The timeless topic known as fear. It’s a heavy and uncomfortable subject that few people, especially in the self-help industry, like to talk about in great detail. We often read in books or hear at live seminars that we should skip over fear and only focus on the good. I agree with this to an extent but to ignore the elephant in the room known as fear is not only foolish, but in frank no BS terms, it’s denying the obvious.

Here are three ways to manage fear and achieve greater progress towards leading a happier and more productive life

While I am in no way a trained psychologist, I do believe that based on my own life experience, extensive research, interviews with others, and published works on the topic of success the last 20+ years, that I’ve uncovered several ways to address this taboo topic and offer up several practical ways to handle fear –not fully cure it- so we can achieve greater progress towards leading happier lives.

#1: Find a mentor and good books to learn and grow from. I’ve been very fortunate to get around successful people both in person and via their written and spoken word. There is absolutely no reason for most people to struggle with fear unless they choose to, or simply give up. It is very tempting to do this, as long-lasting change is a difficult sell in an instant gratification world.

I’ll be bold and unapologetic when I say thank God for the self-help industry. Yes sarcasm sells and laughter is inexpensive currency in an age of millions of YouTube videos and cameras watching us at every turn. However, self-development can not only help change one life when studied and applied, but also the lives of millions of others as a byproduct of someone’s drive, passion and initiative. A visionary with ideas and innovations to improve the human condition must be mentally tough, persistent, and fuel their mental machine with regular doses of optimism and not sarcasm. Imagine, if all we focused on was our fears, weaknesses, and faults? What kind of world would that be? I’ll give you a clue: doomed!

#2: Learn to unplug and self-reflect. I’ve written about the dangers of too much technology for years and here’s why: our western society is built on distraction, interruption and massive amounts of messaging. In addition, our own minds are loaded with self-talk conversations and chatter that are highly charged with fear and doubt based on societal norms, media programming, and technology day-by-day blurring the lines between work and free time. We all know that it can be downright exhausting trying to keep up with it all. If not monitored and addressed, it can consume or mind, our attention, and our lives unless we make a decision to disconnect and make time for ourselves.

We are the only creature on the planet that is given the ability to self-reflect on not just our past, but also script out the future that we’d like to create. This is immensely powerful and most people rarely stop to really think about what they want to do, the why behind it, and where they want to go. Drifting along is an easier short term decision than digging inward to discover and ask deeper questions as to what we really want to do with our time while here on the planet.

#3: Practice gratitude daily. How quickly we forget what should be grateful for all we have, and those who’ve helped us along the way. It sadly seems that many people enjoy self-imposed pity parties to describe what they don’t want or how unfair life is. This is not only dangerous to the person complaining, but also to those they’ve come into contact with. People that constantly thrive on this are not only downers to be around, but prefer to complain and blame, versus reframing their mind with better questions and positive solutions to be rid of the problem.

Here’s a great quote and reminder to hammer this point home:

“Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

-Charles Dickens

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