comes up, & make sure to be as specific as possible. Think of embracing a daily meditation practice to clarify what drives you. As you find your spirit, you will feel more empowered to confront your fears.

2. Remind Yourself That Fear Can Work to Your Advantage

Our emotions exist to tell us many things. When you are afraid, your soul wants to tell you something – so listen carefully. If you feel overwhelmed by stress or distracted by persistent anxiety, it is possibly a subconscious fear that requires your attention. Despite avoiding it, overcoming fear needs looking into your anxiety. View the fear as information as an alternative to a threat to your survival.

When you learn to use anxiety to your advantage, it cannot destroy your life. In the process of overcoming fear, it becomes your friend – a significant source of guidance to get to your full potential.

3. Be Willing To Face Your Fears

We usually avoid the circumstances & people that raise fear within us. This fear keeps us safe sometimes, while in others, it keeps us away from our right power. Scroll through the fear list you made earlier. Are there situations & people that put you in a zone of fear? Decide not to avoid these situations & people any longer. Be willing to go through the fear of following that dream project, telling your manager about some exceptional ideas, & asking someone you like out on a date.

4. Create Goals That are Indispensable

Often the procedure of overcoming fear becomes thwarted by apathetic or intangible goals we set for ourselves. To change this, ask yourself: What does the life you wish & deserve look like? Is it just some plan, or do you actively work for it? Is it something that is realistic & you are willing to commit to? The first step in overcoming fear is recognizing whether or not you are creating a clear goal. If you accomplish this, will you feel fulfilled inside? On the other hand, if you do not accomplish this, will you feel lost?

Dig deeper into your mind. What is your perfect outcome? Is it financial growth – a big bank balance? Maybe you wish to have the financial independence to travel anytime, anywhere. Think what your life will look like if you do not attain this outcome & compare that to what your life will look like if you do. Once you feel that goal is vital, the fear of not making an effort overshadows the fear of failure – that is when you will be motivated to act.

5. Identify The Excuses

Fear makes you make excuses like, “I’m exhausted. I have other stuff to do. It’s a foolish idea anyway.” These excuses perhaps sound familiar. You have possibly said this out loud & to yourself. Think about it carefully. Is there any truth to these proclamations, or are you making excuses to avoid probable failure?

It is much easier & less painful to make excuses than actually working toward your goal, but excuses & opting out will eventually leave you feeling discontented. To discover how to overcome fear, you have to take a different, practical approach. Identify when you are using excuses & think about how to overcome them.

6. Redefine Failure

What if you try to see failure as a good thing? It is the thing most of us are afraid of. Failure is one of the most vital catalysts for growth, resiliency, & developing the skill of compliance. When you fail, it may feel like your life is over, like you have wasted your chances of achieving what you want to achieve. You might feel ashamed, & frustrated. But failure is an excellent indication that you are learning & growing gradually.

It means that you have taken a risk, & that you have learned more about the challenge, the world, & most important of all, about yourself. When you face the next challenge, you will be more intelligent, more robust, & more skilled.

7. Overcome Negativity Prejudice

Human beings suffer from this annoying thing called negativity prejudice; our brains are more sensitive & receptive to negative feelings, thoughts, experiences, & words than they are to positive things. This can significantly contribute to your fear of failure. Although our ancestors likely created this prejudice to protect us from predators committing social embarrassment & losing the support of our community, it does not help us much in the modern world. Conquering this natural negativity prejudice can be intimidating, but with enough effort & positivity, it can be done.

8. Find Precious Insight in Pain

No one likes to have pain. Most of us take different ways to avoid it. But pain is an insightful teacher. If you accept that your life & your efforts to accomplish your goals will be painful at times, painful experiences can become growth opportunities. When you treat pain as a teacher, it loses its power to torment & becomes another tool for overcoming fear.

Everyone faces hardships in life. Maybe your setbacks are personal or professional; what matters are the lessons you take from those bitter experiences & how you apply them to your future. Instead of letting fear of doubt due to your past experiences say aloud about your decisions, choose to learn from those excruciating moments to be in control of your own life.


Learning how to overcome fear can be a horrifying vision if you do not understand the means behind them. Before you scold yourself for being afraid, identify that fear is a normal evolutionary response. Although it may not feel like it, your body & brain are communicating with you. When you learn to read those signals, conquering fear comes effortlessly. Fear goes ahead of the physical signs we often feel in a frightening situation. There are numerous types of fear that are much more insidious.

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