“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ~ Dale Carnegie (American lecturer, author, 1888-1955)

February 21, 2013 — 9 Comments

How can you ever overcome your fear if you don’t stand up to it? You need to face your fear, don’t let your fight or flight animal instincts take over. When you feel the physical reactions to fear start to kick in stop and say to yourself, “Interesting, my breathing is increasing, my palms are sweaty, my heart beat is increasing.”

Take a couple of slow deep breaths as you think about why your body is reacting to the situation. As you keep breathing, think about what you can do to put your fear aside. Because once you reflect and think about it, you realize that the more you’re afraid the less you’re able to control the situation.

Maybe the key is to start small and work your way up to bigger things. If you’re afraid of heights, get used to standing on a ladder, one rung at a time. Set a goal to go up one a day till you can sit on top of it (which may not be too safe).

If your fear is speaking in front of a group of people, start by standing in front of a mirror speaking to yourself. Better yet, record yourself doing it and then watch it. You’re either going to say, “Well that’s not so bad,” or (if you’re like me), “You do suck.”

The key is to practice, as Mr. Carnegie said, “Action breeds confidence and courage.” The more action, or practice, the more confidence you’ll have, and people around you will feel your confidence.

Isn’t that another animal instinct, to sense fear? They say some animals can sense fear, so humans should be able to also, I would think even more so since humans are farther evolved. But maybe some humans have evolved so far that they have disregarded this ability because we just can’t scientifically prove it.

What actions have you taken to overcome one of your fears?

Dave Leingang

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Dave Leingang retired from the United States Navy in 2003 with twenty one years of service. After retiring he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. A lifelong learner and always looking for a challenge he became a John Maxwell Team Founding Partner in 2011. Dave’s been facilitating leadership classes and mastermind groups to businesses and non-profits for over ten years in both traditional and distant learning classroom.

9 responses to “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ~ Dale Carnegie (American lecturer, author, 1888-1955)

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  2. Thanks for taking the time to post. It’s lifted the level of debate

  3. Good point. I hadn’t thought about it quite that way. 🙂

  4. It’s much easier to understand when you put it that way!

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  7. Maybe through our evolution we have become desensitized to our primal instincts. I think through our evolution we have blurred the meaning between fear and anxiety. Being scared to go outside because of raining meteors, or catching the flu, is more of an anxious fear.
    For centuries man was not necessarily halted by fear, but often motivated by it. Fight or flight. Revolution or submission.

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