Don't Drive with the Brake On - Conquer Fear

11/12/2009 02:27 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

You've made the decision to go after a goal but fear is holding you back from taking that first step. It's like you're driving with the brake on because you act like you're going after it, but in reality, you're dragging your feet when it comes to getting started.

Fear is an incredibly powerful emotion and stops people dead in their tracks. It's not that successful people don't experience fear, they do. They just find a way to push past it.

Here are some things you can do to help take your foot off the brake:

Move Out of Your "Comfort Zone": Oh, the comfort zone. We love what we're used to and at the same time want something new. When the comfort zone is at odds with your goal, the comfort zone usually wins. It's normal to feel uncomfortable when you move into uncharted territory. But, the fact that you want to go after something, even though it's a little scary, is an indication that you're ready for it! And remember the comfort zone is malleable and will expand as much as you require it to.

• Visualize Your Goal: Another way to conquer fear is to visualize the end result. If it's writing a book, picture yourself at a book signing. If it's finishing your degree, see yourself walking across the stage to accept your diploma. What the mind can see and focus on, it will achieve. And with the power of your goal image firmly embedded in your mind, the fear that you initially felt will melt away and be replaced by new energy and a resolve to reach whatever your new goal is.

• Treat Failure as Data Along the Way to Success: Many people aren't successful the first time they try something. If everybody put aside a goal because they weren't successful on the first try, nobody would be walking! Look at setbacks as learning along the way to success.

Conquering fear is an important step to reaching your goals. Once you take that first step you'll be that much closer to getting what you want. You can't steal second with your foot on first. And you can't reach your goal without taking that first step.

Fred & Gladys
Whelan Stone
Executive Search and Coaching
Authors of GOAL! Your 30 Day Career Plan for Business & Career Success