write it down: a 2012 goal for everyone
words to live by: eat up all the gray

how to overcome fear: 9 tips from the bold life

What youre afraid of()

Lately I've been struggling with fear a lot (see here), and it's been so wonderful for me to find inspiration from people who really seem to know how to overcome fear. Tess Marshall, creator of The Bold Life, is one of those people and she's been gracious enough to share her wisdom here. Take it in because it really is life-changing.  

Fear is an illusion that we buy into and believe in, simultaneously forgetting about our strengths, brilliance, and resilience. We give fear so much power that we forfeit our dreams to avoid the emotional pain of rejection, criticism, embarrassment, and other external circumstances beyond our control. 

Most of our fears aren’t justified or rational. For example, my daughter Kara is a flight attendant. I don’t fear for her safety because I can’t justify it. It’s been proven that air travel is safer then cars. Another one of my daughters texts and drives. I do fear for her safety, it is a rational fear because it’s dangerous. I’ve talked to her about it and I pray for her. I let my fear go because she is an adult. It’s her problem. I can’t justify holding on to my fear.

What stands between you and the life that you want are your fears. Fear of rejection, looking stupid, living alone, or going broke, are common fears that you can learn to rise above. Read the following tips on how to overcome fear and live the life you deserve.


How to Overcome Fear + Life the Life You Deserve

Do something brand new. Be a beginner. Be open to the different and the difficult. Push yourself. Follow someone’s lead. Ask questions. Try. Fail. Try again. Fail again. Succeed.

Focus on what needs to be done. Take small calculated steps to get to your end goal. Don’t give your fear attention or energy. Let it die a slow death. Build your courage muscles one action step at a time.

Let go of what you don’t want and visualize what you do. Stop running negative images in your mind of bad things happening. Create the image of the outcome you want and dwell on it. Work towards it. Each time you feel fearful replace it with your image of success.

Take your fear to the gym. When you are stuck in fear and feel paralyzed by negativity, get active. Lift weights, run, or walk off your fear. Move physically. Motivate yourself with a play list of positive songs 

Use affirmations and quotes. I write down positive quotes and affirmations on index cards and put them in my car, bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. It only takes a few minutes to see things differently and change my calm my emotions.

Release attack thoughts and negativity. We project our own negativity and fear when we get caught up in drama and become envious of the success of others. Somebody else’s success has nothing to do with yours. Focus on taking action on your own behalf. Choose to be happy for people who get what you want. Learn to say and mean, “Good for them.”

Change your perception and change your story. Stop doubting yourself. Become aware of the stories you tell yourself about your self-worth, intelligence, strengths, and possibilities. Own your greatness. Create stories that resonate with the beautiful person you are. No one else can do it for you.

Create new expectations. Expect to succeed. Tell yourself things are going well. Know that people want to help you. Spin new stories about the future. You have a choice. You can expect the best or the worst. Why wouldn’t you choose the best?

Replace fear with fun. Fear can lead to a work addiction. When you lack balance in your life it shows up in your relationships, business, and health. Carve out time to laugh and play. Get away from all electronics and get your fun meter running. Dance, hike, begin a new hobby, and laugh as often as possible.


The alternative to facing your fears is that your fears will control you. Don’t miss out on opportunities. Don’t cheat the people who will benefit from your gifts. Live is meant to be lived out loud and in joy. This is your time. This is you life. Live it with gutsy, risk-taking, glory.

Tess Marshall is the founder of The Bold Life, where she inspires people to live a fearless life. If you are tired of being stuck in fear and want to step into your greatness, click here to learn more about Take Your Fear and Shove It, an ecourse that will help you overcome your fear!

WIN a copy of Take Your Fear and Shove It!

  • Leave a comment telling me how you plan to overcome fear this year.
  • Include your email address so I can contact you when you win.
  • Want an extra chance to win? Tweet + mention @positivepresent.
  • THREE winners will be selected on Thursday, January 26, 2011.

** Speaking of winners... congrats to JR, Melinda, and Strelka, the three winners of last week's giveaway!**


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I'm conquering fear by keeping positive & pushing through it with yoga! Nothing makes me feel better than yoga:)

Your post today was exactly what I needed. I am stuck in fear and I WANT OUT! I would love to win this giveaway.

Meghan - I've always wanted to try yoga. It really sounds like a great way to stay present (and stay positive!).

Amy - So happy to hear that this was just what you needed today. I love when that happens! Best of luck pushing through the fear!

Your post is so timely for me. My fears are overwhelming these days (chronic illness and a recent regression) - thank you. I am off to check some of your other fear posts.

I just started reading this blog-- and it is exactly what I need today.
You "hit the nail on the head" so to speak-
I have been reading books on courage and this is an interesting perspective.
Thanks for a great blog and I hope to keep reading!

I have a few yoga videos and I haven't done much with them. I have clients and friends who swear by yoga. Good for you!

It's good you're hear reaching out for help. No one should have to live in fear! You go girlfriend.

Such an awesome post and exactly what I needed to hear!! I am overcoming my fear - by Trying AGAIN and not just trying, but learning to enjoy the process of reaching my goal and teaching myself to focus only on the best - since it is what I deserve!!

