Is Fear Holding You Back?

It takes a lot of guts to go after the life that you want to live today. It takes a willingness to fail, succeed, fail, fail and succeed again. But what it really takes, is a willingness to break through your fears regarding rejection, failure and more. About 90% of the clients who come to me, whether in person or via phone or Skype from all over the world, tell me that they don’t have any fear about change. They’re just looking for a few steps to help them along the way to accomplish the most important goals in their life.

But 100% of the time as we begin to work together, fear raises its ugly head in one way or another. It could be the fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being judged by others, fear being criticized by others, fear of being rejected or the worst fear in the world, being abandoned by others.

SEE ALSO: Overwhelmed By Thinking? Try This!

Real-Life Experience

I remember a number of years ago, I was working with a couple who was in an incredibly dysfunctional 20-year marriage. The woman came in on week one and said that if her husband continued to drink, she was going to leave him. After about six weeks, I actually had to fire her husband as a client because he was non-compliant. He didn’t want to quit drinking in totality, and because I knew that was the only thing that could save the marriage, I had to let him go.

In talking to the wife before this day, she said she was willing and ready to file divorce papers if he didn’t quit drinking. But on that evening, when he said in front of her that he will never quit drinking, she couldn’t pull the trigger. She was afraid. Afraid of being a single mom, afraid of having to raise the kids on her own, afraid of having to go through a divorce. And for her money was not an issue. She had her own career and earned an excellent income. Fear was now in control. Do you see what I’m talking about? Fear. Fear. And more fear kept her in a terrible, abusive marriage.

How Fear Controls You

How about you? If you say you’re really ready to lose weight, but you’re afraid of going to the gym because others might judge you. Or you say you really want to turn your financial situation around, yet when I give you the formula to start to decrease your expenses, will you actually quit spending on unnecessary items? Or will you continue the pattern that you’ve had for most of your life?

What about changing careers? Let’s say you absolutely hate the work you’re doing right now, what is the alternative other than leaving your job and finding a new one? But are you strong enough to do the work? To start to search out other jobs? And then to leave when you know you have to? So let’s look at a few of the tips that for the past 28 years I’ve shared with my clients from all over the world to help them shatter their own fear of change.

Chase After One Major Goal

You’ve got to choose one major goal, the biggest monster that’s underneath your bed right now, and go after it with abandon. Don’t dick around with baby steps or baby goals. Sure they’ll make you feel better in the moment, but they will do nothing long-term in regards to helping you overcome your fears in life.

Think of the Worst

Answer this question: what happens if you fail? What happens if you go to lose the weight and you don’t? What happens if you go to get sober and you don’t? What happens if you start to reel in your expenses, but then you fail at that and blow all of your bonus on some ridiculous article of clothing when you really had the goal of becoming financially free in life?

I tell all my clients to do detailed writings about their fear of failure, fear of being judged by others, put it on paper right now. Look at it. Is it that terrible? Are you going to die? The odds are no. But if you don’t look at what’s the worst that could happen, it will stay stuck in your subconscious mind and you’ll sit on the fence for the rest of your life.

Think of the Benefits Too

Write out all the benefits that could happen if you walked into your fear and right through it. Your self-esteem would increase. Your self-confidence would increase. Eventually, when you walk through that fear, you’ll have less stress, because sitting on the fence, procrastination is called in my book, hell on earth. It sucks. So let’s start focusing on the good things that will happen when you attack your fear head-on.

Start Planning

Set up a plan of action, starting with a list of action steps that you will do to walk directly into your fear. In our 10th book, and number one bestseller called “Focus! Slay Your Goals: The Proven Guide to Huge Success, A Powerful Attitude, and Profound Love”, I tell the story of my friend Ray Higdon when he took on the biggest fear in his life and blasted right through it.

Here is the condensed story, which you can read in my book. Ray was faced with being a single dad with two little kids, about to face foreclosure, not having a clue of how to make any money in a down economy, and not even knowing where he was going to live with his children. And what was his answer? He got involved with an organization, selling a product he believed in. But, nothing was moving right away. Everyone was blaming the economy, but Ray knew he had to do something fast or he’d be living on the street with his children.

So he decided to go after 20 rejections a day, and it scared the hell out of him. But all super successful salespeople in the world know that if you’re not going out and asking for business, you’re going to die on the vine. So he went out. And he got rejected. But he never stopped every day until 20 people had told him to buzz off, to leave them alone. Because you see, when you start walking into those fears, the fears dissipate. They just evaporate. Pretty soon Ray was getting some “Yes’s” mixed in with his 20 “No’s”, or rejections daily. One year later? He was earning $50,000 a month after blasting through his fears in life!

Just Do It

How about you? Are you ready? Actually, it doesn’t matter if you’re ready or not you’ve just got to go do the work. I share with people all the time that one of the worst days of my life was the day I decided to get sober. I was scared as hell. Alcohol had been my best friend for over 25 years, always there for me with the ups in life, the downs in life, the boredom. Alcohol was always there to soothe my nerves. I was so afraid to be without it, but I knew I had to do it because it was such an unhealthy habit on every level.

I will be 100% honest here: my fear did not dissipate in one day, or 30 days, or three months. It took over six months of attending meetings, hiring counselors and more before I started to feel a reprieve that I could actually live a sober life and be happy as hell. And one year later? Oh, my god, my life was totally different. I no longer had any fear left regarding alcohol. I could go to any event, concert, wedding, New Year’s Eve celebrations and never crave alcohol at all.

I found out that I wasn’t missing a thing in life without alcohol. Actually, I was showing how powerful of a human being I really was. Almost every big goal you’ll ever go after will have an element of fear. Buying a house? Get ready for fear. Selling the house? Get ready for fear. Committing to a new relationship? Of course, at some point, fear is going to come up. Thinking about divorcing and then going through the divorce? You bet there’s going to be fear right with you. But fear is simply fear. It’s an emotion. It will not hurt you, it will not kill you, but your life will actually be dead in the water if you don’t learn to take the article that I just wrote seriously and walk through your fear today.

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David Essel


David Essel, M. S., is a number one best-selling author (10), counselor, master life coach, international speaker and radio host…

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