When Elon Musk started SpaceX, Solar City, and Tesla, he put in all his own money to fund the three companies. At one point, he even needed to borrow money to pay his rent.
When Steve Jobs found that what he learned in school did not interest him, he decided to take the leap of faith and dropout from his college. He then has more free time to learn something that he loved. And this was how he eventually founded Apple.
All the extraordinary people who have accomplished great results in life are brave and fearless, but why is that so? Are these people born that way or they do not feel any fear because they are so good with what they do?
Chances are, this is not the case at all. Successful people are just like every other ordinary people. The only difference is that they understand that the fear they experience is not real. It is just an emotion that they feel in their mind. As a result, they feel the fear and they do it anyway.
Everyone experiences fear at some point in their lives. No one was born with a fearless DNA and nobody is good at everything in the beginning.
Take public speaking for example. The statistic shows that as much as 74% of people is afraid of public speaking. Some people even equate their fear to speak publicly as the fear of death. The thing is that when you look at successful leaders, you will notice that they are good at public speaking.
Why then, do some people are not feeling fearful of public speaking while another group is so afraid of public speaking? When you are struggling to make things work, there will be another group of people who can do better than you. Sometimes, there will be things that seem so easy for you but may send a shiver of cold hard fear down other people’s spines.
The good news is that no matter what you fear, you can learn to conquer it. You can learn to become fearless and brave in handling whatever matter that comes to you. First, you need to understand that the fear you experience is not real.
Fear Appears Only In Your Mind
If you put in some serious thoughts, you will find that not much of what you fear actually come true. Research has shown that over 80% of our worries or fears never actually happen.
Fear can seem so real because when you experience fear, your body will react in the same way as if the fear is real. Your mind cannot differentiate between what is real and what is imagined.
This explains why when you watch a horror movie, you will feel the fear even though you know that it is just a movie and it is not real, but your body reacted differently.
Besides that, your fear will grow stronger the moment you think about it in your mind. It really can be detrimental to play the ‘what if’ worst-case scenarios in your head because this can trigger adrenalin responses that will leave you feeling burned out.
The more you think about the fear, the more fearful you will be. And luckily, fear is just like every other emotion and feeling, meaning to say, you can control it. Never let fear rules and conquer your life. Instead, choose to live a fearless and brave life using these 10 tips below.
1. Recognize Your Fear
The first thing you need to do to overcome your fear and to develop a brave character is to be aware of your fear. You need to know what is stopping you in order to overcome it. You cannot fix what you don’t know is broken.
Thus, notice when you are experiencing fear. Be aware of your emotions. When you decided to do something and suddenly you feel like procrastinating or feel uncomfortable, take note. Most of the time, it is the fear that is trying to stop you from taking action or moving forward.
2. Examine the Worst Possible Scenario
If you want to live a brave life, you must eliminate your fear. And one of the most powerful techniques you can do so is through examining the worst-case scenario. For example, if you want to quit your job and start your own business, ask yourself what is the worst that can happen.
When you identify the worst case that can happen, you will notice that the worst case is not really that bad after all. So what is the worst that can happen if you quit your job and start your own business? Well, maybe you will have to go through some tough times without any fixed income. Maybe some of your friends will laugh at you if you fail at your business attempt. Is that all?
You will understand that you can still survive and the worst-case scenario is really not the worst thing after all. Once you have gone through this exercise, you will see that fear is not something that fearful at all. Somehow, the reward is going to be far greater than what the fear brings.
3. Identify the Rewards
After you have gone through the worst-case scenario practice, you can do a follow-up to identify the reward. Use the example from before, ask yourself what would you get and feel if you quit your job, start your own business and succeed?
For instance, you will feel proud and your hard work pays off. You will be extremely happy and never to worry about money because your business succeed. You can give your loved ones a better lifestyle, drive your dream car and live in a better environment.
So how does this sound compared to the worst-case scenario? Most of the time, people will feel extremely inspired and the fear will be totally gone after they examine the good and the bad from what they are about to do.
Highly successful people understand that the fear is there, but they will never focus on the fear. Instead, they choose to focus on the reward. Elon Musk faced great challenges and fears when SpaceX rockets blew up on the launch pad. What gets him going is his dream of changing humanity and his vision of getting people to Mars. So think and focus on the reward rather than the fear.
