Practical Exercises to Overcome Everyday Fears

By Kimberley Borgens

There’s something no one likes to talk about. In fact, we’re almost afraid to talk about it. And that, my friends, is fear. Today’s exploration revolves around a simple yet profound question: Are you bigger than your fears? It’s not just a curiosity; it’s an invitation into self-discovery and overcoming your fear that often shapes your decisions, relationships, and the very essence of who you are.

As we delve into this topic, let’s unravel the mysteries of fear and uncover the places that often go unnoticed. So, let’s take a step together and understand, normalize, and ultimately conquer our fears through practical exercises that build confidence and resilience in the face of life’s uncertainties.

Understanding Fear

Fear, my friends, is not the enemy; it’s a companion on this journey we call life. As we explore fear, we’re not just examining an emotion but peeling back layers of our shared human experience.

Fear: It’s Normal, and Everyone Faces It

  • Exploring Innate and Learned Fears: From the moment we draw our first breath, fear starts weaving its way through our existence. As life continues, we learn how to interpret different experiences, and some become our fears.
  • Reflecting on Personal Fears: Take a moment to reflect on your fears. What keeps you up at night? What makes your heart race? By acknowledging our individual fears, we begin to understand the diverse landscapes of our minds.

Learning from Childhood

  • Educational System and Fear: Recall the days of school, where the fear of failure was always present. From red marks on papers to the consequences at home, our early experiences with fear often originated in the halls of education.
  • Social Media Influence on Fear: Fast forward to today’s world, where fear finds new avenues to seep into our lives. Social media, with its cancel culture and constant scrutiny, shapes our fears in ways we might not even realize.

Embracing the Concept of Making Mistakes

In life, mistakes are the learning moments that help us grow. From the chalkboard to the boardroom, we’ve been conditioned to fear mistakes. But what if, just for a moment, we embraced them as stepping stones toward wisdom?

Conquering Fears: The Roller Coaster of Life

Everyone has moments in their lives when they have conquered fear, even in small ways. You just have to know where to look.

Facing Fears Head-On

Imagine a sun-soaked day, laughter in the air, and a roller coaster in the distance. My son, a bundle of nerves, declares, “Mom, I want to conquer this fear.” And there it was, fear staring us in the face, much like the fears we encounter in life.

So, what did we do? We hopped on that roller coaster, not because I adore the twists and turns but because I adore the idea of facing fears head-on. The story isn’t just about a roller coaster; it’s about the decision to confront fears, the mixed feelings of nervousness and excitement, and the victorious feeling on the other side.

Discovering Your Inner Strength

Here’s the truth – facing fears is not about erasing them; it’s about proving to ourselves that we are bigger than the fears we carry. It’s about looking fear in the eye and saying, “I see you, but you won’t dictate my journey.” Each fear faced is a step towards personal growth, a reminder that we have the power to overcome.

Now, picture this in the context of your own life. What roller coaster are you hesitating to board? What fear is holding you back from the thrill of life’s twists and turns? It’s time to step up, my friends, and declare that you are indeed bigger than your fears.

Decoding the Body’s Response to Fear and Excitement

Oh, let’s talk about the physiological dance our bodies perform when faced with fear. Heart racing, palms sweaty – sounds familiar, right? Now, here’s the revelation – these same responses happen when we’re excited. Isn’t that intriguing? The body interprets fear and excitement in a surprisingly similar way.

So, next time you feel those butterflies fluttering, pause and ask yourself, “Is this fear or excitement?” Shift the narrative, turn fear into anticipation, and watch how your perspective transforms.

Challenges in Business and Personal Life

Fear isn’t confined to amusement parks. It’s a companion in the boardroom, the kitchen, and the quiet corners of our minds. Business challenges loom, relationships demand courage, and fear whispers doubts in our ears. Here’s a truth bomb – acknowledging fear doesn’t make us weak; it makes us self-aware.

Facing Business Challenges Despite Fear

In the business arena, decisions carry weight. The fear of making the wrong move and the fear of failure lurk behind every choice. But guess what? Every successful entrepreneur has danced with these fears. They’ve faced financial uncertainties and dealt with rejections, and still, they pressed on. Why? Because being bigger than your fears is the secret sauce to entrepreneurial triumph.

Overcoming Fear in Relationships

Now, let’s shift our focus to the delicate dance of relationships. Fear of vulnerability and fear of rejection are silent saboteurs of connections. But vulnerability isn’t weakness; it’s strength. Opening up, being genuine, and confronting the fear of rejection allows for authentic connections to blossom.

Practical Exercises for Personal Growth

Now that we’ve explored the relationship between fear and excitement, let’s step onto the practical stage of personal growth.

Acknowledging Mistakes and Offering Self-Grace

One of the best gifts you can give yourself is to acknowledge mistakes with a graceful embrace. Mistakes—they’re not the villains; they’re the stepping stones to wisdom.

