How to overcome the fear of taking action

How to overcome the fear of taking action

In this article, you will discover how to overcome the fear of taking action that prevents you from enjoying your life to the fullest.

Whether it’s your private life or your professional life, you know that this fear has already cost you too much.

Do you remember the professional opportunity you preferred to give up or the journey you gave up or the idea you never implemented or the person you never had the courage to talk to?

If you regret your choices and want to do something to overcome your fear of acting, then I advise you to continue reading this article and discover the advice and especially apply it. Before moving on to the advice, I would like to remind you that the customized support offered by a life coach can help you overcome your fear of acting more quickly and effectively.

Here is a brief summary of my advice to overcome the fear of taking action:

1 – Identify what you are afraid of and become aware of your emotions

2 – Understand if it is something you can master

3 – Assess the possible consequences of your inaction

4 – Focus on the likely benefits of your actions

5 – Become aware of your beliefs

6 – Understand the importance of your values

7 – Establish new habits

8 – Model people who have already overcome the fear of taking action

9 – Protect your self-esteem and build your self-confidence

10 – Act when you have more energy

11 – Associate with another person

12 – Set goals for yourself

13 – Turn fear into a game

14 – Update your professional and personal relationships

15 – Throw away your television, pay attention to the internet

16 – Nourish your mind

17 – Stop being a perfectionist

18 – Plan your success and take action

1 – Identify what you are afraid of and become aware of your emotions

What are you really afraid of?

It is important to name your fear in order to understand who your enemy is and what his or her weaknesses are.

Are you afraid of failure, success, other people’s eyes, criticism, etc.?

If you wish to go further on the different types of fears, I invite you to discover the articles on:

Fear of success, fear of making mistakes, fear of failure, fear of others and fear of public speaking.

If you don’t understand precisely what prevents you from living the way you want to live, you will not be able to implement the most appropriate strategy to overcome this fear.

If you have several fears, focus on the one that blocks you the most.

If, for example, you are afraid of other people’s looks, you probably need to protect and strengthen your self-esteem.

If you are afraid of failure, you can focus more on your progress and the language you use to describe what is happening to you.

Depending on the type of fear, some alternatives will be more effective than others in helping you take the necessary actions to live a more enjoyable life.

A life coach is able to offer you a personalized support to overcome your fear.

Now that you have learned the importance of understanding the true nature of your fear, my second piece of advice is to understand if it is something you can control.

2 – Understand if it is something you can control

Now that you have identified and named your fear and know how it works, you need to understand whether or not you can manage it.

If you have a real phobia, it is best to see a specialist such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist.

But if your fear is something you can control, as it is for most people, then it is your responsibility to do your best to regain control of your life.

Let’s imagine that you are afraid of the judgment of those around you regarding personal or professional choices you would like to make in your life.

If you do not act, it is because you mentally associate suffering with the judgment of others and at the same time you do not associate enough pleasant feelings with your decisions.

To overcome this situation, you can use several strategies, for example, you can imagine that you give up your project and that this will have catastrophic consequences for you and your life will be ruined.

At the same time, you will mentally create a new reality in which you follow your dreams, take action and finally live the life you have always dreamed of.

By repeating this exercise several times, you will begin to reduce the fear of judgment on the part of those close to you and you will be more motivated to take action to start building a new life that is closer to the one you consider ideal for you.

Tailored coaching with a personal coach allows you to go even further to deal more effectively and quickly with the specifics of your situation.

Now that you have understood the importance of understanding if you can control your fear, my third piece of advice is to evaluate the consequences of your inaction.

3 – Evaluate the possible consequences of your inaction

If you take the time to look back at some of the significant experiences from your past, you will come to understand that what you are experiencing now is a small amount of suffering compared to all you have lost so far because of your inaction.

It is for this reason that I now invite you to recall three events in your private life and three other events in your professional life that were a source of suffering because of your decision not to act.

Take the time you need to fully relive these moments by trying to feel the emotions you experienced at that time in your life.

After completing this first phase, write down on a piece of paper a phrase or key word to name these six important events in your past.

Then, next to each event, write the price you paid because of your choice. Do this for all six events.

How do you feel now that you have become aware of the totality of this pain?

Now give yourself a score between 0 and 100 for the suffering you are experiencing right now by thinking back to the total pain related to these six life experiences.

Then, imagine that this suffering rises to 100.

This represents the pain you will experience if you don’t change.

What do you feel when you think about what you might experience?

