Tips On How To Overcome Your Fears...And Even Use Them To Your Advantage
Advice On Cope With Fear of Rejection, Failure, the Unknown, Change and Success
Dear April Masini,
Sometimes I think I'm afraid of everything. I have an okay job but think I could do better, but I'm just too scared to go out and find something new. I'd love to move to a new city, but I'm scared to death to make such a big change. I even have a hard time dating because I'm scared of putting myself out there and meeting new people. What can I do to get over all of my fears?? Please help!
Sincerely, Scared of Everything"
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Scared of Everything,
Fear is actually a major motivator in life! Your fears are normal; you just need to understand how to overcome them and how to use them to your advantage. Below, I’ve documented five main fears in life, and my advice for overcoming them.
- Fear of Disapproval or Rejection
The method for conquering a fear of disapproval or rejection is to understand that you simply cannot please everyone – it’s physically impossible. You can not do it. Which means, you’re not supposed to do it. You’re not expected to do it – by anyone who’s sane. (And if you’re dating anyone who’s insane, let’s eliminate them right here and now.)
You must accept that fact that everyone has different motives, goals, tastes, likes, and dislikes. You will not be everyone’s cup of tea, nor will everyone be yours. You will be rejected or disapproved of by some. And you, too, will reject and disapprove of some. You need to expect that it will happen. And while it can be painful and hurtful to realize you’re not “good enough” for someone – yikes, think about what would happen if no one rejected anyone! You would date the wrong people, who didn’t really love you, but didn’t want to hurt your feelings, and waste your time – and their time! You would both be living lies and hurting each other in the long run. You would be spending your most precious commodity – time – with the wrong person! Doesn’t that make rejection seem like a gift, now?
What matters is that you remain true to what you know to be important and right, and count on others to do the same. If you are certain about who you are and what you want, you will be able to put this fear aside because your opinion, and those of others, will be guideposts along the road to success. A rejection, like a flashing red light, will keep you from going down the wrong road.
- Fear of Failure
The key to overcoming the fear of failing is to change your concept and definition of failure. True failure is lying: Lying to others is failure, and lying to yourself is the worst failure of all. Anything else is just an obstacle along the way. Embrace perseverance. Embrace the idea that this search for the right man is precious and when you find him, you will value the relationship because of all the hard work it took. Embrace everything you’re learning along the way.
Diamonds are expensive because they are precious. They are not easy to find or cut. The same is true with oil. Treat your dating life with the same respect. Who said it was going to be easy? See the world and your dating life in terms of batting averages and practice shots – not perfection.
Recognize that even the best of the best miss over 50% of the time, in fact the best home run hitters in professional baseball are the ones that strike out the most. Most successful home run hitters spend most of their baseball careers striking out. They are famous, however, for that handful of those out of the park wallops. Every time you step up to the plate and take a swing, you’re getting one step closer to realizing success.
- Fear of The Unknown
The things we don’t know, can’t understand, or can’t explain, are what I refer to as, “fear of the unknown.” For instance, when we were children, we feared darkness and the boogeyman. As an adult, we may fear people of different cultures and beliefs or situations that are new and different. There is a simple remedy for this kind of fear—knowledge. Knowledge brings a comforting familiarity to the unfamiliar, unheard-of, and obscure.
- Fear of Change
Whether it is a new situation, like moving to a different state, a new challenge, like getting divorced, or a new job, many of us fear change. The antidote for this type of fear comes in the form of the confidence we gain from accomplishing goals, overcoming hardships, and meeting challenges … however small they may be. The first change is always the hardest, but when we see that the roof doesn’t fall in, we will be able to remember it next time we face a change and do so with less fear and more grace.
- Fear of Success
Few address their fear of success because it can be hard to even believe it exists. Yet it is a very real and very prevalent fear for many of us. Often a fear of success comes from a deep seeded belief that we do not deserve success, so we subconsciously sabotage ourselves. We do this by creating drama, often. Breaking up with a boyfriend or husband or starting a fight when things are calm, are other ways we sabotage our success and happiness. If you find yourself doing this, try to figure out where the idea that you don’t deserve something came from. The more aware you are of the origins of this fear, the better chance you have of uncovering it, examining it, and conquering it.
For more advice on how to get the confidence and style to score the perfect date, check out my book, Think & Date Like A Man.