How to Overcome Fears

Fears often block us and prevent us from moving towards our dreams. That's why it's important to know how to face them and what to do to overcome them.
How to Overcome Fears

Last update: 17 March, 2021

Learning to overcome fears is one of the best recipes to achieve your dreams and reach places you’d never imagined. How many times have you wanted to go somewhere and get to know a different culture, try a new job, try a new relationship or explore new things, but you didn’t because you were scared of what would happen next?

Fear is an emotion that triggers unpleasant sensations when we perceive a threat or believe we’re facing danger. It could be said that this emotion has accompanied human beings since ancient times and has allowed them to survive. However, many of our fears today aren’t justified.

Fear, as research has shown, is an emotion that’s also shared with the rest of the animal kingdom, who engage in fight, flight, or freeze behavior when they recognize danger.

Nowadays, many people perceive danger in any corner. However, the problem is that fear can deactivate or reduce the capacity for resistance in certain circumstances and can also paralyze as some experts such as some researchers like Fina Antón at the University of Murcia, conclude.

Therefore, a question worth asking is: what can we do to overcome fears as it’s a universal emotion? In the following article we’ll give you some helpful suggestions.

Types of fear

We can be afraid of many things. Investigations such as the one carried out by a group of researchers from the Autonomous University of Mexico explain that these fears are present in children, adolescents, and adults, all in different ways.

Some of the fears children most commonly present are the following:

  • Fear of animals
  • Fear of darkness
  • Imaginary beings
  • Horror movies
  • Loneliness
  • Authority figures
  • School issues
A scary shadow.
Fears appear from childhood and extend into adulthood. However, the motives change with age.

When it comes to teenagers, some fears can be the following:

  • Darkness
  • Imaginary beings
  • Animals
  • Clowns
  • Death in the family, or their own
  • Failing a subject
  • Loneliness
  • Fear of lacking something
  • Strangers

Adults most fear:

  • Illnesses
  • Their children’s future
  • Death of family members
  • Unemployment
  • Economic instability
  • Accidents
  • Being the object of ridicule
  • Safety in the street
  • Family homelessness, among others

Recommendations to overcome fears

Many people have thoughts similar to the following:

  • “I’d like to visit this fantastic place, but something might happen to me, I’d better go somewhere safer.”
  • “It’s my dream to compose a song, but people will think it’s horrible.”
  • “I’d like to paint, but nobody will like what I do.”

These types of fears are often unfounded, and nothing that’s beyond fear has any possibility of existing in reality, and only ends up crushing the dreams of many.

Start practicing these points and begin to overcome your fear

  • Explore your thoughts. Get to know yourself, no matter how hard that can be. Confront your fear, name it and ask it what it’s trying to protect you from.
  • Imagine what lies behind the door of fear. If that fear weren’t there, what wonderful things would happen or what could you accomplish?
  • Stop thinking about others. Believe it or not, probably no one is caught up in what you do with your life. Remember that reality is complex and the world is wide, so everyone is busy and maybe no one is focused on what you’re doing to achieve your goals.
  • Be prepared. If you feel you lack the training to start a new business or get an idea off the ground, then take the necessary courses and start building your professional profile.
A woman in the sun.
To properly abandon your fears, it’s important to leave your comfort zone and try to achieve what you want!

More tips

  • You fail if you don’t try. Keep in mind that this is the first failure in reality. If you don’t even try what you dream of, then you’ve already failed. On the contrary, if you take the initiative, you’ll never be left with the doubt of “what would have happened if I...”.
  • Identify the threat. And detect whether it’s real or not. Maybe the thing you fear doesn’t even have a place in the world, but is just an idea you’ve built up in your mind.
  • See what your comfort zone offers. Since this is the zone where you feel safe, and maybe that’s where your fears lie, what are you afraid of losing if you try what you long for?
  • Apply techniques. There are techniques that can help you relax and reduce anxiety. So with a calm mind you’ll be able to think in a more orderly and rational way.

Don’t forget to read: 5 Ways to Cope With Social Anxiety

To conclude…

Stop running away, because that’s clearly not the solution. When you try to run away you only start to create excuses. However, this attitude only thickens the barrier that prevents you from destroying that fear and conquering what you long for. You must overcome your fears.

In conclusion, apply these tips and you’ll see how everything improves. Remember that the fear you feel could be placing you in front of a great opportunity. So, facing it is the best way out. However, it may be a good idea to see a psychologist and create a plan to begin to reduce your fears. Don’t be afraid to seek help.

It might interest you...
The Fear of Abandonment in Romantic Relationships
Step To Health
Read it in Step To Health
The Fear of Abandonment in Romantic Relationships

Fear of abandonment in a romantic relationship is a common cause of distress and uneasiness in a large part of the population.

  • Bedoya Dorado, C., & García Solarte, M. (2016). Efectos del miedo en los trabajadores y la organización. Estudios Gerenciales.
  • Lopez Bravo, M. D. (2012). Repaso a nuestros miedos. Crítica.
  • Los miedos en la pre-adolescencia y adolescencia y su relación con la autoestima: Un análisis por edad y sexo. (2014). Revista de Psicología Clínica Con Niños y Adolescentes.
  • Marina, J. A. (2012). Los miedos infantiles. Pediatria Integral.
  • Monràs, P. (2012). El miedo. Revista de Enfermería (Barcelona, Spain).
  • Valdano, J. (1986). El miedo escénico. Revista de Occidente.
  • Hurtado, F. A. (2015). Antropología del miedo. methaodos. revista de ciencias sociales, 3(2), 262-275.
  • Valdez Medina, J. L., Torres Aristeo, O., Arratia López Fuen, N. I. G., & López Romero, I. (2010). Los tipos de miedo prevalentes por generación y por sexo. Revista Electrónica de Psicología Iztacala, 13(4).