If you are honest with yourself and don’t put the emotions you are experiencing into perspective, you should begin to feel more motivated to change your thinking and take action.

If you feel blocked because you are facing a personal or professional failure, I invite you to read the article on how to bounce back after a failure.

Now that you have become aware not only of the pain you are feeling today but also of the pain you have experienced in your past and the pain you will most likely experience in your future if you don’t change now, my fourth piece of advice is to focus on the likely benefits of your actions.

4 – Focus on the likely benefits of your actions

In addition to focusing on the negative consequences of your actions, you can also focus on what you will achieve by changing your thinking and behavior.

Think about the people you admire and who live a life the way you would like to live. Imagine what your life would be like if you were able to develop more self-confidence and believe in your abilities.

Do you remember some people who are far less talented than you are and yet live a life like the one you dream of?

Yet these people are no better than you, yet they have something you have forgotten to possess, namely, the ability to take effective action to change their lives for the better.

These same people do not doubt themselves all the time as you often do.

You’ve understood that you can achieve anything and accomplish anything if you choose to trust yourself and do your best, even if you don’t yet feel completely comfortable or competent.

An effective way to overcome the fear of acting is to focus your attention and energy on your abilities as well as on the benefits of becoming more proactive in improving the quality of your life.

Instead of doubting yourself and thinking about everything that might not work, imagine how your life would change if you had no limits and everything was within your reach.

Close your eyes and visualize your ideal life, the way you talk and behave with others.

Mentally describe the people around you, your home, your friends, your colleagues, etc.

Fantasize about this potential reality as if it were real and without questioning what you are capable of accomplishing.

Try to do this exercise by experiencing the emotions that your imagination reflects back to you.

Then open your eyes and immediately choose an aspect of your life that you would like to improve and an easy first action to start changing your life.

Plan this action in your to-do list and take action.

Trust yourself and continue to take regular and increasingly difficult actions. In this way, you will progress in your projects and this will increase your self-confidence.

Now that you understand the importance of trusting yourself and focusing on the benefits of taking action, my fifth piece of advice is to become aware of your beliefs.

5 – Become aware of your beliefs

Understanding if you have beliefs that limit you is important in overcoming the fear of taking action.

Beliefs are ideas that are deeply rooted in your mind that you no longer question. The problem with beliefs is that you often don’t know they exist.

Yet, they govern a part of your existence and that is why identifying them is extremely important if you want to surpass yourself and create the life you deserve.

A coach can help you to identify more effectively and quickly the convictions that prevent you from evolving as you wish.

But you can begin to identify them on your own if you look back on your personal and professional experiences.

Go back to the previous exercise in which I asked you to think back to the significant events in your life.

Think about those moments and try to remember the meaning you gave to those events.

Then write down the meaning you had given to these situations and write next to this explanation a belief consistent with this explanation.

Then write a few lines to explain why this belief is not true, justifying it with concrete examples from your life where you have acted contrary to this belief.

Write a new belief that is consistent with your actions and therefore with the person you really are.

Then, within 24 hours, take a new action to reinforce this new belief.

By doing so, you will begin to become aware of the beliefs that are preventing you from acting and begin to create new ones to change your life.

Now that you understand that your beliefs can influence your behavior, my sixth piece of advice is to understand the importance of your values.

6 – Understand the importance of your values

Your beliefs are not the only factors that influence your thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

Your values, i.e. what you consider important in your life, also have a considerable impact on your decisions, actions and also on your development.

As with beliefs, you do not always know your values or, if you do, you are not sure of their order of priority.

Becoming aware of your values and their order of importance is essential for:

  • making the best decisions
  • living a more fulfilled life
  • identifying if there are value conflicts that may generate internal conflicts and thus self-sabotage that may block your personal and professional evolution

For these reasons, I propose to perform an exercise using the following table.

First write down the values that are most important in your life. Then rank these values in order of importance.

Finally, check for value conflicts. A value conflict occurs when two values that are incompatible with each other are almost equally important.

If you notice a conflict or conflicts between values, it may be one of the reasons why you have not yet been able to overcome the fear of taking action.

Once this conflict has been identified, you will have to make a choice by prioritizing one of the two values in a way that is consistent with the personal or professional goal you wish to achieve.

Once you have resolved this internal conflict(s), you will have a greater likelihood of overcoming the fear to act.

Life coaching is an excellent way to become aware of your values and resolve your internal conflicts.

Now that you have understood the importance of becoming aware of your values, my seventh piece of advice is to establish new habits.

