Often times, people seek out a life coach because they are feeling stuck. This feeling becomes so overwhelming that as a last resort they are reaching out for guidance and help to get ‘unstuck’. Fear is a predominant feeling in situations like this. People who feel stuck often are afraid of going out on a limb to do what will make them happy because fear prevents them. Fear can grab a hold of you and take control of your life, if you let it. Most people don’t battle with fear on a daily basis, but almost everyone can say fear has influenced their behaviors at some point. Fear can prevent you from doing something that makes you happy or from ending something that makes you unhappy. It can manifest in any area of your life, and sneak up on you, if you’re not careful. Taking back control of your life involves resolving your fears and conquering them. You are in control of your own happiness; don’t give fear control over you.

Wyatt Webb (2004) developed 5 steps to overcoming fear that can be useful in any situation. They can be universally applied to any aspect of your life if you take the time to understand your fears. This understanding removes the power and control that fear has over you.

Step 1 Acknowledge the Fear and Self-Doubt
AA had it right when it said, “admitting you have a problem is the first step”. Acknowledging that you have fear is the first step to overcoming it. Often people will minimize it, or disguise it by saying, “Oh I didn't want to do that anyway”. People will call it nervousness, anxiety, or anything else to avoid saying fear. Admitting that you have fear means admitting a weakness, and it takes a strong person to admit that they have a weakness.

Step 2 Quantify the Fear
List your fears and rate them. Are you afraid of heights? Is this fear as significant as your fear of commitment? Assign your fears a value and then prioritize them. This is the order of accomplishments that you plan to achieve.

Step 3 Imagine the worst case scenario
This is my favorite activity. So often people are afraid to make a move, take a lead of faith, or any significant change because their fear is “what if it doesn't work?” Well think about the worst case scenario. Is it really that bad? Is it the end of the world? For example, Marie has been working in a dead end job for years now. She is miserable and knows that leaving will make her happy. She is afraid to leave her job though because if her new position doesn't work then she will be in trouble. The worst case scenario is that she loses her new job, she can’t pay her bills, and she loses her house. The idea of this terrifies Marie, and has paralyzed her for years. But this horrible situation is not the end of the world. Marie has family and friends who will be there to support her and help her get back on her feet. Yes, this will be a difficult setback for Marie, but it does not define her or who she is. And at the end of the day it is not the end of the world.

Step 4 Prepare, Confront, Conquer
Now that you know what the worst case scenario is, prepare for it. Prepare for the events that paralyze you into inactivity. Make preparations to ensure this cannot happen or make preparations in the event that it does happen. Either way you are ready and prepared for the worst case scenario. By doing this, you have taken control away from your fears. Without the worst case scenario looming as a threat, you are free to confront your fear.

Step 5 Celebrate
You have conquered your fears. Now you can focus on your happy thoughts!

Webb, W. (2004). Five steps for overcoming fear and self-doubt journey into present-moment time.Carlsbad, C.A.: Hay House, INC.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Brennan attended Rutgers University, and graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology. She also completed a Master of Arts in Psychology at Pace University. Upon completion, she began a doctorate program at Argosy University completing a Master's of Arts and Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology.

Dr. Brennan worked for 4 years in addictions and with dual diagnosed patients. She understands the unique challenges that are present when living a sober life. Additionally, Dr. Brennan has worked with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) individuals, addressing cognitive difficulties, behavioral modifications, and developing compensatory strategies, in a forensic hospital, and two years as a contractor for the Department of Defense (DCoE).

Presently, Dr. Brennan works as a Professional Life Coach, helping individuals achieve their goals of self improvement through online life coaching. Coaching provides her with the opportunity to offer her clients more behavioral guidance, support, and direction than is available in a more traditional psychotherapy settings.