HERE’S HOW YOU CAN START OVERCOMING FEAR:
1. Be aware of fear in your life. Before you can
begin overcoming fear, you have to admit that
you have it. Perhaps fear is your “normal” state
of being, and that is quite a bit to overcome all at
once. Write down some aspects of your life where
have fear; getting them down on paper is
important, because trying to simply think them
through never works.
2. Stare at fearless people. Fill your brain with
images of what you want your “future self” to
look like. Connect with as many role models as
you can, whether in person, through a book, or
online. Use these examples as an energy source
to combat your fear.
3. Be objective. Take an interest in investigating
your fears. Ask yourself about what thoughts
generate your fear, where you feel the fear, and
how you react to it. Try to be an objective
observer of your own life.
4. Be willing to look stupid. Remember: Wayne
Gretzky fell on his tail a ton, and Itzhak Perlman
has had horrible performances. Once you are
willing to risk the emotional pain of making
mistakes, you will shed more fear than you ever
imagined. Know that making mistakes will help
you obtain information you use to create the
correct behaviors, and that everyone who has
ever done something great has failed more than
5. Adopt a mindset of gratitude. Whenever you
feel fear, try to feel grateful instead. I have been
performing a lot of solos recently, and it is scary!
Instead of freaking out, I have decided to be
grateful for the opportunity to communicate
musically with so many people, and I know that
they are there to genuinely listen to me play and
root me on.
6. Seek out teachers. It’s never too late to have a
teacher; we are never done learning. Seek out
someone who scares you a little —not a polite
person who always makes you feel warm and
fuzzy. Seek out someone who watches you
closely, is brutally honest, and gives clear
directions on how you can get better at whatever
7. Share. How often do we hold the negative in
because we are afraid of how others might react?
Sharing helps, because you will realize that many
people feel the same way as you do, and have
stories to share as well. Do you have a fear of
success, or a fear of failure? Sharing with
someone can help you examine what you truly
want from life, and where your fears come from.
8. Embrace struggle. Most of us instinctively
avoid struggle, because it feels like failure, and
that scares us, but the term “no pain, no gain”
holds true. To develop our skills, it is a necessity
that we struggle, so we must embrace it. Once
we struggle, fear slowly disintegrates.
9. Read. My personal favorite. Reading a good
book related to your specific fear can open new
doors on how you can get rid of it. I constantly
fill my world with motivational and inspirational
books on, and related to, the topic I’m dealing
10. Use visualization. Imagine yourself in a scary
situation without fear. Watch people do things
fearlessly that would normally freak you out.
Visualize yourself as that person. Create a very
clear picture of fearlessness in your mind.
11. Put things in perspective. Putting your
negative thoughts in perspective is a huge way to
overcome fear. In the grand scheme of life, why
are you afraid? While you are freaking out about
something, life is moving on without you.
Sometimes it’s helpful to remember this.
12. Release control. Of course we want to be in
control, but when we relinquish it we tend to free
ourselves up. Allow yourself to make mistakes—
after all, that’s where learning and growth really
happens. We learn from our failures, but to fail we
need to release control.
13. Think about the worst case scenario. What’s
the worst that could happen? I have crumbled on
stage in front of hundreds of people. My wife still
loved me; I lived. Life goes on.
14. Look within. What is the root of your fear?
Meditate on it. Look inside and ask yourself when
the fear started: How far back does your fear go?
Did you have an early failure that has stuck with
you? Explore it. That’s what life is all about.
Overcoming fear requires a growth mindset; an
attitude that we can grow and change if we
choose. Nothing is “locked in” forever; we can
change. It takes time and practice. Hopefully the
tips above will help you begin your journey to