7 – Establish new habits

Your ability to take action does not depend exclusively on your motivation. Overcoming your fear of action requires developing new habits.

As long as most of our behaviors are implemented by our unconscious mind and the repetition of a given behavior allows us to act on our subconscious mind, creating new habits, allows us to set new behavioral paths in motion.

With repetition, these behavioral patterns become privileged paths that you can begin to follow even if your level of motivation is not as strong as you would like.

That’s why if you want to change your life and right now you feel that you lack the motivation to do so, you can use the power of behavioral routines to overcome your fear of taking action.

In order to create a new habit, you need to repeat it enough by mentally combining positive emotions and focusing on all the benefits of these rituals.

To make this exercise concrete, I suggest that you apply this advice right away.

Think of an aspect of your life that you would like to improve and think of a simple habit that you could create in order to make it easier for you to take action.

Once you have found this habit, repeat it for a month every day until it becomes an automatic habit.

By doing this you will be able to go beyond your limits and start changing your life for the better.

Now that you have learned the importance of developing new habits, my eighth tip is to model people who have already overcome the fear of taking action and are already living a life like the one you would like to have.

8 – Model people who have already overcome the fear of taking action

If you can’t find your resources within yourself, you can always draw inspiration from others who have already succeeded in accomplishing what you want to experience.

You can model the mental strategies and behaviors of people around you that you like.

Alternatively, you can read books by people who have already mapped out the road you want to travel.

If your model is someone you have the opportunity to meet, schedule regular appointments with them to get all the information you need.

Question this individual using the following questions:

What motivated you to take action?

What were you thinking at the time?

What emotions were you experiencing during this time?

What strategy did you put in place?

How did you plan your actions?

How did you overcome your doubts and moments of crisis?

What did you learn from this experience?

What final advice would you give me?

You will be able to personalize these questions by adapting them to your situation and to ask other questions.

Your goal is to gather all relevant information that can help you overcome the fear of taking action.

By following the best strategies already used by people who have already achieved the result you are looking for, you will be able to progress more easily and reach your goals.

Now that you have understood the importance of modeling other people’s success, my ninth piece of advice is to protect self-esteem and build self-confidence.

9 – Protect self-esteem and build self-confidence

To change your life and overcome the fear of taking action, you need to understand how two essential components of your identity work: self-esteem and self-confidence.

Self-esteem is influenced by your own assessment of yourself as a human being and by the assessment’s others make of you.

Assuming that you have little control over what others think of you, the best way to build self-esteem is by evaluating yourself fairly and caring and by learning to love yourself unconditionally.

Self-confidence is more related to your experience and therefore to the skills you have developed in relation to a given situation. It is therefore more related to your actions.

On the other hand, self-esteem and self-confidence are intimately linked. In order to take the necessary actions to change your life, you need to take steps to protect self-esteem and build self-confidence.

To strengthen self-esteem, it is important to become aware of the idea you have of yourself.

Differentiate between what is yours to change the beliefs that limit you.

Then, detach yourself from the limited vision that others have of you in both your personal and professional life.

In short, get out of any conformist model that you or your circle or even your culture have created to define you and recreate a more just and compassionate vision of yourself.

At the same time, protect yourself from any situation that could have a negative impact on the vision you have developed of yourself.

Strengthening self-esteem is a first way to build self-confidence.

But you can boost your self-confidence by becoming aware of your innate talents and using them regularly to grow and have a successful life.

Another way to build self-confidence is to step outside your comfort zone by taking actions that allow you to understand that you have the potential to achieve whatever you want.

You can also develop self-confidence by taking regular, easy-to-do actions, because in this way you build self-confidence while protecting your self-esteem.

By doing so, you will be able to overcome your limitations and take action.

Now that you have learned the importance of self-esteem and self-confidence, it is time to move on to my tenth tip which is to act when you have more energy.

10 – Act when you have more energy

Your ability to act and achieve your most important goals in everyday reality does not depend exclusively on how you use your mind.

Your energy level also plays a particularly important role in the achievement of your projects.

This energy level depends on several factors such as rest, your diet, your general state of health, your lifestyle and your chronotype. All these factors impact your physical and mental energy.

If you are deficient in these factors and you do nothing to rebalance them, it will be very difficult for you to overcome the fear of taking action.

In order to simplify this improvement process, I suggest you use the following table.


Using this table, give yourself an overall score by objectively evaluating each of the factors that influence your energy level.

