5 ways to conquer your fears in order to succeed

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How often do you find yourself facing a negative thought or emotion—be it worry, fear, guilt, shame or any negative emotion—and you can’t seem to shake it off? You may be thinking: The struggle is real. Whether you’re facing a difficult day, month, year or set of years, the ability to conquer your fears may often seem daunting or missing.

Being stuck in a challenging set of circumstances, however, is certainly not where your strength ends.

Here are five ways to conquering and asserting yourself over those fears that grab hold and scare you when feeling vulnerable:

1. Don’t underestimate the power of corrective thinking.

Put your fears into perspective. Ask yourself first, why does that negativity bother you in the first place? Because you’d rather focus on the positive—you’re better than that, but you are human. Try to remember those positive emotions of love, pride, joy and satisfaction that are on the flip side of your momentary negativity, and gradually allow yourself to focus on the positive thoughts. For example, financial concerns might have some worried that they’ll end up on the streets. Pretty scary, no? But remember, in the face of financial fears, you still have your loved ones (family or friends) and basking in all that love will keep you motivated and strong. Rejoicing in your love will remind you to be grateful for the positive aspects in your life, often a consequence of corrective thinking. Then, you can start to plan your way toward goals that bring more financial stability.

2. Remember that the next day will come.

You have plenty of attempts to make your days filled with joy, especially with the will to keep plugging away in your life journey. Perhaps try waking up at dawn to remind yourself of the beauty that lies in the start of a new day. You’ll find entirely new shades of meaning to comfort and to the possibilities of new beginnings.

3. Train yourself to use soothing mental imagery when you might be facing a negative thought.

For example, if you’re afraid of needles. Put those feelings of fear into a leaf on a pond. Imagine water drops from another leaf dripping slowly into the leaf carrying your fears, with the negativity-filled leaf drifting away ever so slowly on the pond. Repeat this for an extra soothing effect.

4. Remind yourself of the good person that you are.

This may seem counterintuitive, but wouldn’t you say that negativity worries those who are actually the opposite? Remembering the good in you from this rational perspective can often challenge your momentary negativity and condition powerful thoughts of goodness and strength in your lovely persona. This will help channel self-love, of which we all could use a little more.

5. Remember the power of prayer.

Of course, all our prayers may not come through to our satisfaction as quickly as we may want, so use this piece of advice while maintaining little expectation and lots of hope. Hope will make you feel comforted, and prayer, will help you feel consoled. If this doesn’t seem to do the trick, remember your perseverance in the face of challenge is your acting symbol of audacity and strength, with the most rudimentary elements of hope and foregone prayer rooted in that perseverance to move on. You are showing courage every night you close your eyes to fall asleep and every morning your spirit rises to a new day. This is the deepest form of courage.

So try to add your own bag of tricks if these don’t suffice, but remember, you are always moving forward in your journey, which in itself is the most beautiful act.

Filed under Advice

Najma Khorrami is currently the Associate Director of Global Partnerships at The Center for Global Health and Diplomacy in Washington, D.C. She earned her Master in Health Policy in Public Health from The George Washington University in 2012, and rounded out her studies with a Global Health Certificate from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In addition to her passion for global health policy and wanting to one day help create public health programs for the disadvantaged in developing countries, she enjoys cooking and volunteering. You can follow her on Instagram at @najonoor!