5 Simple Steps to Conquer Your Fears

 

A friend was suffering from massive anxiety after losing his job.

“What is frightening you most about that?” I asked him.

“Everything,” he responded.

With an unstable world economy, increasing unemployment, and other important issues and concerns near and far, many of us, driven by the unknown, are triggered into feeling vague, overwhelming fears.

Our minds do a fantastic job of running ahead of us and declaring doom and gloom.

We all have fears.

Life doesn’t exist without them.

Leadership does not refrain from having them.

Business works to sell things by capitalizing on them.

Creativity reflects our efforts to overcome them.

FEAR wants us to Forget Everything And Run!

But what would happen if we didn’t run?

What would it look like to handle fear differently?

Here are 5 simple ways to conquer your fears:

1. Expose it: Our natural inclination is always to eliminate something that we are afraid of. But if you can expose the fear for what it is, it begins to shrink.

2. Face it: To gain a deeper understanding, we must courageously look it in the face.

3. Dissect it:  Analyze what the fear is about it. Try to identify exactly what you are dealing with.

4. Lean into it: Rather than running from fear, take yourself through it.

5. Fear originates in our desire to control of the future, our need for assurances and safety.

But as we know, the only real assurance we have is how we react.

Our fear offers us the opportunity to redirect our lives with new understanding and new perspectives.

Our fears are here to teach us something.

When fear stops scaring us it will not stick around.

Lead From Within: Fear will always be present in our lives. When we can lean in and stare it down, we can participate in working through it in spite of any transitory anxiety, fear, or discomfort.

 


 

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

 


Additional Reading you might enjoy:

 

Photo Credit: iStock Photo


Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

48 Responses to “5 Simple Steps to Conquer Your Fears”

  1. Jon Mertz

    06. Aug, 2013

    Lolly,

    This is so important. It is not about being reckless with fear but it is about abandoning fear that is holding us back from doing purpose-filled work. It takes a step forward; it takes a stiff backbone. More than this, it takes heart and it takes a supportive community.

    Thanks for outlining great way to address our fears and move forward in positive, fulfilling ways.

    Jon

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      06. Aug, 2013

      Jon,

      thanks for stopping by I truly appreciate your wisdom and insights.

      Fear = False Evidence Appearing Real.

      If we came from this premise we would be understand that our mind creates our reality and the realities is up for us to set.

      Our heart always speaks the truth and leaning into FEAR exposes our honesty.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  2. Alli Polin

    06. Aug, 2013

    Lolly –

    When I was a little girl, I can remember being alone in my room and so scared of a noise that I literally could not move; I was paralyzed. I convinced myself that if I could just move my pinky, that would be a start, then my foot etc. Eventually, as I began to move thorough the fear, I was able to breathe again and relax. That lesson has stayed with me for many decades.

    When we move into our fear, even a little bit, we are able to do more, breathe more, and move through it.

    Thanks for this post as a great reminder that when fear wants us to run, we can choose to stay and transform.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      06. Aug, 2013

      Your story moved my heart.

      I can just see the frightened little girl. Trying to help herself.
      You did good and now you continue to do great.

      What we need is to look within, lean in and find what we need in the moment of our fears, fright and fret.

      Thanks Alli for sharing it really strikes the heart to hear first hand how fear shows up and what to do.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
    • Chery Gegelman

      06. Aug, 2013

      Lolly! We must be drinking the same Kool-Aid!

      I just finished writing a post about wisdom and fear! I love you points: Expose It, Face it, Dissect it, Lean into it… But it’s not published yet! Do you have any advice for a leader that is facing a tough decision and trying to disscern if they are making a wise decision or a fear based decision?

      Alli – Your story is amazing! Look at you now!

      LaRae – I love it, “The more light we put into darkness, the less power darkness has over us!

      Reply to this comment
      • lollydaskal

        06. Aug, 2013

        I love Synchronicity, Chery!

        To answer your question….

        the language of the fear is always laced with
        should have, could have, need to.

        The wise heart has the language of knowing and clarity.
        You feel it in your gut.

        But we need to quiet long enough to hear the whispers of the wise heart.

        I just wrote about this in my book yesterday, The language of the heart.
        So much synchronicity – I love it.

        Reply to this comment
        • Chery Gegelman

          08. Aug, 2013

          Awesome! Thank you for sharing your thoughts Lolly! The post comes out tomorrow!

          Reply to this comment
          • lollydaskal

            29. Aug, 2013

            fear is the underlying causes for most of our problems we experience in our lives.

