How to Overcome Fear

We all have fears and anxieties that we need to overcome if we want to be successful. The Public Speaker explains how to move past fear.

Lisa B. Marshall
2-minute read

I recently interviewed Dr. Guy Winch, author of Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts.

He shared a story with me about a stay-at-home mother of 3 who tried to re-enter the work force after a 10-year absenceRe-entering the workforce after a long absence can be daunting. The industry she was in had moved on without her. Her family life and routines were about to change dramatically.

Her first few job interviews were a failure.

She overslept and was late for one. She argued with the receptionist at another. A headache made her cancel a third. Dr. Winch confronted her about her behavior. It was time for her to own her fears and anxieties.

He encouraged her speak them out loud. Turns out, she was scared she wouldn’t be able to do the job. She worried that she wouldn’t understand office politics or that she wouldn’t fit in. She loved being a mom and was afraid of how her family would be impacted by her return to the workforce. 

"We actually don’t make a ton of mistakes in our lives. It seems that we do, but we typically make 2 or 3 and repeat them in endless varieties.” – Guy Winch

However, once she owned her fear, it allowed her to tackle it head on. She developed a different attitude about interviews. At the next one, she had her resume ready, showed up on time, and got the job.

Do you have a fear you’re avoiding? Are you ready to own it? Speak it out loud to someone you trust or write it down. Discuss what you can control about the situation and what you can't.

Brainstorm a variety of strategies to address what you can control. This process of writing and discussing will allow you to own your fear.  Owning your fears and creating action steps are a big first step to moving past doubt and anxiety.

Check out the entire interview with Dr. Guy Winch here and learn more tips on how to move past fear.

About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.