The ultimate guide on how to conquer your fears to achieve greatness

It can often seem like there is a cosmic wall between us and our dreams.

People who strive for greatness,  reach an ambitious goal, or start new endeavors will often hesitate before making the jump. And a little hesitation is, of course, understandable- it isn’t wise to take any big steps before weighing all your options.

Hesitation becomes an issue when it transforms into anxiety that prevents you from doing something that is completely within your capabilities.

If fear is holding you back from succeeding, it is time to take the problem seriously and start cutting the chains that hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Don’t hesitate to acknowledge your fears

Most people are hesitant to admit that fear and anxiety are major components separating them from their goals. They will invent all sorts of excuses, but that won’t solve the problem. In some cases, excuses are issues that must first be dealt with or cases where a little thinking outside of the box can bring forth a strong solution. If the excuses you came up with aren’t truly rational, you need to be honest with yourself and admit that you’re a little afraid. It happens to all of us, so there is no need to feel ashamed.

Ask yourself why you feel afraid

Admitting your fears is the “what”.  The “why” is even more critical, as this is where the solution lies. Why do you fear taking your idea to the next level, your request for a pay rise, or to advance your education? For many of us, it is the fear of failure itself. This is even truer when the goal in question requires financing. 

None of us want to feel like we’ve let our family down by mishandling money, and nobody wants to be broke. In reality, there is a risk of failure in all aspects of life. Teaching yourself to accept that risks are a natural part of life and understanding what you can do to minimize that risk will make your task easier. Be mindful, but be realistic of how much control you truly have. Incorporate healthy coping mechanisms for your anxiety, and work through your worries with rational thought.

Look outward for inspiration

Find mentors who have already been through the testing periods you need to dive into. You don’t have to know them personally. Maybe they have written books, done a public speech, or given an interview about how they achieved their goals. And if your goals are smaller, like moving up the work ladder, you might have a colleague who has seen success and would be willing to share their experiences with you. If you listen to their advice, you will have fewer reasons to feel afraid or anxious. They will likely tell you insights they wish they were told when they were in your position.

Learn from their mistakes and failures through their stories in order to prevent yourself from stumbling. The wisdom of others is a gift to be cherished.

Take action in small steps

Find something in your situation that you can put under your control and focus solely on it as a start. It is a sound practice for anxious people, and it can help you develop the confidence you need to go further.

Let’s assume your goal is to start your own company but you are worried that you don’t have the cash to get it rolling. Maybe you can keep a spending diary to get a better idea of where your money goes. If you can cut your spendings and put forward a good amount of capital,  you will have to ask lenders and investors for less. In turn, this will increase your chances to be approved and your own contributions will demonstrate your commitment.

Prepare your defenses

Devise a backup plan and come up with alternative strategies. Hopefully, you won’t need to put them in action. It will give you inner peace to know you have other options to chose from in case your initial plan fails. High-achievers are really good at pivoting – the founders of YouTube initially planned to make a video dating service. The YouTube we grew to love is a total pivot, and it’s all because they utilized their backup plan.

Achieve greatness, piece by piece

Cut your goal into small achievable pieces. Give yourself rewards for every small success – that way you will diminish your anxiety. Take a moment to recognize when things are going according to plan, even if your ultimate goal is still far ahead. In time, your anxiety will start to dissolve into nothingness and you will come to experience the success you truly deserve.

It will take some time for you to defeat your fears and live out your dreams – nothing great happens overnight. Identifying your worries, controlling what you can, and seeing the fruits of your labor will help you stay on track.

What is your formula for success?

Let us know your thoughts by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you enjoyed the read.