Have you ever seen a child learning to walk? They’ll try and keep trying–even when they bang their head or fall down hard (have you ever wondered why it is so hard to get a “perfect” one-year old’s picture? They usually have bruises from their learning-to-walk exploits!). Back when you were young, when you didn’t have thoughts per se, you were driven to do certain things–like eating, sleeping (but oh how some kids fight that!), crawling, and walking. Walking is a great example of a child’s determination, focus, effort, and the need to succeed at all costs.

I believe we all started out with a need to succeed–to be our best selves–our authentic selves–with a life filled with abundance. Along the way, well-meaning adults and society altered our belief systems so that we became fearful. The fear might not be conscious, but if you are not living an abundant life, you have some beliefs that hold you back in life. Somewhere, somehow, you learned it wasn’t safe to live an abundant life–to live in love, connection, to have wealth, good health, etc. You learned to play it safe, to fit in, to shrink instead of shine.

What are some common fears that people have? See if any of these feel true for you:

fear of rejection
fear of success
fear of failure
fear of not being perfect
fear of being found out
fear of losing everything
fear of loss of love
fear of what others think
fear of anger
fear of confrontation
fear of change and the unknown
fear of being alone
fear of being criticized and judged
fear of speaking in public
fear of being one’s authentic self
fear of telling the truth
fear of financial loss
fear of not fitting in
fear of not being good enough

There are so many more fears (use the comment section below to add more–I’d love to hear your input!), but when you were a small child, you didn’t have those fears–you were fearless! Then, over time, the subtle and not so subtle messages came and with it your ineffective beliefs were formed. Just because they feel very real to you does not mean they are. At one point, they probably served you well. As an adult, any fear that holds you back from being your best self does not serve you.

Here’s the thing. Busting through your fears is scary. BUT, your thoughts have made that so. Once you move past them, you’ll realize that all that was was Ego trying to keep you the same, because that’s a really comfortable place to be. Facing your fears can be scary, but those are just thoughts you are entertaining in your head. When you were learning to walk as a young child, you didn’t think about all the past “failures,” injuries, or embarrassments; you had a goal and you wanted to walk. You didn’t have Ego telling you “You’re gonna get hurt again,” “You’ll look like a fool,” “I’m such a loser,” “I don’t know why I keep trying,” or “I quit!”

When you sign up for the Nicole Nenninger newsletter (on my website at nicolenenninger.com), you’ll receive a free e-book "How to Move Through Fear" (and if you have already signed up–Awesome! Thank you!). Having fears makes you human; we all have them. However, when you allow them to rule your life, take a step back and recognize that your fears revolve around ineffective thoughts and beliefs you have in your mind. You are racing ahead to the future projecting what could happen instead of remaining present to what is. And if you continue to entertain those fearful thoughts, your body will respond with physiological responses like cold and sweaty palms and a fast, racing heart beat which further cements those fearful thoughts into your psyche.

You are bigger and more powerful than your thoughts. You have the power to change your fearful thoughts to thoughts that are more life-enhancing and empowering for you. Life is way too short to be sitting on the sidelines thinking that you can’t do this or you can’t do that. YOU CAN! You are so incredibly powerful. When you recognize your magnificence and how holding yourself back costs not only you but those around you–whoa! Watch out world–here you come! The first step to getting over any fear is recognizing you have it. Then, of course, it is taking action to overcome them.

You were not meant to live a limited life–a life limited by your mind. So the next time you feel fear welling up inside you, give yourself a mental compassionate and loving hug, take a deep breath in and out, and don’t give power to your thoughts–bust through the fear and feel your power!

Author's Bio: 

Nicole Nenninger, Psy.M., of nicolenenninger.com is a coach and author of "Transforming Divorce." She and her husband reside in New York where they have a private practice coaching clients from all over the world on divorce, transitions, parenting, relationships, authenticity and living your best life.