Trust in the process and face your fears.

Fear is an emotion that everyone experiences. Though it's not bad to have fear, it can keep you trapped inside of your comfort zone.

It can often stop people from trying new things, learning, growing, and achieving what they want in life.

Read about my helpful tips to face your fears and how fear can affect you so you can start to overcome them and live your life with more confidence.

Trust in the process and face your fears.

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How to face your fears in 5 ways.

1.  Acknowledge your fear.

One way to overcome fear is to acknowledge it. It's hard to acknowledge your fear because it's super uncomfortable and can leave you feeling vulnerable.

But once you are able to acknowledge your fear and move through it, and you'll have a better chance of overcoming it so it doesn't control you.

2.  Identify your limiting beliefs.

A limiting belief is something you tell yourself that isn't true and often holds you back from taking action or going after what you want.

Here are some examples:

  • I not experienced enough so I won't ask for the salary I really want.
  • I don't want to ask for a date to the prom because I'm not good-looking enough.
  • I'm too old to go back to school.

Fear can be the underlying cause of a limiting belief and it might be hard to identify at first. If you are able to recognize it when you're telling yourself a limiting belief, you can begin to change your narrative and possibly overcome a fear that might be underneath it.

Just remember to be honest with yourself and give yourself plenty of compassion, time, and patience. Once you identify your limiting beliefs and let them go you can start to create beliefs that feel empowering.

3. Create new, empowering beliefs.

Empowering beliefs can help you face your fears and overcome them.  They can make you feel good about yourself, even in fear.

Think of an empowering belief as a positive mantra that you can use to overcome the negative beliefs that may be holding you back.

To create an empowering belief, ensure it's in the present tense and in an active voice. Here are some examples:

  • I am worthy.
  • I am loved.
  • I am more than enough.
  • I am intelligent.

Building on those examples, here are some types of empowering beliefs that can help you face these specific fears:

  • I'm smart enough to pass the test.
  • I don’t need to be perfect to be loved.
  • I only need to trust myself and my abilities.
  • I don't need other people's approval to believe in myself.

Having empowering beliefs about yourself can help you face your fears and overcome them.

3. Forgive.

Forgiveness isn't easy and you shouldn't do it until you're ready to.

With that said, forgiveness is not about absolving a wrong that someone else did to you.  It's about letting go of anger and resentment and not allowing it to control your life any longer.

One way to forgive is to practice mindfulness.  Mindfulness is a technique that allows you to become aware of what you are thinking and feeling in the present moment.

You stay with whatever comes up and allow yourself to feel the feelings without attaching emotions to them, such as fear.  If this is difficult, you can ask for help from someone you trust such as a best friend or a professional such as a therapist.

It takes time to forgive, but it allows you to face your fears so they no longer hold you back.

The Book of Forgiving by Desmond and Mpho Tutu

4.  Practice mindfulness meditation.

Meditation is a wonderful way to tap into your inner wisdom and keep yourself grounded & centered.

It can be done almost anytime, anywhere, and any place. According to a study, mindfulness meditation can help to extinguish fearful associations through exposure therapy.

"This exposure provides an opportunity to learn that these stimuli are not threatening and thereby facilitate adaptive regulation of emotional responses.

To be successful, first a new memory must be created between the stimulus and a feeling of safety, then the 'safety' memory, rather than the original fearful memory, must be recalled when the stimulus is presented again in a new environment."

In other words, fear can be eliminated through mindfulness meditation through repeated exposure to the fear and replacement with something that makes you feel safe.

Like forgiveness, you might need help with mindful meditation so seek a professional or someone you trust to help you overcome your fear.

I found that one of the best ways to start is to find a place that is quiet, where you can sit down comfortably.  You may close your eyes or keep them open if you wish and simply focus on your breath for a few minutes.

This is a great way to train your mind and work your way up to meditating longer and being consistent with it.

5.  Start journaling to overcome fear.

Research shows that journaling can help alleviate stress and anxiety. The act of writing itself — even just putting words on paper — can have a calming effect on the body.

According to another study, expressive writing, which is a specific style of journaling, allows people to freely express their thoughts and feelings around a traumatic experience without concern for grammar or spelling.

"The immediate impact of the expressive writing is usually a short-term increase in distress, negative mood, and physical symptoms, and a decrease in positive mood compared with controls.

Expressive writing participants also rate their writing as significantly more personal, meaningful, and emotional.

However, at longer-term follow-up, many studies have continued to find evidence of health benefits in terms of objectively assessed outcomes, self-reported physical health outcomes, and self-reported emotional health outcomes."

The results of the study showed that expressive writing as a mode of journaling reduced stress, increased positive emotions, and improved health.

Journal to help calm anxiety and reduce stress.

Our bodies when we face our fears.

So what is fear?  Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat.

Three unique features of fear are:

  • The anticipation or experiencing of harm.
  • The particular behavioral responses exhibited (e.g. trembling, accelerated heartbeat).
  • the specific physiological changes that occur (increased secretion of adrenalin).

These days, the threat to our safety is largely due to a perceived threat, uncertainty, or doubt.  When we are afraid, our bodies are sent into fight or flight mode.

The amygdala, which is responsible for processing fear (and emotions) in our brain, is triggered, sending messages to the body to increase heart rate and breathing.

Adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol are released, making the body go into survival mode.  What happens is our heart works harder than normal, and other systems in our bodies that are not necessary for survival are shunted.

If this occurs frequently, it could interfere with your normal, daily activities.  This can lead to more fear, and fear-related disorders such as stress, anxiety, panic, and phobias.

Our bodies in rest mode.

In the absence of stressors, the body will enter a parasympathetic state.

The parasympathetic nervous system is associated with the "rest and digest" response, which increases blood flow to the stomach and intestines.

During rest, digestion is enhanced and the heart rate slows down. The pupils also dilate to allow more light into the eyes.

Stressful situations can inhibit parasympathetic activity since it is a time when our bodies prepare for "fight or flight."*

The sympathetic nervous system is associated with stimulating action in response to stress.*

When there is no stress present, the brain signals for parasympathetic activity.*

Parasympathetic activity promotes:

  • relaxation
  • rest
  • digestion
  • slowing down heart rate
  • increasing blood flow to the intestines
  • promoting salivation

It is often referred to as "the rest and digest" response, which allows us to recover the energy spent during stressful situations.

When we allow our bodies to rest, we allow ourselves to come back to equilibrium and even heal.

This means getting quality sleep each night and allowing ourselves to rest when we feel tired or need a mental break.

When our bodies get adequate rest, we feel refreshed, joyful, and better able to face whatever comes our way.

Conclusion.

One of the most difficult things in life is to face your fears and overcome them.  It can also be one of the most rewarding things in life because it can help you learn new things, grow, change, and evolve.

If you take the time to acknowledge your fear with honesty and overcome it, it can help boost your self-confidence over time so you don't allow it to stop you from going after what you want.

I hope you found these tips to face your fears and overcome them helpful. If you want to learn some mindset tips to overcome fear, read "11 mindset hacks to master your mind and achieve your dreams."

Do you have any tips to overcome fear?  Please share them in the comments.

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