4. Talk to Someone Who Has Overcome the Fear
Another great technique to become fearless is to talk to someone who has overcome the fear and done what you wanted to do. If you are afraid of public speaking, try to find out those who are doing spectacular in public speaking and talk to them. Let them share their experience and enlighten you.
What you will discover is that these people are exactly like you. They feel the fear, but they do it anywhere. And eventually, the fear minimizes and disappears. This is what you should do as well.
5. Seek Help
What can you do to become brave and fearless? Get help from others. When you feel overwhelmed and are afraid to take action because you are not sure what you do is right or wrong, the best solution is to seek help.
Read books, attend classes, and go for training courses to improve your confidence level. When you are confident, the fear will disappear. Confidence and fear are two different polar like Yin and Yang. When you are confident, you will never feel the fear. And when you are fearful, you will never feel confident.
Therefore, grow your confidence through improving your skills and knowledge. This is why highly successful people make it a habit to read and learn every day.
6. Learn from Your Mistakes
What should you do when you fail? The answer is simple, treat your failure as feedback, and then learn from your feedback and improve to get better. Everyone makes mistakes in their lives. It is inevitable and it is part of life.
The problem is that most people make mistakes and they allow their mistakes to control their lives. They feel the fear when they make mistakes and this limit them from moving forward. On the other hand, successful people leverage on their mistakes. They turn their mistakes into feedback and then grow stronger from there.
What does not kill you will make you stronger. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, the company that he started when he was young. However, it did not stop him from growing and improving. Eventually, he came back even stronger and successfully revolutionized the whole mobile industry.
7. Start Small
When you are feeling overwhelmed and fearful, what you can do is to break down what you fear into smaller pieces of actionable steps. For example, if you are afraid of starting a business, break the goal down into smaller actionable steps. Here are some example steps you can do:
– Register a business name
– Open a business bank account
– Design your business logo
– Interview someone who has done it and learn from him or her
– Write a business proposal
– Set monthly, quarterly and even yearly targets
When you break down your big goal small milestones, you will notice that the small steps are easy to do. And you start from doing the small actionable items on your list.
When you do that, you check off items by items in your list. This will grow your confidence level and allows you to accomplish the big goal that you are afraid of in the first place.
8. Embrace Change
If you want to be fearless and brave, you must embrace change. You have to understand that change will definitely come and it is inevitable. No matter what you do, changes will come and you will have to live with it.
Thus, rather than fighting change or resist it, choose to embrace it. Rather than thinking negatively about change, choose to think about the opportunities that change can bring to you.
When the computer was introduced to the masses, a lot of people said that it will destroy jobs such as a typewriter. However, what most people fail to see is that computer also created a lot of technology-related jobs, bring in a lot of opportunities and make the world a better place.
So embrace change and accept change with an open heart. There is no need to worry about change when you are prepared.
9. Always be Prepared
Famous motivational speaker, Les Brown once said, “It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” He is absolutely right.
When you are fully prepared, you will afraid of nothing and you will be fearless. You know that you are ready and you can take on whatever comes to you. So always be prepared for what is coming.
A very simple strategy to make sure you are always prepared is to practice what you do. If you are a writer, continue to write each day because you will never know when a publisher will want to sign a contract with you. If you are in sales, keep prospecting and be active, you will never know when you are going to make a sale. If you are an actor, learn to act every day because you did not know when the opportunity to make you a superstar will come. Always be prepared.
10. You will Never Live Twice
Finally, if you want to be brave and fearless, understand the fact that you are never going to live twice in this world. You have only one chance and failure is often better than regret.
There was a study conducted by Bronnie Ware, a nurse in a terminal palliative care unit, and Bronnie found that one of the biggest regrets of the dying people is not having the courage to live truthfully.
Now, you do not have to wait until you are dying in the hospital bed only to feel regret for the things that you missed out in life. So stop living a fearful life. Learn to conquer your fear, get rid of it, and live a fearless life. Become brave in pursuing the things that you want in your life, and you will never live in regrets.