Sometimes, along a journey, you may take a detour. Does that mean you’re lost? Not at all. It means you’re exploring the scenic route of life. So, when those missteps happen, offer yourself a generous dose of self-grace. Remember, even the best of us stumble; it’s the recovery that matters.

The Importance of Doing Things Despite Fear

How do you think a tightrope walker facing a thin line suspended high above the ground completes their act? The walker acknowledges the fear but takes that daring step anyway. Likewise, facing fears is not about erasing them but defying them.

Here’s your challenge: identify a fear, something that makes your heart flutter a bit faster. Now, take a small step toward it. It could be as simple as making that phone call, sending that email, or starting that project. The magic happens when you decide that fear won’t dictate your actions.

Seeking Support: The Role of Mentors and Coaches

For every successful business owner, there’s a behind-the-scenes team ensuring success. This is where mentors and coaches play a pivotal role in helping you conquer fears along your journey. They’re like your personal cheering squad, providing guidance and wisdom when the path seems uncertain.

Reach out to someone you admire or seek a mentor in an area where fear lurks. Share your aspirations and struggles, and watch how a fresh perspective can transform fear into a manageable dance partner.

Refocusing Fear as Excitement

Remember the roller coaster analogy? Fear and excitement share the same physiological dance. So, why not refocus fear as excitement? Try this exercise for a simple fear:

  • Understanding Similar Physiological Responses: Take a deep breath. Think about a fear that often grips you. Now, consider a situation that excites you. Notice anything familiar? The heart racing, the heightened awareness—they’re twins in different costumes.
  • Choosing Excitement Over Fear: Next time fear knocks, invite excitement to the party. Change the narrative. Instead of saying, “I’m scared,” try, “I’m excited about the challenge.” It’s not about denying fear but giving it a positive spin.

Your challenge: When faced with a fearful situation, reframe it as an exciting opportunity. Witness how a simple shift in perspective can turn fear into a thrilling adventure.

Asking Questions

Imagine you’re a detective solving the case of fear. Your tools? Questions. What’s the worst that can happen? What’s the best outcome? By dissecting fear into manageable pieces, you become the mastermind, not the victim.

Now, confront a fear by asking these questions. Write down the answers. You’ll find that often, the fear loses its grip when exposed to the light of rational thinking.

Managing Everyday Fears

As we move into personal growth, fear often stands as a gatekeeper. Let’s dissect the everyday fears that intertwine with our journey of self-discovery, exploring the delicate balance between caution and courageous growth.

Assessing and Differentiating Genuine Fear

Fear is a natural part of the human experience, woven into the fabric of our existence. As we navigate personal and business challenges, it becomes crucial to discern between genuine fear and the hesitations that stem from discomfort.

  • Encouraging Growth Through Overcoming Fear: Embracing personal growth involves acknowledging fears and moving beyond them. Think about the last time you hesitated due to fear. Was it a genuine concern or the discomfort of stepping outside your comfort zone? Growth often lies on the other side of fear, waiting to be discovered.
  • Relating Personal and Business Challenges: Reflect on the parallels between personal and business challenges. The fears we encounter in our professional lives often mirror those we face in our personal journeys. Recognizing these similarities allows us to apply lessons learned in one realm to another, fostering holistic growth.

Asking for Help and Collaboration

Asking for help and embracing collaboration are crucial to building confidence and overcoming fear. Seeking assistance not only brings diverse perspectives into the picture but also transforms challenges into opportunities for collective success, fostering a spirit of unity and shared achievement.

  • Drawing Parallels with Personal Experiences: Seeking assistance is a powerful tool. Reflect on personal experiences where reaching out for support made a significant difference. It might have been a mentor, a friend, or a colleague. The act of asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a testament to strength.
  • Asking for Help in Business: In the realm of business, there exists a prevailing notion that asking for help is a vulnerability. Challenge this stigma. In reality, seeking advice, mentorship, or collaborative efforts is a strategic move. It demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement and a willingness to learn from others’ experiences.

You Are Bigger Than Your Fear

It’s important to face fear head-on, as it is a part of the exhilarating joy that comes with conquering the roller coaster of life. Fear is not the enemy; it’s a companion on this wild ride, reminding us that growth and triumph often reside just beyond our comfort zones.

I leave you with a challenge – a challenge to be bigger than your fears. Whether it’s the fear of starting a new venture, the fear of vulnerability in relationships, or the fear of the unknown, remember this: you are more significant than any fear that seeks to hold you back.

Kimberley Borgens

About the author

Kimberley Borgens was married at 18, a mother at 19, and divorced at 20, she has journeyed from being a single mom on welfare to recognizing her strengths, fighting for what she believes in, and successfully building 5 thriving businesses with hundreds of employees and million-dollar budgets. Kimberley is a speaker, business mentor, and coaches her clients to transform their small business into a thriving business. Kimberley is living her own legacy as she inspires and motivates women to be fearless, become more like a CEO of their business and life, and enjoy the freedom they've dreamed of. She knows what it's like to start from nothing and build a strong solid business and she can help you too.

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