How to Deal with Fear

Fear“If I weren’t afraid, I would …”

These are five simple words they can really get you thinking about what is in your life that’s really holding you back. The first time I heard this statement was a couple of years ago. I went through the exercise, I filled in the blank — several times, actually — and each time it made me more acutely aware of the fact that I was the one holding me back.

Often it isn’t external forces that create our barriers in life but the internal ones, the stories we tell ourselves. Some of the stories come from childhood.

I had a client a couple of years ago who had been working with a story she created when she was five years old; she was now in her sixties. For 62 years she was working off a flawed belief system. The story was a valid one when she created it as a five year old. It served its purpose. She just failed to develop beyond that point, and lived with the story for the next 62 years. It caused her a lot of discomfort and disharmony until she learned how to move beyond it. Once we were able to identify this story as a flawed belief and re-path her beliefs into a valid reality, she was able to release the hurt and anger that was a major theme in her life. She has since reported that happiness comes easier, and the anger and the disappointments that she felt were prevalent in her life have all but fallen away.

Fear can serve a purpose. Its predominant role is to keep you safe, to keep you from taking unnecessary risks. The problem arises when no risks are taken, when no chances are taken, and when there is no momentum at all.

After taking the time to do this exercise I realized that there really is so little to fear in this life. I now understand that fear, discomfort, nervousness, and excitement are essentially all the same energy — the difference is what value we place on it.

From now on I choose to place the value of excitement on things I’ve never done. I choose to place the value of excitement on things I’m nervous about doing. I choose to place the value of excitement and the belief that I can do it on things that challenge me.

Henry Ford said it best: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you are right.” It all starts with your beliefs.


  1. Cherie on March 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    This article is so succinct, yet is says SO much. It was very helpful to me, as I’m sure it will be to anyone else who reads it, because our various unnecessary or irrational fears seem to be the plague of the human spirit. The advice to replace the value of fear or nervousness with excitement is the best , most easily applicable, advice I’ve read in my life. Thank you!

  2. KRinaldi on March 21, 2013 at 8:30 am

    You are very welcome. Our emotions are not our experiences, they are merely our perceptions of the experience.

  3. jo on April 15, 2013 at 4:27 am

    that was very helpful. precise. i think a good advice doesn’t need to be 100 pages long to have an impact.
    i like the way of looking at the fear at sth we don’t have to necessarily get ride of to overcome, but change the way we perceive sth. that we make it an obstacle.
    thank you 🙂

  4. KRinaldi on June 5, 2013 at 10:01 am

    You are welcome. Thank you for your insight as well. We are all here to learn and grow.

  5. KRinaldi on June 5, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I try to make things easy for everyone. Glad you connected with the information.