Have you ever been stricken with fear and paralysed to take any action? You are not alone. According to published research, most humankind and animals succumb to various forms of anxiety. We will discuss simple strategies on how to overcome fear. FEAR stands for False Expectations (or Evidence), Appearing Real as an acronym.
This post is adapted from Napoleon Hill’s classic, “Think and Grow Rich”, which resonated well with me.As an acronym, FEAR stands for False Expectations (or Evidence), Appearing Real. Click To Tweet
Face your fears, but still push on with your plans.
I have observed that I have suffered from fear of criticism and public speaking over the years. This realisation has helped me take the necessary steps to counter my anxiety. Also, I took vital steps to boost my confidence. As a result, I can report that I am making some progress along the way.
Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.Dale Carnegie
The six ghosts of fears and how to overcome fear
Named must your fear be, before banish it you can.
Yoda, in the Star Wars Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith
- The fear of poverty
- The fear of criticism
- The fear of ill health
- The fear of loss of the love of someone
- The fear of old age
- The fear of death
1. The fear of poverty
Anxiety of poverty the most destructive and difficult fear to eradicate. It brings to man the most suffering and humility. Poverty is the absence of riches in the financial, material, mental, or spiritual realms.
What are your limiting beliefs surrounding money, material possessions, riches, or poverty?
Symptoms of anxiety of poverty
- Indifference (lack of ambition, lack of initiative, poor self-confidence, unenthusiastic spirit
- Doubt (excuses around our health, age, intelligence; envy or criticism of those more successful than ourselves)
- Worry (bitterness, poor self-care, alcoholism, nervousness)
- Over-caution (pessimism, greater focus on failure, procrastination)
How to overcome fear of poverty
You can overcome the fear of poverty by having a mindset of abundance and appreciating that there is a lot of wealth in the world to make everyone rich. Moreover, contrary to mainstream media’s display of wars and failed states, we live in the most peaceful time in recorded history. Indeed, now is the best time to be alive. Also, cultivate better financial stewardship by resolving to live within your economic means.Overcoming the fear of poverty is by having a mindset of abundance. Contrary to the display of wars and failed states by mainstream media, we are living in the most peaceful time in recorded history. Now is the best time to be alive. Click To Tweet
2. The fear of criticism
Young people need models, not critics.John Wooden
The fear of criticism includes social phobia and anxiety about public speaking (glossophobia), which are common and afflict up to 75% of the population. It is caused by excessive self-consciousness, destroying initiative, individuality, and self-reliance. Another variety is the fear of missing out (FOMO). Criticism is a crime of the worst nature. It plants suspicion in the human spirit and promotes an inferiority complex in kids. The constructive suggestion is a better alternative.
Signs of fear of criticism
- Excessive self-consciousness.
- Lack of poise (lack of voice control, poor posture).
- Inferiority complex.
- Lack of initiative.
- Suspicion of others.
How to overcome fear of criticism
It would help if you heeded what others think, do or say about you less. Instead, learn new skills and be prepared to step out of your comfort zone to embrace new opportunities in your life.You should pay less heed to what others think, do or say about you. Instead, learn new skills and be prepared to step out of your comfort zone to embrace new opportunities in your life. Click To Tweet
3. The fear of ill health
Anxiety about ill health can manifest as hypochondria (imaginary illnesses) or health excusitis. Fear results from incapacity and the high economic toll caused by disease. We all know too well the mainstream media’s impact on propagating the fears associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Symptoms of fear of ill health
- Enjoying imaginary illnesses, hypochondria and feigning illnesses
- Trying remedies without an expert opinion.
- Interference with proper physical exercise leads to overweight and sedentary lifestyles.
- Increased susceptibility to infections
- Addiction to alcohol and illicit drugs to “cure” pain.
How to overcome fear of ill health
Look after your general health by regular exercise, eating healthy meals and positive thinking. Also, consult with your doctor when you become sick.
4. The fear of loss of the love of someone
This anxiety is the most painful fear and one caused by jealousy.
- The unjustifiable accusation of one’s partner of infidelity
- Fault-finding with friends and associates with a slight provocation
You can overcome the fear of losing someone’s love by building solid relationships with your significant other. But be willing to let go if things don’t eventually work out.
5. The fear of old age (age excusitis)
This fear arises from the fear that old age is associated with poverty, higher illnesses, and an apparent lack of freedom and independence (physical and financial).
Symptoms of age excusitis
- The tendency to slow down and develop an inferiority complex as one approaches the age of 40 (despite that 40-60 are the most productive years)
- Describing oneself as “old” instead of as “wiser.”
- Dressing up in a manner as to appear younger
- Displaying the mannerisms of youth.
Accept old age as a great blessing filled with wisdom, discernment, and self-control.
6. The fear of death
Remembering that you will die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent.Steve Jobs
The anxiety of death is the cruellest of all fears. Common causes are ill health, poverty, lack of appropriate occupation, and disappointment over love. Nevertheless, death should be accepted as an inescapable necessity and will come when it comes to all of humanity.
The symptom is excessive thoughts about dying rather than making the most of life.
Overcoming the fear of death
Death is the inevitable end that will come when it will. There is, therefore, no reason to fear the future. Instead, live your life to the fullest and cultivate meaningful passion. Also, develop a burning desire for achievement, deliver helpful service to others, and contribute to a course that will outlive you.Death is the inevitable end that must come. Live your life to the fullest and cultivate meaningful passion. Develop a burning desire for achievement, deliver helpful service to others, and contribute to a course that will outlive you. Click To Tweet
How to overcome your fears?
Courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over itNelson Mandela
- Fear is a state of mind. Therefore, a change of mindset is the first prerequisite to overcoming fear. But, unfortunately, nature has endeared each of us with absolute control of only one thing: our thought.
- We cannot control the weather; we cannot control the parents we will be born to; we cannot control how other people respond to us. But we have absolute control of the thoughts we allow to enter our minds.
- You can overcome your fears by giving yourself regular positive pep talks. Muhammad Ali used the power of positive affirmation to become the greatest boxer of his time.
The most significant discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.William James
- Feel the fear, but still go ahead to do what you have to do.
- Take immediate action despite your fears. Indecision and Doubt crystallise to fear (first in the subconscious, where they may be hard to detect).
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it.Dale Carnegie
The bottom line is that most humans and animals are afflicted with various forms of anxiety. Our six basic fears include poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of someone’s love, old age and death. Most of these fears are not real but imaginary.
To succeed in our life’s pursuits, we should face our fears but still go ahead with our plans.
What strategies do you use to overcome your anxiety?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for your time.