        • David

          08. Aug, 2013

          I love this whole post and I love your work. Thanks for being encouraging to all those trying to break through fear. On some level, that is all of us.

          I wanted to ask you, I read once that intuitive fear can actually be located in the gut. We have a series of nerves there related to fight or flight responses. So sometimes gut feelings are fear-based instincts. In this same reading, the author talked about a deeper level of intuition that you can actually feel in your heart.

          So one way to judge two courses in a decision is which one gives you levity in your heart, which one feels more freeing, like love. I’m interested in your opinion on that idea, would be willing to share?

          Thanks!

          Reply to this comment
    • Garren Fagaragan

      07. Aug, 2013

      aloha Lolly…

      Thank you for another important post.

      A good thing about fear is that its like the sunrise…

      it keeps showing up…

      in everyday life situations.

      What opportunities we have to relate and dance with
      them…to bring forth a different outcome.

      I appreciate the post and the valuable comments
      it initiated.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Colleen_Cooley

    06. Aug, 2013

    Success after fear is exhilarating!!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      06. Aug, 2013

      you are correct Colleen Success after fear is exhilarating

      and …..
      Success after failing is invigorating,
      Success after dread is electrifying,
      Success after apprehension is energizing,
      Success after sadness is uplifting,
      Success after pain is enlivening,
      Success after agitation is revitalizing!

      Success is all encompassing of who we are, when we are at our best.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Shannon Steffen ~ Human SEO

    06. Aug, 2013

    I learned from Tony Robbins, years ago, that FEAR is False Evidence Affecting Reality. It’s not that fear doesn’t really exist, but rather that it exists but impacts reality by distorting it into something beyond our control.

    As you pointed out, Lolly, fear is within our control.

    We need to pull it out of the darkness and examine it closely. Fear is there for a purpose… to better know ourselves and our relationship with the world around us. If we don’t allow ourselves the gift to learn from it, we become a prisoner of it.

    There is a quote I love from Harry Potter: “Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.” I repeat this to myself every time someone mentions something I fear. It helps me to realize it is just a word… and becomes what I put into that word. That is how I regain my strength as a leader.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      06. Aug, 2013

      Shanon

      thanks for bringing this to our attention:
      Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.”

      Truth!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  5. Faye Marcus

    06. Aug, 2013

    This article is wonderfully inspiring and came at a great time. I will share. Thanks for everything you write and tweet, I appreciate YOUR wisdom and leadership.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Martina

    06. Aug, 2013

    Good points Lolly. We cannot conquer our fears, or even learn to live with them if we never make an honest assessment of what they are and why they are.

    I believe there is a lesson in everything and in every person we encounter. Our fears are no different. They show us what we are truly made of, and what we can be if we can get to the “other side” of them.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      06. Aug, 2013

      As always Martina very insightful..

      Martina’s Wisdom:
      I believe there is a lesson in everything and in every person we encounter. Our fears are no different. They show us what we are truly made of, and what we can be if we can get to the “other side” of them.

      thanks for sharing.
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  7. LaRae Quy

    06. Aug, 2013

    Your post brought something to mind….the more light we put into darkness, the less power darkness has over us. I always hearken back to that verse in the bible that talks about using a light to shine in the darkness. Light exposes things for what they truly are, and while we might not want to look at first, the thing(s) that are revealed are not as big and ugly as we imagined them to be. More importantly, how can we begin to overcome that fear if we don’t even know what it really is…..

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      06. Aug, 2013

      Fear LaRae is a great teacher.

      It sometimes forces us to feel the darkness.

      The light is always there but fear makes the light seem absent.

      Darkness is the absence of seeing the light.

      Stay long enough in a dark room, and you can begin to see again.

      Love your comment.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  8. Panteli Tritchew

    06. Aug, 2013

    Great post Lolly! The title “Get to know your fears” captures the message so well and really got me thinking.
    If so much of what we fear is based on unknowns (and I certainly believe that), could it be that what we really fear is discovering some unknown aspects of ourselves?

    Perhaps when we face our fears and get to know them, we might also be meeting some other “me” we’ve not met before. Who knows, maybe we just might like that “me.” 😉

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      06. Aug, 2013

      Panteli

      BRILLIANT. that is the truth, when we look fear in the face, when we lean into, we are discovering or rediscovering aspects of ourselves that we might not want to deal with, might not want to look at…

      Fear brings us closer to ourselves.

      Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom, your insight has taken us a level deeper into the truth of fear.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  9. Dan

    06. Aug, 2013

    In line with the thread, sometimes when you look into the fear you do find emotional “monsters” like shame or old humiliations or unfinished losses. The great nature writer, Annie Dillard, called that “riding the monsters all the way down” to a level of felt, shared humanity, an experience of the “universals” we hold within us. To say that such a journey is “not easy” can be an understatement. It can be deep and raw.

    As a consequence I guess I’d always add that no one does this work of facing fears completely alone. Along with the beautiful steps you’ve illuminated, there is love. If we’ve received love when we’ve suffered and been afraid, we learn how to give it back to others who are standing in the fire. There are often no stronger words than “I believe in you.” We learn from one another how to send love into the darkness ahead of us, and it lights the way.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Sterling Ledet

    06. Aug, 2013

    I think of 3 types of fear.

    Legitimate fear of imminent danger.
    Anxiety/worry about something that hasn’t actually occurred.
    Confusion (not really fear, but it feels very similar).

    I try to meet legitimate fear with a courageous heart.
    Anxiety/worry with faith, friends and serenity.
    Confusion with increased understanding and clarity.

    I appreciate you!

    Reply to this comment
  11. Susan Hopper

    06. Aug, 2013

    I get anxiety when I have to go to doctor for my yearly checkup. I start getting nervous few days before appointment, isn ‘t that ridiculous! Then it gets really bad as soon as she gets that blood pressure cuff out, my readings are very high like 180 or 190 is the high number. My heart really starts beating. What is my problem??
    Doctor makes me take pressure at home to give her a better reading, but have to admit, I get little nervous when I start out but then settle down and usually get an accurate reading a lot lower pretty normal. She has got me on blood pressure medicine, I don’t need it, I exercise and am not over weight at all. I had a fear that I would eventually have to take medicine, because of my anxiety when I get reading at doctor’s, thoughts do create. Please answer this!!

    Reply to this comment
  12. Lauren Rose

    06. Aug, 2013

    This post came at the perfect moment, Lolly. Your thoughtful approach provides a physical structure to the moment when the natural instinct is to “flee”. I love the way you break it down into very manageable – and approachable – bites. Many thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  13. J. P. Lucas

    06. Aug, 2013

    Thanks Lolly! As always, you are right on the mark!

    Added thoughts…

    Fear is derived from past experience, whether in-person or learned from others. For example, would you fear a wasp if you did not know it could sting?

    So living in fear is another example of living out our past… And with that context we can work through fear in the following way:

    1) Identify the past experience(s) that elicited the fear
    2) Draw meaningful learnings from that experience
    3) Focus on the LEARNINGS over the EXPERIENCE

    View the future through the lens of “what you have learned” over “what you have experienced.”

    J. P.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Karin Hurt

    06. Aug, 2013

    Such an important post. When “everything” scares us…. it feels overwhelming. When we can break it down and identify it to what it really is, it’s much easier to address. It’s hard to do that by yourself. Talking it through with others often helps us to gain perspective. O love Alli’s thoughts on first move one finger. Yes!

    Reply to this comment
  15. Terri Klass

    06. Aug, 2013

    Love, love the post, Lolly! I sometimes have irrational fears (well maybe they all are irrational) about doing things that feel uncomfortable. When that happens, I just talk to myself and say: “Terri, you have had much worse things to deal with that this! Stop!” That goes along with your great idea of : When fear stops scaring us, it will not stick around.” Shout the fear away! Thanks so much for this!

    Reply to this comment
  16. Dorothy Dalton

    06. Aug, 2013

    Lolly – good points. For most of us it’s False Expectations Appearing Real. Feel it …but do it!!

    Unless of course it is genuinely dangerous in which case a sensible risk assessment would be advisable.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Dan Dukes

    06. Aug, 2013

    Hi Lolly,
    There is nothing that I ever feared that upon facing it head-on lived up to the negativity that I had given it prior to walking through it! Fear only has the power that each of us gives it.
    Thank you,
    Dan Dukes

    Reply to this comment
  18. Virginia Lawton

    06. Aug, 2013

    Thank you for bringing this topic to our attention . In my words
    Fear originates in our desire to control of the future, our need for assurances and safety. Being one with God and on God’s Plan is the only way to have peace over fear. There is no better place to be than on Gods plan..
    We own nothing, not our money, or children, or husbands, wives . God can take them in the blink of an eye..
    Accept Gods Plan and you will find peace.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Daymond Lopez

    06. Aug, 2013

    Last year I was fired, working for nearly 18 years in a bank. I felt the world came to an end. I couldn´t help it, but Fear embraced me, bills to pay, credit cards. My comfort zone was removed. I didn´t know what to do, weeks later I realized I had to start over, I had years without the need of making a simple resumé. Among the negative things that came to my mind, I had to get rid of my fears, that´s the only way to make steps forward, a new job must come sooner o later, so I had to be fearless to face my new challenge, a new chapter of my life.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Ajay Patil

    07. Aug, 2013

    Actually because of FEAR, we think a lot about things to accomplish and then things get into reality.

