“There may be times when you have to face your worst fears. Perhaps your fears have a name, or perhaps your fears consist of a situation you do not want to be in. Whatever the case may be, know you can and will rise above it. You are strong.” – Dr. Bruce A. Johnson

The most destructive form of fear occurs from thoughts you allow to continue to replay in your mind, in which you believe situations or people control you or your life. While it’s true you may be limited, because of a situation you find yourself in, a set of circumstances you’re unable to control, or anything else you’re unable to change now. However, you are limitless in your ability to dream, plan, and believe in new possibilities.

Here’s something important to remember: You are always free. While you may not be able to control what goes on around you, and the actions others may take in an attempt to dominate you, you control your life by what you think. There’s nothing more freeing, especially during the worst of times, than thinking and planning a new life.

If you have found yourself dealing with fears, real or possibly perceived, please continue to read. As someone who has been a career coach, trainer, and educator for quite a long time, I have some strategies to share. These are techniques I have also found helpful in my career, whenever I needed to be strong of mind.

Your Mind Cannot Be Controlled

It is possible for every aspect of your life, your career, and your health to be controlled in some manner. It can become so all-consuming you feel as if you’ve lost complete control of your life. Yet this is a mantra I recommend to anyone, any time you want to give into a feeling of your greatest fear, that you have lost control of your life: This is not a time to be defeated, not by present circumstances that may not be the most desirable, a person who may not hold your best interests at heart, or anything else you may find that seems to have taken over control of your life. This is a time to pick yourself up and remember: Your mind is free. No one but you can control your mind.

When you stop and really allow this mantra to sink in, you realize how freeing it is, and what ability it gives you to face your fears head-on. Yes it is possible for someone else to control you mentally, that is, if you allow their continued negativity to dominate your thoughts, or you accept their dominate control of your mind. But if you simply begin by closing your eyes, imagine being in a different place or situation, then think of a new outcome, you can start the process of reclaiming control. You do not have to accept any belief that does not agree with you, personally or professionally, especially if that belief causes you to feel negativity within.

Facing Your Greatest Fear

Whenever you must face an opponent head-on, be it an actual person, challenge, fear, or mental barrier remember this: Your well-being, at that very moment, is dependent upon what you believe. If you can believe in the best of yourself, without question, you will prevail. To help you accomplish this goal, I have developed a set of strategies learned from time and practice, which you may also find useful.

Focus on the Best: Fear can sneak up quickly, and overpower your thoughts, if you allow it to. Perhaps it begins as something negative you’ve heard about yourself, which you begin to focus upon, until suddenly you live in fear of that thought becoming a reality about who you are. If you are not taking care of what you think and how you think, you may begin fearing the worst outcomes. What you can do when you find yourself in this situation is to prepare for the worst-case scenario, should you believe something could happen, but live for the best set of circumstances right now.

Evaluate Your Beliefs: It is possible for you to have hundreds of thoughts in any given day. What’s important to remember is this: You are the sum of what you are thinking about in this moment, which means you are the sum of what you believe about yourself. For example, if you are thinking negative thoughts about yourself, you are going to begin to develop negative beliefs about yourself. The converse is also true. You can train yourself to think the best about yourself, which in turn means you believe the best about yourself.

Allow Yourself to Shine: Facing your greatest fears means you must be determined to rise above conditions in your life, no matter how challenging they may actually be or feel. This doesn’t mean you have to deny your existence, it means developing a healthy attitude that protects your state of mind and well-being. For example, you can shine bright in your career, despite negativity that exists around you; be it an uncaring manager, a dysfunctional team, or an attempt to keep you remotely isolated. You must stay true to who you are at all times, and you will shine with a light of internal strength.

Refuse to Give into Doubts: The strength you have available within you is based upon a simple premise: You can refuse to give into doubts about your ability to persevere, no matter how seemingly negative conditions around you may seem. Here’s what you can believe about yourself: You will decide you are not going to live by fear, and you are not going to be intimidated by negative persons or circumstances. No matter what occurs in your life: You are resilient and strong.

You Can Be Stronger Than Fear

You do not know what each day is going to bring. There may be new challenges that await you, problems you may have to solve, or fears you must address. No matter what comes your way, there’s something you know and it’s this: Your state of mind is yours to control. Be in control of your mind and ready for the day, and you will be stronger than fear. This requires tuning out negativity, no matter how forceful the other thoughts, circumstances, and situations may seem to be. If you can believe you will prevail, because of who you are and the values you hold, your positive belief will sustain you. When you face your fears head-on, regardless of the hold it may have upon you, real or perceived, you’re taking a first step forward towards reclaiming your life. This is a time when you discover the strength and determination you can rely upon. You must decide, and continue to believe, you’re free of mind. Then you will face and release your fears.

