Tag: fear


How to Overcome Your Fear of Risk and Improve Your Life


Risk is something that can instill fear in all of us. The risk of rejection, the risk of failure, and so on and so on.

My clients often express fear of starting something new in their careers. My friends are sometimes afraid of making a major life change. I too have experienced fear of certain risks.

I’ve had several people say to me they admire the fact that I wasn’t afraid to risk traveling to the other side of the world by myself, risk ending a sub-par relationship, or risk starting my own business.

I never said I wasn’t afraid to do those things. There was some fear involved in all those things because each of them came with certain risks.

It wasn’t about being unafraid.

It was about pushing through and overcoming the fears in order to get to something better in my life.


7 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Risk and Improve Your Life

A couple of years ago I read an article entitled “7 Ways to Control Your Fear and Advance Your Career” by bestselling author Harvey Mackay.

The seven things he outlined can be applied to any area of your life, not just your career.

I’d like to expand on the seven things he mentioned, but I’m going to slightly change the order of them.


1. Try new things.

Yes, you’ve heard me say that more than once. But, it’s always worth repeating.

Why? Because there are always new things to try.

And you never know what new thing is going to become the thing that gets you over your fears and improves your life until you try.

Mackay says,

“There is only one thing worse than a quitter, and that is someone who is afraid to begin…Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic. Think about it.”

Trying new things will lessen future fears, build your confidence, and increase your ability to handle future risks.

So, let me ask you the same question Darius Rucker is asking in his recent hit song,

When was the last time you did something for the first time?


2. Review your risks

If taking future risks will help you overcome your fear and build your confidence, then certainly any past risks you’ve taken and fears you’ve already faced have built a certain level of confidence in you.

Spend some time reviewing all the times you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone or done something you were afraid of.

What was the result?

How did you feel after you did it?

Even if it failed, what was the biggest lesson you learned from it?

What was successful about the experience?

How did it help you overcome fear?

Chances are the outcome wasn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be and most of the risks you took turned out to be okay.

Mackay says,

“Figure out what made them work. Can you duplicate those decisions that led to success and apply them to other situations?”


3. Explore your memories

Since you’re already looking back, take some time to also look back over your life and career to explore what exactly instills fear in you.

What do those situations look like?

What are their common denominators?

What happened when you were afraid to do something but did it anyway?


4. Look at your responsibilities

Regardless of your age, marital status, work situation, etc., you have a lot of priorities and responsibilities in your life.

Sometimes I think my friends who are married with children assume I’m not as busy as them or don’t have as many responsibilities, but it’s not true. I just have a different set of responsibilities and pressures.

As a single person who owns and runs her own business, I have a lot of pressures on me to get everything done without the help of a partner (or children old enough to earn an allowance). All the household responsibilities fall on me, and all the finances and expenses are covered by only one income.

It’s my name and reputation that’s at stake when something goes wrong in the business. The business is sometimes like a baby in that, on some days, it’s a never-ending 24–7 job.

Your challenges might be the same or might be totally different.

You can’t compare your situation to someone else’s because it’s likely you’ll be comparing apples to oranges.

Just look at your own responsibilities.

Which ones make you feel afraid or anxious?

Why are you afraid of them?

Keep digging and ask “why” until you’ve discovered the root of your fear.


5. Construct a worst-case scenario

Mackay says,

“When a certain situation makes you nervous, try to think of the worst thing that could realistically happen. Chances are the reality won’t be as devastating as you think, and examining the possibilities ahead of time will prepare you to avoid the potential pitfalls.”

Yes, I agree, it is good to do this.

However, if you’re the type of person who already has a bad habit of immediately going to the worst-case scenario, I suggest limiting the amount of time you spend constructing the worst-case scenario.

Instead, spend your energy shifting your focus, as described in #6.


6. Shift your focus

After you construct a worst-case scenario, you want to shift your focus to potential best-case scenarios.

Think about all the possible benefits and positive by-products of facing your fear.

By focusing on the potential positive outcomes, you reduce your anxiety and worry less.

7. Expect your fears to occasionally resurface

Mackay says to accept the fact that there will still be times when you feel fear or a lack of control.

This is true. There are still things that cause me to panic or become afraid. But because I’ve faced my fears in the past, new fears don’t have as strong of a grip on me now days.

