How to Take Action towards Your Goals Even When You’re Scared

How to Take Action towards Your Goals Even When You’re Scared

We hear so much about feeling the fear and doing it anyway.  Here are some tips to make that happen:

Don’t fight your fear it, define it

For example, if you ask ten people who are afraid of public speaking what it is that they are afraid of, you are likely to get different answers.  One might be afraid of the audience laughing at her.  Another might be afraid he will forget what to say.  Still another might feel as if she’s not qualified.  Yet all of these people can say that they are afraid of public speaking.

Decide if it’s worth it

Likely the answer is yes, but get clear on your Why.  Your big reason why.  The most effective way to find your why is to play the click-down exercise.  Ask yourself, “Why do I want _____?”  Then take that answer and ask yourself why you want that.It usually takes about five rounds through the question, but keep going until you feel something big.  Until you feel chills, tears, or breathless from the insight.  That’s when you know you’ve found your Why.

One step at a time 

Many fears come from being overwhelmed.  If someone asked you to drive from New York to L.A., it might seem like a big task!  Very few would simply start driving West.  More likely, you’d head over to your favorite map app and get the route.  From there, you’d likely plan your stops.  Then you’d pack your bags, fill the tank with gas, and get going.

Develop awareness of your blocks

We all have our go-to defense mechanisms to shield us from fearful situations.  Becoming aware of yours will help you re-write your personal story.Common ones are: I’m too busy, I’m not qualified, I don’t really need it, I’m too old, or I need more information.  Evaluate these messages you’re sending to yourself and discard the ones that aren’t serving you.

Check in with your body

This is especially true if you are face to face in a scary situation where you must take action.  Deep breathing here can help.  Not only will it calm you but it will invigorate your body in case the action you need to take has a physical component.


Visualize your plan.  From beginning to end, step by step, to the successful conclusion.  This visualization takes practice, but it is a useful tool that is often used by top athletes.  Don’t forget to include all of your senses. What does it smell like?  Do you feel hot or cold?  If you start to feel tense, take a calming breath to refresh yourself before starting again.  You can use this approach several times a day, any time you have some free mental time.

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