How To Overcome Your Fears

The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. Taking consistent, small steps towards your goals each and every day is the key to overcoming your fears.
The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. Taking consistent, small steps towards your goals each and every day is the key to overcoming your fears..

A fit body and a fit mind are two things that are very important in order to have a healthy, happy and balanced life.  Most people think they have some type of unusual diagnosable disease because they heard a television commercial naming a list of possible symptoms that they have, such as being tired, moody, or having trouble sleeping.  They think they fit the bill for the condition being advertised and they immediately self-diagnose themselves with some type of sickness that’s responsible for making them unhealthy and unhappy.

  Some people do have medical conditions that a doctor can diagnose and treat.  But for many others, this is not the case.  They’re just experiencing real life issues that make people feel a variety of emotions happiness to sadness and from stress to sheer bliss.

One thing we all experience is fear.  There are two types of fear, rational fear and irrational fear.  An example of an irrational fear is worrying about things that could happen but are highly unlikely, such as driving behind a construction vehicle, getting bitten by a spider, or swimming in dark water.   You can tune your life in a matter to severely reduce the risk of these irrational fears from happening.  You’ll never be truly free of the fear that one of these things can happen because accidents can happen.  That’s why you have to strategically position yourself to be of sound mind and sound body with clean habits and stay away from the bad things that can hurt you or make you sick.


Rational fear is something we all experience.  An example is the uncertainty of embracing a new career.  Fear is something that holds us captive because we are our biggest enemy.   It tells us that maybe we can’t or shouldn’t do something because the grass may not be greener on the other side.  We cripple ourselves before we even get started.

  In reality, if people just took a chance and embraced something different, they may be pleasantly surprised.  For example, if you’re unhappy in a relationship, you’re so used to the customs, traditions and habits that you both share that you’d talk yourself into staying together even though you’re both unhappy.  Make the jump and go embrace something new that you have a little bit of fear about. You’ll find that most of the time, you’ll feel liberated and exhilarated when you overcome your fears.

So how do you get over a fear?  A great strategy is to familiarize yourself with those things that scare you by slowly and consistently incorporating them into your daily routine.   For example, if you hate cardio but you need to be more physically active, start with a simple walk to your mailbox and back on the first day.  Then the next day, walk 20 steps further away from your mailbox and 20 steps back to it, then walk back home.  Each consecutive day, take an extra 20 steps away from the point you walked to the day before.

  You’ll be adding 40 steps a day to your exercise routine and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying a long walk.  The familiarity you develop with walking and cardio has now replaced your fear of walking and cardio. 

Many people think that you have to make big changes in order to get somewhere, when that’s usually the worst thing you could do because it doesn’t produce a sustainable result.  If you’re afraid of swimming, you don’t jump off the diving board on your first day at the pool because you could drown if you don’t know how to stay afloat.  Before you dive, you need to learn how to swim by first familiarizing yourself with simply being in the water, then learning how to float, breathe, and propel your body under water.  Small, steady and incremental changes form good habit patterns and break debilitating habit patterns which hold you in a state of constant fear.  In order to overcome fear, you have to familiarize yourself with it by making yourself deliberately uncomfortable, starting with short periods at a time.  You could spend 5 minutes on the treadmill the first week, 10 minutes the next week, and maybe 20 the next week.  By doing this, you can bring out an ambitious and driven side of you that your unhealthy habits previously squashed with self-doubt. 

Unhealthy habits can make your life very stale and prevent you from moving forward and accomplishing your goals.  You can mold your life into whatever you would like it to be by taking direct actions to make small, incremental changes to familiarize yourself with and overcome your fears.  Sometimes you can get so caught up in the grand strategy to get to where you want to be that you never even make it to execution phase.   Remember that life is a marathon, not a sprint.  The best way to avoid stagnancy is to make a consistent approach towards achieving your goals by taking small, consistent steps towards them each and every day. 

About the Author - Jay Cardiello is a Health Strategist, Celebrity Trainer and author of the No Diet Plan.  For fit tips, news and recipes, check out Jay's website at


Phobias and Fears.  Segal j, Segal R, Smith M.  Helpguide, Jan 2016.  Web.  31 Jan 2016.

What’s the Difference Between Rational and Irrational Fears?   Walker, T.  NPR, 5 May 2015.  Web.  31 Jan 2016.

Continue Reading