Prepare yourself as best you can (by using the tips above and the ones in the related posts listed below) to handle potential risks that may cause anxiety or fear.

Mackay’s Moral:

“Don’t let your fears get in your head — get ahead of your fears.”


Once you begin to overcome some of your fears, you’ll be eager and ready to set more goals for yourself.

And if you want to not just set goals but achieve them, I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter. When you do you’ll receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

Related Posts:

fear of risk

Sunday Inspiration: Do Not Be Afraid to Take Baby Steps Toward Your Passions

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

Matthew Kelly, internationally acclaimed speaker, author, and business consultant, on discovering your passion:

Once we know what we love doing—once we know what produces that timelessness, that incredible experience of just time passing and being completely immersed in something and not even recognizing the passing of time—not everyone can then turn around and go off and do that as their full-time job.

We do have responsibilities in our lives that very often prevent us from doing whatever we want to do with our lives.

And that’s real, and that’s practical. And it’s dishonest for me to pretend otherwise.

It’s like that lie we tell kids, “You can do anything you want.”

I don’t want to be presenting the adult version of that.

The reality is, you do have to pay your bills. The reality is, you may have a family to support.

But you can take baby steps towards it. You can do some piece of it. You can do it for a couple of hours a week. And maybe that’s enough to feed that part of your soul that needs that.

But the thing that stops us, the thing that holds us back, the obstacle, the challenge: fear. It’s always fear. It’s always been fear. It’ll always be fear.

The most common phrase that appears in the Bible:

“Do not be afraid.”

The most common thing Jesus said was:

“Do not be afraid.”

The most common thing Jesus said wasn’t “Love everybody.” The most common thing Jesus said wasn’t any of a thousand other things that people would say if you asked them on the street, “What do you think the most common thing Jesus said was?” Most people come up with, “Oh, love other people how you want to be loved,” or, you know, those kinds of things.

But no, the most common thing he said was:

“Do not be afraid.”

We’re afraid of losing things.

We’re afraid things won’t work out the way we want them to, or hope they will.

We’re afraid of failing.

And sometimes, we’re afraid of succeeding.

But over and over again, God’s message to humanity is:

“Do not be afraid.”

Sean Ferguson, Mission Partner at Dynamic Catholic:

On April 8, 2015, I was coming home from a campus ministry meeting at the University of Dayton. At 7:13 PM, I was struck by lightning as I was walking through the parking lot.

Immediately, I collapsed to the ground and was unconscious. The nerves in my lower legs were severely damaged, and I was unable to walk or stand.

Sitting in my hospital bed and wondering, “Would I ever be able to walk again?” was one of the most overwhelming feelings I’ve had in my life.

The doctors emphasized that my recovery would happen in very small, incremental stages of the physical rehabilitation process.

Talk about literally needing to take baby steps to get back to the life of a normal twenty-three-year-old again.

A goal that I set for myself was that I would one day climb a mountain.

For two straight years, I went through intense rehabilitation.

This past August, I stood atop Croagh Patrick after climbing the 2,500-foot mountain off the coast of Ireland.

Each baby step that I took during my rehabilitation led me to reaching my ultimate goal of this amazing mountaintop moment.

What’s your baby step?

Source: http://go.dynamiccatholic.com/yDaHgPqS0f0FOHA1ld00010

5 Common Fears (and Myths) of Quitting a Job You Hate

You hate your job, but because of it you don’t have the time or energy to start the overwhelming process of finding something new. And you think you can’t quit it until you find another job. But is that really a true statement, or just common myth? Let’s look at some of the common fears most people have about quitting a job with nothing else lined up. Let’s challenge the assumptions that breed those fears.

Common Fear/Myth #1

I won’t be able to afford my bills. Is this a true statement? Do you have a little extra money stashed away you can get by on for a little while?

Are there some unnecessary expenses you can cut to help you pay your necessary bills? For example, could you sell your car and take the bus for a while? Or just park your car and cancel your insurance for a few months while taking the bus instead? Do you really need cable or a Netfilx subscription right now? Do you need numerous music subscriptions? Or can you just listen to good old fashioned radio?

