How To Overcome The Fear That Holds Us Back

Picture of by Ros Jones

by Ros Jones

Business coach and author

What really holds us back and keeps us where we are?


Picture this:

You’ve got super exciting dreams and goals for your business. You know that they’ll allow you to live the life you’d love to live, the lifestyle, the good things you’ll be able to help others with.

You take a confident step forward.


Something happens – a crisis (maybe a customer complains, someone hands in their notice, you get an unexpected big bill) that shakes you to your core.

When this happens, it’s very likely that we’ll take a step back and lose confidence.

Your minds says “Maybe I’ll wait for a while” or “Maybe I’m not good enough” or “Maybe it’s better to stay back here, in my ‘comfort zone’”.

The number one thing that holds us back in business (and life) is invisible. It’s fear.

We all get it, whenever we go for something that means we’ll have to step out of our ‘comfort zone’.

Our comfort zone is made up of the habitual patterns of thinking and doing that we’re used to, hence we feel comfortable. But it’s not helping us move forward to get the results we say we want. Therefore it’s actually an uncomfortable place to stay.

How do we move forward out of our comfort zone?


First, we need to understand the fear that’s holding us back.

There are 4 main fears (or barriers) that keep us from moving forward.

  • Fear of feeling fundamentally flawed

This is when we feel somehow that we’re not enough; we feel separate from others.

  • Fear of abandonment or disloyalty

 This is when we feel that by growing and moving forward, we may be cut off from or lose our friends and/or family

  • Fear of the burden of success

 This is the fear of being publicly recognised: people might not like you if they see that you’re a success.

  • The fear of outshining

 This is the fear of being seen to be “too big for your boots”

We can allow these fears to control us and hold us back. Which one resonates with you? Maybe it’s more than one.

I’ve watched this happen countless times with people in business and have experienced it firsthand myself.

The first thing we have to do is recognise the fear; then we can do something about it.

We can choose our thoughts


Recognise that our fear is just our unconscious mind trying to protect us. It wants to keep us safe from the 4 possibilities above. But we don’t have to agree with it.

We could just say, “Thank you. But I really want this goal. And I’m going for it!”

Every time we consciously do something that takes us out of our comfort zone means that our comfort zone expands. We grow as an individual which means that our business can grow.

Choose to do something different every day


Our brains love us doing the same things, thinking the same thoughts every single day, whether or not they are positive or negative. It saves our brain energy: we just hop onto the neural pathways we’ve grooved into our brain through constant repetition.

But doing the same things over and over (unless they are producing the results we really want) is not helping us to grow ourselves or our business.

Take the challenge and deliberately choose to think different thoughts and do something different every single day for a week. Once you get used to this, you’ll realise that it’s quite fun. Make it a game and get creative.

Keep focused on your big goal


Be sure that your big dream or goal is something exciting that you’d really really love to have or achieve.

Write it down, create a vision board, see it in your mind and focus on it every day.

Whenever you feel fear gnawing in your stomach when you go to do something new, think of it as excitement (the physiological effects of fear and excitement are very similar after all) and acknowledge that you are taking actions that are expanding your comfort zone.

“Why do these things keep happening to me?”


Business growth is never plain sailing. Challenges will always crop up.

We can choose to see the challenges as insurmountable and reasons why we shouldn’t be pushing forward. Or we can choose to see them as opportunities to learn and take different action.

When we’re willing to see challenges as invitations to grow and expand our comfort zone, we move through our fear and will probably be deliciously amazed at what we find beyond the barrier. 😊

I’d love to hear how you get on. Please do get in touch.

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