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Overcome Your Fears

Manage, Reduce, and Eliminate Your Unhealthy Fears


Here are some ways to manage, reduce, and even eliminate your unhealthy fears. Depending on the specific fear, some of these methods may not be a good fit and some will work better than others. You may choose to combine several methods to help you overcome a specific fear.


  1. Ask an Expert. Work with an expert who can help you better understand, reduce, and eliminate your fear. Learn from others who have already done what you want to do.

  2. Ask a Friend. Things always seem easier when someone is there to show you the way and hold your hand. When things get scary, find a friend who doesn’t have this fear. Have them help you.

  3. Baby Steps. Take small steps towards resolving your fear. Gradually expose yourself to more of what you fear until you become comfortable with it.

  4. Breathe. Deep slow breathing activates our body’s relaxation response. Taking several slow deep breaths tells our body that everything is fine and there is no danger.

  5. Endorphins. Endorphins fight pain and make us feel good. So, try doing one or more of the following the next time you feel fear coming on: connect with others, hug, smile, laugh, sing, dance, jump up and down, move your hips, exercise, walk in nature, or watch a funny video.

  6. False Evidence Appearing Real. This is a fun FEAR acronym. Sometimes what we think will hurt us actually can’t. Some of the reasons for this are the following: the data is wrong, our interpretation of the data is wrong, or things have changed and it is no longer a problem.

  7. Fear is Your Friend. Fear can be very helpful for you. For example, death is your friend. People who think death is the enemy tend to play it safe and live small lives. People who embrace death as their friend tend to live very exciting and fulfilling lives. They realize that life is short, everyone dies, and they could die today. So why not live their best life before it’s too late?

  8. Forget the Tribe. If you get kicked out of the tribe today, you are not going to die. You don’t need them. Find another tribe that fits you better. With over eight billion people on the planet, you are likely to make a new friend and find a place where you belong. In the United States, there are many programs designed to take care of you if things go wrong: churches, homeless shelters, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

  9. Growth. Remember that overcoming what you fear helps you grow as a person, and it is the shortest path to achieving your vision.

  10. Harmful Effects. Fear can hurt us mentally by keeping us away from our fundamental needs: love, peace, joy, freedom, and fulfillment. Fear can also hurt us physically by helping to create illness and other health issues.

  11. Information. Fear is feedback. It is just information. It can be helpful because it is just voicing its concerns. For example: you’re not prepared, you’re not ready, or this isn’t a good idea. Listen and see what you can learn.

  12. Invitation. Fear is an invitation to try something new and receive a great reward in return.

  13. Laugh. Making fun of the situation and ourselves can lighten the feelings of fear and help us put our fear into the proper perspective.

  14. Magnified Fears. Some of our strongest fears originated in our childhood. Something scared us, and we thought we were going to die. We did something wrong or embarrassed ourselves, and we thought we would be kicked out of our family or tribe. We quickly associated this event with our primal fears. As a child, we can magnify a small issue into a humongous scary monster. But, if this same event happened to us for the first time as an adult, it most likely wouldn’t phase us.

  15. Modern Medicine. Life isn’t as dangerous as it used to be living in a cave. Some of us will live to be over 120 years old, and modern medicine can fix us up quickly, or it will soon find a way. So, the odds are, we are going to be just fine.

  16. No Fear. Fear doesn’t actually exist in the world external to us. You can’t see it or touch it. It is completely internal to you. What may be fearful to you is not necessarily fearful to someone else. In fact, what you fear, others may crave.

  17. No Meaning. Just state the facts and forget the meaning you attached to it. For example, if you ask someone out on a date and they say no, that is all that happened. They didn’t reject you. They didn’t say you weren’t lovable. It is easy to attach a meaning to an event where no meaning actually exists. Similarly, if you make a simple request to someone and they react negatively, it usually has nothing to do with you.

  18. Opposite Day. Flip your fear thinking around. Instead of looking at how your fear can harm you, ask yourself the following questions. How does doing what I fear benefit me? How does not doing what I fear harm me? How does doing what I fear benefit others?

  19. Practice. Practice makes perfect. You may get a little nervous the first time you do something, but that disappears after you have done it successfully a few times. Olympic athletes train their entire lives for an event. So, get a coach. Practice doing it correctly in a positive, safe environment. Then go and do it in the real world. Keep the training wheels on your bike until you outgrow them.

  20. Prepare. Take action now to minimize the chances of the fearful event happening and to mitigate any potential problems that could occur. What are all the smart actions you can take right now?

  21. Reframe. Reframe your fear so you see it from a more positive perspective. Instead of saying “this is scary” say “this is exciting.” A rollercoaster is a good example. For some people, the fear of heights and falling creates a fun and exciting ride. The higher and faster the better!

  22. Reward. Reward yourself with something valuable whenever you overcome a fear, as well as for each time you try to overcome it.

  23. Time-out. Give yourself a time-out. Look at your watch and wait ninety seconds. This will help you separate yourself from your automated physical response to fear. The 4F Response will have completed by then and you should have regained access to your rational mind. Yay!

  24. Try It. Face your fear head on. Do what you fear doing right now, and you might see that it wasn’t as scary as you thought. You might even like it. As the Nike slogan says, “Just Do It!”


There are more advanced methods that aren't covered here that can help you turn your fears into strengths.

Explore our solutions to learn more about Overcoming Your Fears and how we can help you transform your life.

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