You’ve heard people tell you that it’s important to conquer your fears if you want to be successful in life. But do you need to conquer all your fears in order to build your biggest dreams? One of the things I mention in my new book, fearLESS, is that you will never get rid of all of your fears because fear is part and parcel of the human experience. More than this, you would never want to completely do away with fear because it’s there for a reason.
There are good aspects to fear: it makes you aware of potential danger, it galvanizes you to take preventative action in the face of possible threats, and it keeps you from getting complacent and losing your edge. Fear has its uses. It’s only when you allow your fears to dictate the course of your life that it becomes a problem.
Why you don’t need to conquer all your fears
In terms of moving through your fears, however, it’s important to note that not all of your fears need to be conquered. Wasting your time and energy on inconsequential fears will just distract you from the real work of getting through the important ones. Differentiating between these two kinds of fear, however, is sometimes confusing. How do you know when fear is irrelevant versus when it’s holding you back? How can you actually tell when fear is an issue?
The way to tell the difference is to ask yourself if the fear is preventing you from doing something that’s important to you. If the fear is keeping you from doing something you don’t care about, it’s not an issue, but if you know that you would regret not doing something, yet fear is keeping you from doing it, then there’s a problem.
So here’s the test: pick one of the dreams or goals that you have for yourself, but which you haven’t achieved or experienced yet. Now ask yourself this: “If I never get to do this in my life, will I regret it?” If the answer is yes, if the thought of never having achieved or experienced something on your “bucket list” really bothers you, then you know that the fear surrounding that particular experience or achievement is something you need to deal with.
You don’t need to conquer all your fears, but you can find ways to face the ones that stand between you and your dreams. And that process begins inside your own head; it begins with your mindset and the way you think about your dreams, your abilities, and the possibility of you ever being able to do the things you most want to.
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