How to Conquer Fear

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”  Dr. Viktor Frankl

When was the last time you were afraid?

Have you ever flown on a plane through a storm? When the plane noticeably dropped in altitude? When it bounced around in a significant way? When you actually feared that this might be the end? If not a plane experience, you likely have been in a situation where you were afraid. Perhaps, a moment when you feared for your life.

If we live long enough, most of us will have a close call to death. Some of us may incur multiple experiences. Being afraid, in a life and death circumstance, may actually save our life.  Surviving these close calls may be due in part to the automatic reaction system built into our blueprint.  Fear, in this situation, is a good thing.

But fear may also be unhealthy.  The kind of fear that erodes our mental, psychological and spiritual well-being. Fear that keeps us from being all that we could be.

Success is being and becoming the best at what I am meant to be and become in life.  Is fear getting in the way of your success?

Have you been confronted with any of these fears?

Fear of failure

Fear of being embarrassed

Fear of loss of income

Fear of ill health

Fear of love lost

Fear of being alone

Fear of not succeeding

Fear of disappointing others

Fear of death

These fears may not take away our immediate physical being; but little by little, fearfulness may take away everything else.

What would you do if you had no fear? If you knew that you could and would be successful in a project that you have postponed, would you proceed forward today? If you were guaranteed a successful outcome on all the important goals that you want to achieve in life, which one would you start working on today?  If you knew that you could overcome the current challenge preventing you from being your best, would you forge ahead?

You may need a fear formula. What?  A fear formula. A strategy for what to do when fear delays your first step in an important effort.  A plan to counteract when fear stops you from succeeding. A way to get around the one barrier that most often keeps us from being all that we could be.

What should I do? First, let me point out that some of us may need to seek medical care to manage our fears. I fully support this approach when needed. Talk to your family doctor. I would not hesitate to do this myself if I felt like the risk was high and that I was unable to handle it effectively.

Following are some things that I do to help me in addressing fear. It is my ‘fear formula.’ 

Start, and Stay Positive

Having a positive attitude will stop most fears before they even begin. I practice daily a number of things that help me to be positive. You can read about these in many of my blogs. www.robhackbarth/blogs.   I have over 150 articles posted on my website. Select one each day to read.

Read positive, enriching material. Spend time reading one of Zig Ziglar’s inspirational best-selling books. “Embrace The Struggle: Living Life on Life’s Terms,” may be worth the investment.  All of Zig’s books emphasize the importance of a positive attitude. Many of the fears we have could be avoided in the first place if we started from a strong foundation built on a positive attitude.

“F-E-A-R has two meanings. ‘Forget everything and run,’ or ‘Face Everything and Rise.’”  Zig Ziglar

For some practical ideas on how to conquer fear, I like a Forbes article, 14 Ways to Conquer Fear.

Be objective

As soon as practical, I sit down and calmly think out my situation. I like to think back to what psychiatrist and best-selling author Dr. Viktor Frankl did during the worse situation of his life. As an Austrian POW in a Nazi camp during World War II, life at stake was very real. He looked at his personal situation as if he was on the outside. A third-party kind of perspective.  A way to be objective. He survived the death camp and went on to significant impact in the psychology field. Much of his teachings came out of his experiences with near death. I highly recommend his book, Man’s Search for Meaning.

Use your own story

I remember times in my own life when there were significant challenges, when I was afraid, and still not only survived but was highly successful. I recall these significant instances and say to myself, ‘I got through it when it was much worse than this moment. I can get through it now.’ Use your own story. Remember experiences of overcoming adversity. Recall the times when you have succeeded despite the odds.

Share with the right person

I identify one person with whom I can chat about my current circumstance. Often, this person is my wife, Carol. It is critical that the person you choose is one who typically has a positive approach to life.  If you are struggling, avoid confiding in someone who starts from a negative point of view. Whom you choose to share your challenge with is extremely important. The actual process of sharing your situation with another caring person will help.  I have found the act of saying out loud to another person what I am thinking and feeling very helpful. The actual process of verbalizing my situation results in my thinking of viable solutions.

Take a break

I get away from the situation. I take a break. I clear my mind.  I refuse to let it be in charge of my whole day. And, finally I sleep on potential solutions I have identified. The next day, I often will have a better attitude. My mind will figure out a resolution.

Eat healthy and exercise

When I get stressed about something, I usually abandon my regular exercise. I make the excuse that I do not have time because I need to spend it on resolving something that has gone wrong. I also tend to consume too much food, making poor choices – often resorting to junk food. I find myself trying to fix my problem through the consumption of unhealthy food. The result is that I do not feel as good as I normally do. And, that can add further fuel to my stress.

My simple, very effective fear formula:

Start and stay positive

Be objective

Remember your own story

Share with the right person

Take a break

Exercise and eat right


This is my approach. I do have a fear formula. Do you? How is it working?

If right now . . .

you are not doing something you want to do and can do.

if you are not accomplishing something that is important for your success,

If you are not taking the action you want and need to take,

If your life if filled with postponements;

Maybe it is time to review your fears.

You may have all the talent and ability to accomplish great results. You may have unbelievable passion for what you do. You may have a great team supporting your effort. And yet, you may not be succeeding because you are prevented by fear.

Do you have a fear that is affecting your success?

What are you going to do about this?

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