Are there some things you no longer need you could sell? What about that treadmill the only gets used as a place to throw your clothes when you don’t feel like hanging them up (you know who you are!). What about the stack of books you’ve already read (or know you’re never going to read)? If you live alone, do you really need a TV in more than one room?

Are there some other ways you can earn cash like picking up some temporary side jobs or a part-time job? In addition, can you get a roommate and charge rent to help with some of your housing costs? Do you own something else others might want to rent on a short-term basis? Do you have a skill people will pay you to perform because of their lack of that skill?

Common Fear/Myth #2

I’ll lose my health insurance and retirement accounts. Not necessarily. If you leave your job you can always transfer your retirement over to an IRA where it can still earn some money and you can still contribute to it yourself a little at a time until you get your next full-time opportunity. The only thing you’ll be missing out on in the short-term is your company’s matching contribution.

When it comes to health insurance, you can visit ehealthinsurance.com to find temporary health insurance, alternatives to Obamacare, and more. If you happen to do a little freelancing on the side after leaving your job, you may qualify for very affordable insurance through the Freelancers Union at freelancersunion.org (also, it’s free to join the union!). I get my dental and disability insurance through them at very little cost per month.

Common Fear/Myth #3

It’ll look bad on my resume. Sure, if all you do is become a couch potato after quitting, it will look bad! However, if you use your time to improve your skillset, take some affordable online classes, do some side or freelance projects, volunteer with a local non-profit, raise money to travel on a mission trip, pursue a passion project, or work a fun part-time job, it’s not going to look bad at all.

Whatever you do, do something you find interesting. I’m sure if it’s something interesting to you, it could be interesting to the people who’ll eventually be interviewing you. Show on your resume what you’ve done and the skills and lessons learned from those interesting experiences. This will make your resume stand out.

Tim Ferris, author of the bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek suggests answering the interview question, “Why did you leave your previous job?” with, “I had an once-in-a-lifetime chance to do [interesting experience] and couldn’t turn it down.” He says because most interviewers are bored in their own jobs, they’ll spend much of the interview asking how you made it happen. You can then respond with how your skills and resourcefulness you used to make it happen will make you the person they should hire.

When I started phasing out my image consulting business due to burnout to decide if I wanted to return to career coaching or not, I worked a few weekends teaching beginner stand up paddling at my local SUP shop. If I’d had to go through a job interview following that experience, I can guarantee you I would pique the interviewer’s interest if I said, “I taught people the closest thing to walking on water.” Then, I would tell them about how I used my teaching and training skills to do so.

Common Fear/Myth #4

I need to have a “real job” instead of trying to freelance. Freelancing IS a real job! And it’s one of the fastest growing jobs in the country. Don’t believe me? Just check out this infographic courtesy of the Upwork.com and Freelancersunion.org:

quitting a job

Even if you have no plans to become a freelancer, you still need the skills of an entrepreneur to be successful in your next job. (Click here for a list of those skills.)

Common Fear/Myth #5

If I don’t quit now, I’ll never find a way out and will be stuck in my job forever! Not true! You may feel like you have to quit your job right away despite the fears listed above, but you don’t have to quit YET!

You can start creating an exit strategy now and implement it later when the timing makes more sense or if you’re not financially able to quit without having something else lined up. Yes, eventually you’ll have to rip off the band-aid and quit, but there are ways to be smart about it. I outline four ways to wisely plan your escape route in my previous post, “Don’t Quit Your Daydream (or Your Day Job)”.

How to Challenge Your Assumptions About Quitting a Job

Whatever your fears are about quitting a job you hate, I encourage you to challenge those fears and assumptions. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Learn how to deal with limiting beliefs (the annoying inner critic that tells you, “You can’t do it!”). The process for dealing with limiting beliefs is available for free in the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan you’ll receive when you subscribe to the paNASH newsletter.
  • Talk to others who currently work in a job or career field you think you might enjoy. Find out from them the career path they followed to get there. You’ll likely find most people didn’t had a single direct career path that led them there. This will encourage and inspire you. Also, they may provide you some tips for making the transfer to that industry.
  • Take a weekday off from your job and spend the day doing job search activities just to get a feel for what that might be like. Update your resume. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with LinkedIn. Can’t take a day off work to do this? Use one of your non-workdays.
  • Put your resume out there and see what happens. Post your resume with no expectations. You’ll be able to see what kind of opportunities your current resume is attracting so you can figure out how to tweak it with the right keywords to attract better opportunities.
  • Write your resignation letter, but don’t send it. Just write it to help you get used to the idea of what may need to happen in the near future.
  • Dip your toe in the freelance water by offering your unique skills or expertise to a few friends or on sites like Fiverr.com or Upwork.com. Determine from these small assignments if you like working for yourself or not.

