Preventing Fear from Holding You Back

Have you ever let fear hold you back from doing something you wanted to do?

My son is currently in his first year of hockey with other kids who have been playing hockey for years. He decided that he wanted to try being the goalie, and I instantly thought “What if he lets in too many goals and the other kids get upset with him?” What if he get’s upset if he lets in a goal?”

I didn’t share any of these thoughts with him, and always try to encourage my kids to try new things, but I instantly let fear almost allow me to hold him back from doing something he wanted to try! Thankfully I recognized that I was being silly and of course he tried being in net. And he did great!

This situation with my son made me think if fear was holding me back from doing anything I wanted to try. I realized my fear is usually always based on other peoples thoughts and opinions.

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For example, I want to take flying lessons. However, in the back of mind I imagine people thinking it’s a weird thing to do, or a waste of money. No one has actually said this to me, I just imagine these comments.

You are built to be the hero of your life
— Robin Sharma
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How can we stop this fear from holding us back? Here are a few ways to get over your fear and start living your life you want.

Identify your Fear

For me, I realized that my fear was surrounding other people’s thoughts of me. This now allows me to quickly pause and think of what’s holding me back, ask myself if it’s other people I’m worried about, and then carry on with whatever it is that I want to do.

Think about a situation where you wanted to do something, and you didn’t allow yourself to do it. Was it:

  • fear of other people’s opinion?

  • fear of failure?

  • fear of rejection?

  • fear of change?

  • fear of uncertainty?

Once you can identify the fear that is holding you back, you can train yourself to identify when it’s happening, and work to move past it.

Work past it

This one requires some work. It will get easier to identify when fear is trying to hold you back, as will this next step, but it will take some effort.

When you are in a situation and you find that fear creeps up and is trying to hold you back, the next step is to realize that if you want to achieve this big goal, or try this new thing, you’ll have to work past the fear.

Let’s say you’re thinking of changing careers, so you’re applying for a new job. You go to send your resume, and hesitate. “What if I don’t get an interview. I’m not qualified for this position. I might as well just not apply.”

Stop. Identify that you’re afraid of rejection, and think about what would happen if you did apply and didn’t get the job. Nothing. You didn’t have the job before this moment, so really, nothing will change.

But imagine if you did get a call back, and then an interview, and then that job you want! Imagine starting that new career, and learning new things, and achieving that goal! Think of how amazing it would feel. Imagine yourself already working at that new place and loving your new job. But if you let fear stop you, you’re robbing yourself of that amazing opportunity. And you’re too good to miss out on that!

You might develop a different way of working past your fear, but whatever the method, keep working on it so you can keep trying the new things you want, and going after the dreams you have!

What is something that you truly want to do, but fear keeps holding you back? Let me know in the comments!