Then, for each of these factors, write down a first action that is easy to implement to start improving.

Next, identify your chronotype, i.e. your genetic predisposition that influences at what time of day you feel more energetic. To identify your chronotype, think about whether or not you feel more energetic:

  • in the morning
  • in the morning and afternoon
  • in the afternoon and evening
  • in the evening

Then, based on your answer, take the actions that are most important to you at these times of the day.

By taking into account the specifics of your chronotype and taking regular actions to optimize your energy level, you will be able to finally take action to change your life for the better.

Now that you understand the importance of taking your energy level into account, my eleventh piece of advice is to partner with another person.

11 – Associate with another person

There is strength in numbers. If you can’t take action on your own, you can partner with someone else.

It can be someone who has the same goals as you or someone who has complementary qualities to yours.

Spend time with this individual to establish a relationship of trust that allows you to act in a coordinated way.

You can help this person overcome their difficulties and they will help you overcome yours.

If you have common goals and abilities, you can challenge each other.

The important thing is to find a partner who is both caring and motivating at the same time.

Avoid overly complacent individuals or those who are not willing to change.

Select your partner and take action with them.

Each of you will be responsible for the other’s behavior.

By taking advantage of additional external motivation every day, you will increase your chances of taking action to create the life you enjoy.

Now that you understand the value of partnering with another person, my twelfth piece of advice is to set goals for yourself.

12 – Set goals for yourself

Setting a goal is not about thinking about what you would like to accomplish or dreaming about an ideal future.

The science of goal setting requires several steps to be taken into account in order to maximize your chances of success.

If you would like to know more about all these principles, I invite you to read the article how to set goals, achieve them and be happy.

What I wish to share with you is especially the importance of setting an attainable goal, a goal you can truly believe in.

If you perceive too much discrepancy between your abilities and your goal, you will feel unmotivated and you will not achieve it.

This principle is therefore valid even if your goal is too easy for you.

Set yourself a goal that is within your reach but at the same time a motivating goal, i.e. one that is important to you.

Ask yourself about your motivation, don’t limit yourself to obvious motivations but think about your deepest motivations.

If you have difficulties in terms of motivation, I invite you to discover the article how to motivate yourself .

Think of this goal as a piece of a puzzle or as a gear that will allow you to complete an even larger life project.

Begin to understand how reaching your goal will allow you to go even further in all other areas of your life.

Succeeding at a certain level will have a domino effect on a larger scale.

By being aware of both your motivations for your current goal and the benefits of your overall accomplishments, you will be more motivated to give your best.

Now that you understand the importance of setting goals and seeing the benefits, my thirteenth piece of advice is to turn fear into a game.

13 – Turn fear into a game

What if it was a game?

What if you were able to transform your fear and thus your emotions into something enjoyable?

To turn your fear into a game, you must first reduce the effect that the emotions associated with your fear have on you.

To do this, name your fear. What exactly are you afraid of?

Do you have one fear or many?

Then describe that fear and feel the emotions it causes in you.

Then change the way you describe this fear, change the words you use to describe what you feel.

This will begin to change the emotions you are feeling.

Successively, prepare yourself for this situation by defining what you are going to do and how you want to feel.

In this way, you will calm your emotions again and you will begin to become calmer.

Afterwards, touch the fear with your finger and confront yourself with what you are afraid of.

Focus on what you have learned and what you need to do to feel more confident.

Finally, turn your fear into a game, become the hero of your story, describe your powers, your talents, your decisions and how you will use all these factors to win the game.

It is by following this procedure that you will be able to act on your fear and change your life for the better.

Now that you have learned the importance of giving a more enjoyable meaning to what you feel, my fourteenth piece of advice is to update your professional and personal relationships

14 – Update your professional and personal relationships

Several external factors influence self-esteem and self-confidence.

Among these factors are the people in your personal and professional environment.

Whether you believe it or not, the people with whom you spend a significant part of your time can impact your idea of yourself and the actions you decide to take.

You probably know people who inspire you and motivate you to give the best of yourself.

At the same time, you also know other people who are extremely critical, pessimistic, or even malicious, and who tend to have a distorted perception of reality.

Some people have such a devastating effect that you only need to spend a few minutes with them to feel completely empty of energy and joy of life.

If you know people who fit this portrait, I invite you to avoid them as much as possible, or at the very least to strongly limit the time you spend with them.

If you do not do so, you will be deprived of your abilities and energies and consequently you will not be able to overcome the fear of acting.