Make Time to Experiment

Feel free to find other ways to experiment with the idea of making a job or career change. Short-term experiments don’t have to financially break you and don’t require a huge commitment. In fact, these little experiments might be just the thing to provide a little breath of fresh air to your current dreadful situation. They can either help you hang on a little longer until you’re able to quit your job, or give you the courage now to go ahead and rip off the band-aid.

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Sunday Inspiration: Don’t Let Fear Stop You (Part 2)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“I was afraid, and…hid your talent.”   

Mt 25:25 NKJV

The master of an estate gave each of his servants a sum of money to invest for him. One man got five talents, the second two talents, and the third man one talent. The servants with two and five talents turned a respectable profit, while the man with one talent told his master, “I was afraid, and…hid your talent in the ground.”

What’s the lesson here? Simply this: Fear makes you unproductive!

A seasoned pastor writes: “Fear will stop you from singing in the choir…witnessing…giving cheerfully…and walking in love with your spouse…The underlying issue is fear that God won’t do what He says. But as believers we should be so full of the Word that fear can’t get a foothold…Jesus said, ‘Take no thought for your life’ (Mt 6:25). Paraphrased: Why would you even think fearful thoughts when I’ve told you I’ll never leave you…I’ll protect you…and give you everything you need to do the job? Bottom line: God is with you even when you can’t feel or see Him, and when others imply He’s abandoned you.”

Fear disguises itself behind many different faces. We want to do things our way, or we say we’re not interested, or it’s not the right time. What we’re coming up against isn’t a closed door—it’s repressed fear. If you’re wondering why you’re not progressing in certain areas, see if hidden fear is holding you back. And if it is, ask God to help you release your fears and start trusting what He says.

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/posts/dont-let-fear-stop-you-2-2

Sunday Inspiration: Don’t Let Fear Stop You (Part 1)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“Whom shall I fear?”      

Ps 27:1 NAS

Life’s filled with fear-inducing situations: fear of sickness, unemployment, rejection, other people’s opinions. Left unchecked, fear will steal your inner peace.

But as Chuck Swindoll reminds us: “David met fear head-on at his front door with two questions. ‘Whom shall I dread? Whom shall I fear?’ And he slammed the door in fear’s face by declaring, ‘My heart will not fear…I shall be confident’ (v. 3). Then he walked back into his house, reminding himself how to counteract fear’s attacks:

Prayer: ‘I have asked from the Lord’ (v. 4).

Vision: ‘I behold the beauty of the Lord’ (v. 4).

God’s Word: ‘I meditate in His temple’ (v. 4).

God’s protection: ‘In the day of trouble He will conceal me’ (v. 5).

Worship: ‘I will sing’ (v. 6).

Rest: ‘Wait for the Lord’ (vv. 13-14).

Determination: ‘Let your heart take courage’ (v. 14).

Courage isn’t limited to the battlefield…Its real tests are broader… deeper…quieter…like remaining faithful when nobody’s looking…enduring pain when the room is empty…standing alone when you’re misunderstood…It can be as simple as saying ‘No,’ as uneventful as facing a mountain of laundry, as unheralded as the inner struggle between right and wrong. God’s medal-of-honor-winners are made in secret… where most courageous acts occur…away from public acclaim.”

When fear nips at your heels, God says, “Be strong and courageous!” (Jos 1:9 NAS). Dick Mills writes: “Every commandment…comes with the assurance that we can perform it. God doesn’t issue orders we’re not capable of fulfilling…It’s incongruous to say, ‘I’ve lots of courage but no strength,’ or, ‘I’m a powerhouse of energy but I’m afraid.’ Courage and strength were given to you by God. Courage motivates our will, and strength accompanies our effort.”

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/posts/dont-let-fear-stop-you-1-2