About Dr. Johnson

Dr. Bruce A. Johnson has 35 years of experience teaching and training adults. The first half of his career was spent in the field of Corporate Training and Development, with his last role as Manager of Training and Development.

Then in 2005, he made a transition into the field of distance learning. Over the past 18 years, he has been an online instructor, Faculty Development Specialist, Faculty Director, Faculty Development Manager, and Dissertation Chair.

Dr. Johnson is also an inspirational author, writer, and educator. His life mission is to teach, mentor, write, and inspire others. He has earned a PhD in Postsecondary and Adult Education, a Certificate in Training and Performance Improvement (TPI), a Master’s in Adult Education, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

As a scholar practitioner, Dr. J was published in a scholarly journal, and he has been a featured presenter at an international distance learning conference, along with presenting at three faculty conferences. He has also published over 230 online articles about adult learning, higher education, distance learning, online teaching, and mindset development. Dr. J published three books related to higher education, including two about online teaching.

Getting Down to Business: A Handbook for Faculty Who Teach Business.

Transform Adult Education: Expert Teaching Strategies for Educators.

Transform Online Teaching: Expert Strategies and Essential Resources Every Educator Needs.

Come join Dr. J’s new group, Motivation for Transformation:

Any time of the day, visit this group to find your source of motivation, to be inspired and more importantly, have your mindset transformed: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9108352/

Dr. J offers transformative resources

Please visit the Books page and Store page for more details.

You can also find Dr. J on the following social media sites:

Instagram

       

Have you discovered the elation that comes with being able to follow through with your own efforts, when you overcome a challenge you thought was nearly impossible, and conquered fear of something new? You are able to accomplish this and more when you refuse to listen to and accept any self-doubts about yourself or your capacity to achieve your goals or dreams.

Yet as you know, self-doubts can be powerful detractors from your positive state of mind and best of intentions. While you may decide you are going to step forward and begin to take action, especially when this involves something important you’ve thought about doing for quite a long time, a moment of hesitation can sideline you. Some people find it easier to disbelieve than believe in their ability to overcome potential obstacles, even if the obstacles perceived are not real challenges.

One of the reasons why anyone would allow doubt to take hold is having habits of thought that do not support success. This is also known as mental routines or shortcuts, which means you have patterns or ways of thinking you have come to rely upon, for essentials such as help with completion of routine tasks, responding to new requests, processing information, and other similar routine occurrences.

In order for you to overcome any doubtful feelings which may arise, it is important to recognize what habits of thought may be responsible for how you are reacting, and then find methods to address the nature of the doubt itself. Once you are able to establish a supportive mindset, you will become more willing to trust yourself whenever you attempt or begin something new.

Habits of the Mind: Helpful and Not Helpful

Are you aware of the patterns or habits of your mind right now? Consider this scenario: You are given a new task at work, something you have never completed before, requiring skills you have only recently learned. What is your initial reaction to the task you’ve been given? What you think in this initial moment involves your habit of the mind. If you instantly respond in a positive manner and accept it is possible you can complete the task, you’ve established a helpful habit of the mind. The converse is also true. If you immediately questioned your ability to take on a new role, then you have an unsupportive habit of the mind.

This also occurs when you want to do anything which may be outside of your typical comfort zone. You may have a good idea, plan, or desire to change, but if your thought patterns don’t support what you want to begin, then it won’t matter how meaningful or important those ideas may be. When your habits of thought are negative or unsupportive, you are never going to feel like actually going through with something new. Instead, you’ll look for every reason possible to confirm your unsupportive reactions. There will be no reason to want to change, as thought patterns are often engrained for the long-term, and rarely examined for validity.

Five Strategies to Overcome Your Doubts

There is only one way you will ever break the habit of thought patterns you have now, and it is to become aware of what it is you are thinking, and change it before it interrupts your new ideas. You will know you need to use one of these strategies when you have a good idea, or you have a task to accomplish, and immediately there are negative reactive thoughts filling your mind. There are some strategies you can use, any time you either want to start a new project, you’ve been given something out of the ordinary to complete, or you find yourself questioning your determination and resolve, and you’re feeling as if you want to give into self-doubts.

#1. Develop a Vision

Whenever you want to make changes, the following strategy can assist you. Think ahead and develop an image of what a new future could look like after everything has been implemented, regardless of the size of those changes. Then hold onto that vision in your mind and allow yourself to experience the feelings of an improved future, regardless of any aspect of what’s involved, whether it is the scope, time, energy, or resources required.

What you are doing is becoming intentional in your response, rather than reactive, which can help you avoid negativity. As a result, you will likely work much harder to make your new idea or plan a reality. Once you establish positive beliefs, which is done with a supportive vision, you’ll find every reason to work past challenges and doubts.  