    Lolly, post was really GOOD.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Name (required)

    07. Aug, 2013

    oh yeah, Lolly you have helped me in this article, as I speak Iwas full of fear of whether I wil raise the money that I want but you have my life better by this article
    Thank

    Reply to this comment
  22. FARAYI MHERE

    07. Aug, 2013

    oh yeah you have helped me overcome my fears just by reading your article
    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
  23. Theo

    07. Aug, 2013

    Nice One. I love it

    Reply to this comment
  24. Brandy Walker

    07. Aug, 2013

    Great post. Reminded me of the book “Feel the Fear and Do it anyway” by Susan Jeffers, written a number of years ago.

    Fear can be so paralyzing, people can get into significant denial over it, and make so many excuses on why they can’t do this or that. Thought your post addressed this head on – acknowledge the fear and press into it and through it (rather than deny it.) We can waste so many God-given opportunities because of fear. Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Dawood Chishti

    07. Aug, 2013

    Lolly,

    Once again your heart is found mismerising the most infectious pollen in our close environments. Looks simple but right on the target. Please allow me to recite it:
    Exposé it; let shrink it.
    Face it; subdue it.
    Dissect it; kill it.
    Lean into it; undertake it.
    Let FEAR flash False Evidence Appearing Real; TRUTH be known to you.
    It’s gem, Lolly; Only yours.

    Reply to this comment
  26. Abdallah

    03. Jan, 2014

    Thank you Lolly for for these inspiring ideas for overcoming fear. I heard a classical proverb that says: do the things you fear and the death of fear is certain. I tried to apply this rule in my life and I noticed that many things change towards the right direction. Generally our attitude guides us to do what is fun and easy rather than what is hard and necessary, but I think that success hides behind what is difficult. Do the things you fear and the achievement of success would be guaranteed!

    Reply to this comment
  27. adriangranadillo.net

    22. Apr, 2014

    It’s nearly impossible to find educated people on this topic, however,
    you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

    Reply to this comment

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Five Blogs – 7 August 2013 | 5blogs August 6, 2013

    […] Get To Know Your Fears Written by: Lolly Daskal […]

  2. Get To Know Your Fears | No Exp Required August 7, 2013

    […] post Get To Know Your Fears appeared first on Lolly […]

  3. The 4 Most Popular Content Pieces From the Past Week | HRmarketer Blog August 29, 2013

    […] Ways Social Media Can Go Mobile in the Workplace, by Assaf Eisenstein LollyDaskal.com — Get To Know Your Fears, by Lolly Daskal Harvard Business Review — Build a Career Worth Having, by Nathaniel Koloc   […]

  4. The blessing of discomfort: a note to successful people. | Reflections for Personal and Business Development September 19, 2013

    […] Get To Know Your Fears […]

  5. Dealing with Fear of Failure: Let’s Resolve to Be Gentle with Ourselves | Lead Me On January 3, 2014

    […] we expose it, face it, dissect it, and lean into it — kind of a no pain, no gain approach.  (Read her whole blog post here….) She concludes: “When fear stops scaring us it will not stick around.” This […]

  6. The four Most Fashionable Content material Items From the Previous Week | Posts January 29, 2015

    […] Ways Social Media Can Go Mobile in the Workplace, by Assaf Eisenstein LollyDaskal.com — Get To Know Your Fears, by Lolly Daskal Harvard Enterprise Assessment — Build a Career Worth Having, by […]

  7. The four Most Common Content material Items From the Previous Week | Posts August 29, 2015

    […] Ways Social Media Can Go Mobile in the Workplace, by Assaf Eisenstein LollyDaskal.com — Get To Know Your Fears, by Lolly Daskal Harvard Enterprise Assessment — Build a Career Worth Having, by […]

  8. Introvert Whisperer / 4 Warning Signs that You’re Avoiding the Hard Stuff - Introvert Whisperer July 1, 2017

    […] Realize what your fear.  You can’t solve a problem you don’t identify. […]

Leave a Reply