11 Tips to Conquer Fear and Build Your Confidence
As leaders, we need to be fearless, but what does that really look like? For starters, it doesn’t have to be as dramatic as trying to save puppies from a burning building. Building your confidence is all about shifting your mindset.
As a life coach for entrepreneurs, I am thrilled and motivated to help you build up your confidence! In this article, we will discuss how to create inner courage, so that you can conquer your fears and live your life to the fullest. This involves confronting your fears and stepping out of your comfort zone.
Let me share with you a recent example of how, for five days straight, I escaped my comfort zone in more ways than one.
Get out from the comfort zone
Have you ever been in a place where you don’t really know what will happen next, yet were excited to see the next twist and turn along the way? Kinda like going on a rollercoaster ride. While you climbing towards the sky, your mind is going through all sorts of scenarios about what it will be like and how you will feel once it is over.
From Friday through Tuesday, I felt that way. My stomach knotted. I felt excited, yet learned so much. Let me tell you what happened.
Friday: Saved a small dog that ran out from his home. Afterwards, thought, “I don’t want a new dog. It is too much responsibility.”
Saturday: My family and I visited an animal shelter and adopted a cute Chipin named, “Skye”
Sunday: I impulsively answered the call volunteer to do children’s Sunday school at my church.
Monday: I answered the call to interview someone that I would have NEVER even considered in the past.
Tuesday: Volunteered at the refuge service center. It scared me to begin a new routine with unknown people. Nevertheless, I spoke Spanish (check out my blog in Spanish) to our customers and helped out where I could.
Why you must conquer your fears
Each day I journeyed into an unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation. Instead of saying, “no,” I said, “why not!”
And as you read this, you may find yourself thinking, “Well, that’s amazing Denise, but that’s not me.” I understand. Perhaps you’re hesitant to venture into the unknown because of your fear of failure.
But let me tell you, this is the phase of my life where I’m ready to embrace exploration. I’m prepared to dive into new experiences and experiment. To me, this is what true living is all about.
You may have grown accustomed to wanting to interact with certain people and on your terms. However, the familiar and comfy can take you but so far. As a life coach for business owners, I have seen too many entrepreneurs destroy their business due to fears and anxieties.
In this next section, we will discuss how you can escape your routine and embrace the twists and turns of life.
11 Tips to Conquer Fear and Build Your Confidence
Becoming more brave is a process that requires practice, self-reflection, and a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone. Here are some 11 tips to help you become more brave:
1. Identify your fears
The reason why people don’t do anything differently is because we are held hostage by an invisible yet all-powerful presence called fear. Take some time to reflect on the specific things that make you feel fearful or anxious.
Below are the reasons why the feeling of fear is so powerful:
- Challenges your worldview or expectations
- Takes you away from your comfort zone
- Is unpredictable or unfamiliar
- Clashes with your style of preferences
As humans, we tend to make our fears big, scary, and terrifying. Most of the time, our fears are based on faulty expectations or ideas. Write down your fears and analyze them; oftentimes, they are doing more harm than good, both professionally and personally.
2. Set realistic goals
If you are an ambitious business owner like me, you want everything to happen all at once. Patience truly is a virtue.
Before you attempt to disrupt your industry, start out by setting small, achievable goals that push you slightly outside of your comfort zone. As you accomplish these goals, gradually increase the difficulty of the challenges you undertake.
And instead of creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound) goals, create a PACT goals. PACT stands for: Purposeful, Actionable, Continuous, and Trackable. PACT goals will help eliminate the desire to create goals that may be unrealistic.
Learn how to create a PACT goal using the tips in this article.
3. Face your fears gradually
Prevent procrastination by confronting your fears in manageable ways. This means shrinking your goals into many mini-goals. For example, if you have a fear of public speaking, start by speaking in front of a small group of friends or colleagues before moving on to larger audiences.
Warning: It is super easy to procrastinate. Make you have someone to help you stay accountable. This will prevent you from making excuses or delays.
4. Embrace discomfort
Nobody likes change, even if it something you want to do. However, feeling uncomfortable is a natural part of growth and bravery.
One way to learn to tolerate and embrace discomfort, is to create affirmations that remind you of the importance of your new goal.
For each change or new situation, identify each fear and challenge each with a positive affirmation. Below is a table which shows how to create an affirmation for each fear-based message.
|Attend monthly public speaking events||Nobody will take me seriously||With practice and consistent attendance, my public speaking will improve.|
|Hire a new team member||They won’t work out just like the prior hire.||I have the ability to keep productive team members who value our company mission.|
5. Be Realistic
Conquering your fears doesn’t mean you won’t experience setbacks. Too many of us desire perfection that is not based on reality.
One way to be realistic is to read stories of people who have faced similar challenges. For example, one of my mentors didn’t start to successfully grow his business until the 7th year. Stories like this will help you to keep your own situation in a proper perspective.
6. Create a higher standard for yourself
If you are have survived a traumatic or dysfunctional home life like me, you may feel content just being a functional member of society. However, we can always improve. This means constantly growing emotionally and intellectually.
This REQUIRES resisting old behaviors that made you want to stay isolated, alone and afraid. Below are some questions to help you grow:
- In which area(s) of your life can you improve? Why?
- Why is this important?
- How will your life improve?
After you answer the questions above, write them on post-it notes and place them all around your house or work area. This is important as it will remind you of all the reason(s) WHY you are changing your current habits or lifestyle.
7. Visualize success
Going back to step six (creating a higher standard for yourself), now is the moment to imagine yourself being brave and successfully overcoming your fears. For each new standard, visualize yourself in that new role or identity.
Identify all the sites, sounds and smells that come with this new and better version of you. I tell my clients to visualize their new identity throughout the day. Visualization will help you build your confidence and reduce anxiety, which will making it easier to take action.
8. Take calculated risks
Stepping outside of your comfort zone involves taking risks. However, it’s important to assess the risks and make informed decisions. For example, don’t invest your life savings on something you think it is a ‘sure bet.’
Please exercise your due diligence and research the pros and cons of each option. Also, evaluate the potential benefits and consequences, and make sure the risks you take align with your values and goals.
9. Learn from failure
Even with all the planning in the world, sometimes things just don’t work out. Failure is a natural part of the learning process. Instead of being discouraged by failure, view it as an opportunity to grow and learn.
For example, my client Sandy (not real name), had to file for bankruptcy partly due to a business gone wrong. This experience forced Sandy to recruit professionals who carefully review her legal agreements to make sure Sandy’s financial interests are protected.
10. Have accountability
Often times, nothing gets done because there is no pressure. If nobody knows your goals, then there is no pressure to actually start something new.
Find someone that has experience with your goal or challenge. Also, make sure they have a track record of success in this area. There are lots of people who have failed in area and want to dispense their unsolicited wisdom.
11. Celebrate your successes along the way
Acknowledge and celebrate each step of bravery you take, no matter how small. I would encourage you to write each new success in your business journal. Recognizing your progress will boost your confidence and motivate you to continue being brave.
Below is a summary of each of the 11 tips I mentioned throughout this article.
Courage doesn’t happen in the absence of obstacles and challenges, but rather in the midst of them. Use the steps that I mentioned above to help conquer your fears and build your confidence.
If you need support, do not hesitate to contact me. We will co-create a plan that makes sense for your personal and professional goals.
Dig deeper: Click here to episode from my podcast about how to shift into a higher level of thought or press the play button below.