In the three last articles, we have been able to understand and define fear, know the basic types of fear and finally know what fear keeps us from. This is the second part of this #overcomingfear.

Julien Smith—in an amazing and potentially offensive essay—tells you to ask yourself a crucial, basic question: What am I afraid of? While it might seem banal on the surface, it’s actually a great question to ask when you’re faced with difficult decisions.

Give it a try.

I don’t want to say “no” to that person. What am I afraid of?

I can’t write the novel I’ve always dreamed of writing. What am I afraid of?

I can’t learn to play that instrument I’ve always wanted to play. What am I afraid of?

I can’t exercise and eat healthy foods. What am I afraid of?

I can’t quit the job I hate to pursue my passion. What am I afraid of?

I can’t [fill in the blank]. What am I afraid of?

The answer to this question is almost always ridiculous: I’m afraid people won’t like me anymore. I’m afraid people won’t love me anymore. I’m afraid people won’t respect me anymore.


Chances are you have manufactured these false fears, and it is these manufactured fears that keep you from doing what you want to do (or, in the case of our physical items, fears that are keeping you from getting rid of certain things that have no real value—things that have no real meaning in your life).

We have good news, though: fear is a choice. You choose to be afraid—and you can choose to live without fear. All you must do is make a conscious decision: a decision to not be afraid. When something stands in your way, you must ask yourself: What am I afraid of?

So many people have chosen to get rid of their fears and move on with a meaningful life. But don’t take our word for it—try it out yourself:
Write that novel.
Take yoga classes.
Do something you wouldn’t normally do.
Live your life.
Live a better life.
What are you afraid of?

It’s time to stop being afraid of whatever is preventing you from being happy, whatever is preventing you from being free—starting with the simplest task you have been wanting to do. You don’t have to start with a big decision. For example, the first step of living healthy is to buy a water bottle.

Next steps…

Your biggest fears are completely dependent on you for their survival.  Every new day is another chance to change your life, and it’s way too short to let fear interfere.  Today, focus your conscious mind on things you desire, not things you fear.  Doing so can bring your dreams to life.

Your turn…                                         

What has fear stolen from you?  What has it stopped you from doing, being, or achieving?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community.