How to overcome fear

without trying to avoid it

Fear of freefall

If you google ‘How to overcome fear?’ you’ll find c. 250 million results… and that’s quite a lot of stuff to read 😉

What’s interesting though, is that there are three times as many Google results (750 million) on the question of ‘How to avoid fear?’

So, when you get fearful about certain matters, as we all do, which of those questions do you ask?

How to overcome or how to avoid fear?

The best answer, as you can see from this NHS guidance, is to face into your fears and overcome them.

Or, as Mark Twain once said,Mark Twain on Courage. Paul Claireaux

The evidence is, that when fear, or any other so-called negative emotion, comes knocking, it’s best to let it in and say hello.

Fear won’t hurt you – and it’s probably got something important to tell you.

Unfortunately, this is not what you’ll hear from many of those motivational gurus who stand on a stage and claim to be your sage.

Watch out for the success seminar trick

If you’ve ever attended one of those motivational / get rich quick seminars, you’ll probably have been asked this question by the session leader:

What’s holding you back from achieving your dreams?

And if you were surrounded by the usual tribe of motivational seminar goers, you’ll have heard them shout out the answer …

It’s fear – only fear that’s holding us back

House prices double

If you’re not familiar with this sort of seminar, take a look at this clip.

A great film to watch by the way.

These motivational gurus will tell you that fear is the only thing stopping you from achieving your dreams.

Are they right?

No, that’s just dangerous rubbish, and it’s often just a cheap trick to get you to ‘sign up’ to their next event.

Why does this trick work, and how to avoid it?

Well, the trick played by many event leaders is to get you focused on your FOMO (Fear of missing out) and it works because we really don’t want to fail or be humiliated.

So, when the event leader (or the groupies – planted in the audience) tell us that we’re failing because we’re ‘afraid’ of success, what are we going to do?

We’re going to want to prove them wrong, aren’t we?

Our natural inclination, at that moment, will be to show them that we’re not afraid, that we’re brave enough to commit to our success by signing up to their next event.

Oh yes, and why wouldn’t we?

After all, it’s always at the next event where all the real success secrets will be revealed right? 😉

Get today’s super-special offer

What’s more, you’ll find that by making an instant commitment to the next event is, you’ll enjoy the most amazing ‘today only’ offer.

You know the one, it goes like this:

This ‘secrets of success’ event is normally priced at $2,000, but today I’m offering it to you lovely people for just $200.

Yes, that’s 90% off the normal price… but only if you sign up now.

How can you say no? This is a no-brainer.

And your fears shouldn’t stop you,

because you have very little to lose. 

Sound familiar?

Yes, very familiar, and it’s just plain wrong to prey on people’s fears to sell them into grossly misleading seminars. But this is exactly what goes on, as I’ve explained in my books.

Accept your fears

Acknowledge and accept your fear, don’t be afraid of it.

Fear protects you from harm; it stops you in your tracks, so you take your time on more complex and dangerous tasks, whether you’re learning to ski in the mountains, parachute out of an aeroplane or even learning to fly that aeroplane.

Sky diver

I’ve learned to do all of those things over the years – and let me tell you – they can all be very frightening at times.

The very last thing you need when you’re learning an important new skill is to have some ‘idiot’ telling you to, ‘get a move on’ or ‘the only thing holding you back – is your fear!’

That is just misleading, dangerous nonsense.

Here’s what really holds you back

The only thing that seriously holds you back is a lack of knowledge and skills for the task you want to learn.

Your fear is, thankfully, reminding you of this fact; it’s not holding you back – it’s looking after you, as do many of the ‘so-called’ negative emotions – which we’ll come back to another day.

Would you seriously want to jump into an aeroplane and try to fly it – without any training?

Private Pilot

Or jump out of an aeroplane with a parachute without knowing what to do?

No, of course not – that would be madness.

If you want a new skill but you’re afraid of getting started, the answer is simple.

Learn more about it – before you commit to it

Make sure you learn from someone who’s competent and trustworthy.

You’ll then understand the risks of the activity you’re considering, and how to manage those risks or whether to avoid the activity altogether.

Take walking on hot coals at a motivational seminar as an example.

Let’s be honest, some activities offer no real benefits and are just stupidly dangerous things to do.

The truth is hidden

The truth is that you’re very unlikely to hear about the ‘failed’ results of dangerous activities from those who market them. You’re only going to see the video testimonials of the celebrating survivors.

This is what’s called survivorship bias.

You don’t get to see the whole truth.

You need to do your own homework or work with someone who can help you with that. And the same goes for learning to manage your money too.

So, please don’t fall for this fear-based technique.

Don’t jump into a get rich quick scheme that someone has ‘frightened’ you into grabbing at one of these high octane events.

Anyone who’s happy to frighten you into action

is not the person you want helping you.

Find someone who’ll offer you solid and balanced guidance.

Someone experienced and qualified to help you too.

Your fears are there to protect you – and solid training and education are your keys to dealing with your fears.

So, get the training you need, and choose your coach wisely.

Next steps

Click on these links if you want to learn more about:

  1. Whether you need a coach at all
  2. How NOT to choose a coach and
  3. What my financial life coaching is all about

Or book a chat to explore getting the help you need

And sign up to my newsletters for more ideas – links below.

Thanks for dropping in


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Newsletter Sign up. Paul Claireaux 2020
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