#2. Challenge Your Doubts

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve thought about making a new start, developing new plans, creating a new project, or completing anything you have thought about over time. What matters most now is making a decision you are going to begin, even if it challenges your own self-doubt. If you do experience an unsupportive thought pattern, then you must challenge it. To do this ask yourself questions such as: Why do I believe this now? Why do I accept this belief now? You will discover when you make the first step, or take some form of action, a new future begins.

#3. Think of Your Potential

Many people use the power of regret to hold themselves back, and it often begins with the phrase: “If I had only”. Should you find yourself caught in the trap of regret, or holding yourself back because of past missteps or mistakes, then it is time to try a new method of thinking. You do this by thinking about your potential. It doesn’t matter what has occurred in the past as the future is where you’ll find your new outcomes. When you consider how much you can accomplish, it is done through the power of your beliefs, and not by doubting yourself. This form of thinking also offers you an opportunity to work past any questions you may hold about your ability or capacity to get started, as it is all about creating a sense of potential and hope.

#4. Develop Supportive Beliefs

The power of what you think lies in an ability to change how you feel at any time. Yet this requires being focused, in that you must become aware of what you are thinking and be willing to change it. When you do, you can develop new and supportive beliefs, stop persistent doubts about yourself, and look towards the future anew. What a supportive belief consists of is something as simple as a statement that involves “I can”, “I am going to”, “I will”, or “I know I have an ability to”.  But words alone are not enough. If you are going to make one of those statements, then you must try your best to accept those as being the truth now. When you do, you are transformed and able to support your own progress and self-development or improvement. As you continue to make those statements of supportive beliefs, you’ll find new thought habits are developed.

 #5. Find Your Source of Strength

The many strategies listed require you to engage in new forms of thinking, which may be quite different than how you are thinking now. The question then becomes this: How do you change patterns of thought that have been habitual in nature, especially when those thoughts are coming into direct conflict with something new you are contemplating? The answer has to do with your ability to find your internal source of strength, so that you are able to make a first step forward and move past reactive thoughts which may be negative or not supportive.

This source of strength is often referred to as determination, willpower, and resilience. It is personal to you and is something you often rely upon whenever challenges arise. You will recognize the need for strength, any time you want to question your abilities or capabilities. Regardless of what you call the source of your internal strength, remember you have something you can rely upon whenever you want to change or begin something new. This will help you to take the initial idea, turn it into a movement or step forward, and then help you sustain momentum as progress is made.

Discover How You Become Limitless

You have yet to fully realize the potential you possess, until you know what it’s like to conquer your doubts. It is possible to have doubts arise whenever you have something new you want to develop; however, you can overcome those thought patterns no matter how long you have nurtured them. You need to start believing in yourself, despite any questions about your ability to face what’s ahead, the times you’ve questioned decisions made in the past, or moments you counted as failures. The reason why is that you can always learn, adapt, and through determination, become even stronger.

It is possible to be in control of your life through control of your thoughts. Pay attention to how you respond to new situations or new tasks, as this involves your practiced habits of thought. As you develop nurturing self-beliefs, you will become more likely to keep thinking in this manner, replacing your unsupportive thoughts. There is nothing that can stop you from achieving what you want in life but your own self-doubts. Once you recognize and control your doubts, you become limitless in your ability to create new dreams, develop new goals, establish new outcomes, or plan a new future.

About Dr. Johnson

Dr. Bruce A. Johnson has been teaching and training adults since 1982. From 1982 to 2005 he worked in the field of training and development, with his last full-time role as Manager of Training and Development. Since 2005, Dr. Johnson has been working in the field of distance learning, with roles including online educator, Faculty Development Manager, Core Faculty, Dissertation Chair and Committee Member, and Faculty Development Specialist. He also worked part-time for many years as a Human Performance Improvement Consultant. 

Dr. Johnson is an inspirational author, writer, and educator. His life mission is to teach, mentor, write, and inspire others. He has earned a PhD in Postsecondary and Adult Education, a Certificate in Training and Performance Improvement (TPI), a Master’s in Adult Education, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

As a scholar practitioner, Dr. J was published in a scholarly journal, and he has been a featured presenter at an international distance learning conference, along with presenting at three faculty conferences. He has also published over 230 online articles about adult learning, higher education, distance learning, online teaching, and mindset development. Dr. J published three books related to higher education, including two about online teaching.

Getting Down to Business: A Handbook for Faculty Who Teach Business.

Transform Adult Education: Expert Teaching Strategies for Educators.

Transform Online Teaching: Expert Strategies and Essential Resources Every Educator Needs.

Come join Dr. J’s new group, Motivation for Transformation:

Any time of the day, visit this group to find your source of motivation, to be inspired and more importantly, have your mindset transformed: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9108352/

Dr. J offers transformative resources

Please visit the Books page and Store page for more details.

You can also find Dr. J on the following social media sites:

Instagram