You Need a Catalyst To Face Your Fears


You have nothing to fear but fear itself. That’s the quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt you see all over the self-help universe, but if this doesn’t help you at all, then you’re not alone.

Roosevelt words are humble but insufficient: confronting fear is one of the most difficult challenges humans face in society; therefore, a simple quote will never suffice — there’s more to it than that.

Humans learn fear, it’s not baked into us. We are susceptible from the day we are born through various kinds of social learning; whatever our peers fear, we fear as well: seeing from someone else’s perspective is all it takes.

Biological preparedness also plays a part. Renowned German psychologist, Gerd Gigerenzer explains that “humans learn what to fear without actually experiencing negative consequences from an encounter.” We learn about the dangers of the past mostly from others rather than from our own experiences.

You recognize peers who have conquered fear and see them in defiance of it every day, so instead of looking at things from your own perspective, you try replicating them; however, you lack the catalyst to see things through and retreat at the decisive moment.

Naturally, the next step is to ask for advice, but acting on it doesn’t help. They fail to realize the complexities of the situation like you do. A concrete motive to fight fear isn’t formulated by simply asking for it, because you always know something that others do not; you are the lone recipient of your problems.

A phobia of fear cannot be conquered easily, but it is possible. If you have one, then you’re probably thinking about the worst thing that can happen — not the best — taking the positive outcomes and classing them as compensation for stepping into the unknown.

To face your fears, you need a significant catalyst to jump over the hurdle in your mind; discovering you don’t have one is the problem but therein lies the solution.

Manufacture a catalyst where the potential outcome or reward is worth facing your fear.

Merely saying to yourself that you’re going to take the leap of faith over and over again won’t yield anything. To sum up what the late Dale Carnegie said about fear: As humans, we don’t just need to justify our goals, to pursue them we need to “arouse an eager want” within ourselves.

This is possible by adopting a new strategy: Put yourself in a situation where you have an epiphany in which the catalyst arises. Enter a domain where it’s hard not to jump out of your comfort zone and experience the uncomfortable, but this time with moderate pleasure.

Fear is a subjective barrier; a complex obstacle to overcome and our actions are the main driver to defeat it. You need motivation, and that comes from altering your surroundings, allowing your conscious to explode into action.

The catalysts that change our lives are created by doing, not thinking. It’s pointless just worrying about what can go wrong because, in the end, you have to ask yourself whether you really want what’s on offer.

Sometimes you get rejected, but it’s ok, now you have a strategy you can use time and time again. Rejection and failure is just part of the process. One or two lousy outcomes shouldn’t dictate all your future endeavors, because as the saying goes: more pain, more pleasure.

Lest we forget, every time fear is conquered it evolves into a more advanced form that’s even more challenging to overcome. The reward is now higher than ever before, but you start to face harder challenges. If you can’t go through with it, at least do something, anything.

Fear never becomes straightforward to conquer so you need a significant push each time you have to face it. Create the catalyst that’s necessary to achieve this and you’ll find yourself getting over the hump time and time again.