We all have fears that hinder us in life. Not necessarily fears of things like spiders or heights, but things like speaking up for ourselves, practising a skill or letting someone else care. To get past these fears, turn them into a habit.
As productivity author Seth Godin points out, fear is gradually erased over time as we are repeatedly exposed to the thing we’re worried about. By making a point of confronting your fear in a small way every day, you inoculate yourself over time. So when you need to face your fear in a big way, your immune response is strong:
If you’re afraid to write, write a little, every day. Start with an anonymous blog, start with a sentence. Every day, drip, drip, drip, a habit. If you’re afraid to speak up, speak up a little, every day. Not to the board of directors, but to someone. A little bit, every day. Habits are more powerful than fears.
You can always start small. You’re probably not going to be able to practice getting over your fear of marriage every day (that could get expensive), but you can practise commitment in small ways. Getting over a fear of public speaking is as simple as practising speaking up in smaller groups gradually until you’re comfortable with your own voice.
To overcome an irrational fear… [Seth Godin]