Fear is a mental obstacle that all human beings face on a regular basis. Whether it’s fear of failure, rejection, disappointment, embarrassment, or any of the other associated emotions across the spectrum, there is one core function that all of the agents of fear share: the hindrance of progress.
In order to accomplish the task at hand, you must be able to stare your fear in the face and realize that the emotions that have arisen are merely a primal survival instinct, the fight or flight defense mechanism built into the infrastructure of the human psyche to shield your vessel from harm.
When you become conscious of the activation of this primal instinct, you grant yourself the ability to make a choice of how to proceed: Do you allow the debilitating emotions to stop you, or do you acknowledge them, brush them aside, and continue in your path anyway?
Just like exercising a muscle in your body, you can exercise your ability to overcome fear through repetitive practice. Over time, you will build your self-confidence and transform your fear from being something that was once debilitating to something that is now energizing.
For example, if you experience intense stage fright, you can make the choice to either accept the fear and use it to enhance your performance, or you can allow it to affect you. The best way to handle it is to make light of the situation and regard fear as a friend, an indicator that you are fully alive and living in the moment, or simply push it aside like an obstructive tree branch on a trail.
It is through making the conscious decision to embrace the fear, turning the tables on the emotions that you experience, that allows you to wield that upsurge of energy and redirect it in a way that is helpful to you rather than harmful.