At the same time, if you know people who give you energy and help you get the most out of yourself, then do everything you can to be more involved with them.

If you do, you will greatly increase your chances of doing what is important to move forward in your life.

Now that you understand the importance of carefully selecting the people around you, my fifteenth piece of advice is to throw away your television and pay attention to the internet.

15 – Throw away your television, pay attention to the internet

Spending too much time in front of the television watching programs that don’t bring you anything or being hypnotized by bad news from your country and the rest of the world has the effect of wasting your time and energy.

You become pessimistic and focus on everything negative in life.

This also applies to what you find on the internet.

Pay attention to your choices in the use of social and professional networks.

The same pessimistic, frustrated and malicious people you try to avoid in real life are the ones you need to protect yourself from in social networks as well.

This doesn’t mean that all TV shows or all content on the Internet is a potential danger to your self-esteem and self-confidence.

On the contrary, be aware that if you don’t carefully select the information you expose yourself to, you greatly reduce your chances of creating a truly fulfilling life.

It is by being extremely attentive to the sources of information to which you expose yourself that you will be able to free yourself from the psychological hold exerted on you by most of the media.

Now that you have understood the importance of being highly selective with regard to sources of information, my sixteenth piece of advice is to nourish your mind.

16 – Nourish your mind

Think of your brain as a garden in which you want to pull out weeds and at the same time in which you want to get plants capable of flowering.

If you want to grow and flourish, you need to nourish your mind.

But this is not something you are going to do once in a while.

You need to create a new habit that will allow you to grow continuously.

You can do this through books, trainings, participation in events and so on.

It doesn’t matter which way you choose. The most important thing is to dedicate some time every day to progress in the different area of your life.

Once again, select books or courses with the utmost care so that they allow you to learn what you need and make the most of your time and money.

Some of the different skills you can learn include empathic listening or active listening. If you would like to learn more, check out our active listening training or our book on active listening now.

In summary, regularly invest some of your time and money to progress as an individual by developing the skills that will allow you to grow and reach your professional and personal goals more easily.

Now that you have become aware of the importance of nourishing your mind, my seventeenth piece of advice is to stop being a perfectionist.

17 – Stop being a perfectionist

If you’re a perfectionist or a person who often waits for the perfect moment before starting something, it’s time to change if you want to create a life that lives up to your potential.

Overcoming perfectionism requires learning to accept the temporary imperfection of a given situation.

If you don’t, you will procrastinate, i.e. you will postpone your actions by rationalizing your lack of action on the pretext that you are not ready yet, that you are not competent enough, that it is not yet the right time, etc.

By doing so, you perpetuate a belief that there are good and bad times to do something.

If you are truly honest with yourself, you understand that this is just an excuse not to take action.

There is no perfect time like there is no bad time.

The right time is when you take action and decide to trust yourself despite the difficulties you face.

Instead of focusing on what might not work, focus your attention on what might work and the skills you need to develop to have a truly successful life.

Focus on gradually improving the situation and take action on a regular basis. In this way, you will be able to create the life that is right for you.

If you are having problems with procrastination, I invite you to read the article 10 extraordinary tips to stop procrastinating.

Now that you have understood the importance of going beyond perfectionism, my eighteenth piece of advice is to plan your success and take action.

18 – Plan your success and take action

After all this advice, I think you have understood very well that everything depends on you.

All the strategies you have discovered in this article represent different ways to go beyond your limits and take the necessary actions for your growth and success.

My final piece of advice is to plan the actions that will allow you to reach your most meaningful goals.

Everything you plan is more likely to be accomplished.

In fact, the simple fact of planning your tasks in your to do list and then in your agenda, already gives you an advantage over most people who limit themselves to thinking about what they would like to accomplish.

If you want to improve your productivity, I invite you to read the article 14 tips to be more productive at work and in your private life.

But my advice here is:

  • plan and execute your most important actions first, before those that are less important
  • take regular breaks
  • do not schedule too many tasks

If you don’t honor your commitments, don’t criticize yourself and try to do what you need to do the next day. Keep a caring attitude towards yourself at all times and keep moving forward.

When you keep your commitments, congratulate yourself, reward yourself and have fun. It is these small successes that will help you develop self-confidence, overcome the fear of taking action and taking back the control of your life.

Conclusion on how to overcome the fear of taking action

In this article, I have shared with you some practical tips that will help you overcome your blockages and take action to make a better change in your life.

If you wish to receive the support of a life coach, write to us now through our contact form or discover our life coaching packages.

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