I have been wanting to run a half marathon for 2 years now and I have finally signed up for one on April 1 and am already on week 5 of training for it!!

I joined the local Y. I am swimming two days a week in a community arthritis class. My fear of my arthritis has literally sunk in the water. I am invigorated. I am positive.
I will create a peaceful environment in which to live. I am choosing to be around happy people.
My favorite quote is "Today is a PRESENT!)

This blog has helped me navigate through school and this post made that fact even more apparent!

I overcome fear by doing the opposite of what my fear tells me and taking that leap of faith. If my fear is preventing me from doing a certain action or asking a certain question in class, I go for it because it is the exact opposite of what my fear tells me to do!

Cynthia - So glad this post came at a good time for you. I hope it was helpful and I hope you're able to break through the fear!

Julie - Thanks for reading! I'm glad to hear you've found Positively Present and I hope you keep reading as well. I'm glad Tess's post spoke to you today!

Tess - Thanks again for sharing this great article on Positively Present! As you can see, it's really resonating with a lot of readers.

Arti - Awesome! It really sounds like you're making an effort to overcome your fear. I'm glad you found this post and I hope Tess's words help you get through the fear.

Laura - Good for you! That's very impressive! Good luck with your marathon. You should be very proud of yourself for taking steps to do what you want to do.

Lisa - That's great that you took action against your fear and are making a positive difference in your life! It sounds like you have a great attitude and I hope you keep surrounding yourself with positivity.

Meera - So happy to hear that this blog has helped you and that this post was just what you needed! It's great to hear that you know how to handle your fear - by doing the opposite of what it tells you - and it sounds like you really know how to listen to your heart.

Yes you deserve all good and focus is the key. Keep going even if you take penguin steps!

That's fantastic! I'll be cheering for you. My mantra last summer was...I'm tough. And when it got difficult I kept going. It was the first run I never tired in. I just soaked up the joy of it all.

What an awesome plan. I wish you the best. Keep swimming through those fears;)

I wish I had a blog like Dani's when I was in school!!! Way to go!

Thanks for the opportunity! Stay in touch...I love being inspired over here. xo

First of all, I LOVE your blog! When I need a lift, it's where I go to for some bit of inspiration or just a little push. Or a much-needed reminder. Anyhow, as for conquering fear, these days I just take a deep breath, close my eyes for a few seconds to feel every bit of that fear. Then, I exhale to let it all out. I open my eyes and tell myself, "You go, girl!" Then, I go and do that thing I'm fearing (but know must do) at the moment.

Mae - Thank you! I'm so glad you love Positively Present! :)It really sounds like you have a great process in place for conquering fear. Thanks for sharing it here!

Great post and tips!! Fear has certainly been kicking me for some time, and I am looking to kick it back! The first thing I've done this year to tell it go away was to purchase a ticket to an event a photographer I truly admire will be hosting. I've set the date of the event as my deadline to launch my photography website and tell her in person that I did it!

Though the idea of putting myself out there for the world to see, and facing possible rejection here and there I know deep down that my love of photography and the joy and release I get from it is much bigger than the fear winning and keeping it from me. Seeing others do the same encourages me as well.

Thanks Meghan for the reminder of yoga! It does have such an amazing affect in your mind, body and spirit. I will that back to my list as well!

Saggleo - Glad you liked this one! I agree that Tess wrote a great post here. Good for you for purchasing that ticket. What a great start to the new year - and a great incentive for you to get your site up and running (can't wait to see it!). I hope you let your love of photography override the fear of rejection. Sounds like you're on the right path to getting rid of fear. Keep up the good work!

I just found your website Positively Pesent great great info. Me and my kids really really like.....vey helpful

Mine Faias - I'm so glad you found the site and that you and your kids are enjoying it. Thanks for reading!

I was linked to this and this was exactly what I needed. My fear of everything led to anxiety, depression and personality disorder issues that caused my boyfriend of 3 years to leave me. This year I'm going to overcome my fear by learning to be independent and live alone, but also to live happily and healthily, so that I never stuff up an amazing thing again.

Kim - That's wonderful that someone shared this link with you and it was just what you needed. I wish you nothing but the best as you strive to overcome your fear. You can do it!

This is amazing! Just what I needed to start my week :)

Sara - So glad you enjoyed this post by Tess! It's definitely a great one to start off a week.

I suffer with Social Anxiety, I find it hard walking through the shops..I fear going to the school to pick my kids up, i stand at the back and prey no parent will start talking to me because I worry about how they judge me, if i talk like a fool.The list goes on anything that puts me in a situation to have negative judgement scares me.

So i'm making a start by commenting here! of course i'm going to panick about what i have written questioning every aspect of what i wrote but it's a first step. I'm going to go out to the supermarket tomorrow and not depend on my partner to go for me and i'm going to hold my head high, smile and enjoy the taste the freedom... but just incase i start loosing the motivation I'm going to leave the page up and read it again tomorrow morning!

Thank you :) your articles are so inspiring!

Collette - This is awesome! Good for you for being brave and writing a comment. Such a great start to overcoming your fear! I wish you the best of luck on your market trip tomorrow. I have a feeling it's going to be great!

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