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How to Prevail Over Fear When Life Goes Sideways

05/13/2015 10:30 pm ET | Updated May 13, 2016

Is it possible to live fearlessly? Probably not.

Fear is integral to our natural fight or flight response. It's a protection mechanism to fend off danger. The issue, however, is that when we continually live from a place of fear, we use up all our energy on avoidance versus moving forward.

Sometimes when we go through hard times, we fear rejection. In order to avoid that feeling, you may find yourself withdrawing from the public eye. It becomes much easier to avoid going out or to go out at odd hours to duck and hide.

You end up using your energy to steer clear of potential rejection or criticism to keep yourself safe. It can become a conditioned response, which establishes a negative pattern of behavior. How long can these patterns last? As long you live from a place of fear.

It is normal to live from a place of fear when you are exposed to negative circumstances, but to move forward, you need to prevail over your fear. Here are five tips to get there:

1. Acknowledge It
Acknowledge that your fear is there and identify what it is. An example of fear could be that you are afraid that people are talking about you. Other examples include fear of rejection or fear that you may be perceived as a failure due to your association with a person or an event.

2. Recognize Self-Defeating Behavior
Identify the self-defeating behavior that this fear has caused in you. For example, you may say, "As a result of my fear of rejection, I have been hiding out in my home instead of living my life." Make the decision that this behavior is no longer acceptable to you.

3. Take Action Against It
Take action against the fear and its corresponding negative behavior. Say to yourself, "Although certain people may reject me, I am not going to let their bad behavior influence mine. I will venture forth and hold my head high despite the fear and pain. I know that in time this will become easier."

4. Recognize & Celebrate Your Courage
When you venture forth, recognize your courage and celebrate stepping out of your comfort zone. Say to yourself, "While that was scary, I did it. I didn't die from it. I am becoming stronger every day." Your inner dialogue just went from self-defeat to self-encouragement.

5. Move Boldly Forward
Now shampoo, rinse, and repeat! Every time you venture forth and celebrate your courage, it will be easier.

By recognizing your fear and taking action against it, you can free yourself from self-defeating patterns and become a resilient warrior. You have it in you!

Tired of feeling like you'll never be happy again?

Mary Holloway empowers individuals to reach down and find their inner warrior. Mary is a sought after speaker, resilience coach, and most importantly, a survivor of soul crushing life experiences. She is the founder of Resilience Café and the creator of the Boom Bounce Wow Resilience Method. Mary believes that every person has an incredible warrior within them that can help them take back their life and emerge better, stronger, happier, and surprisingly thankful for the experience. She knows that indviduals can choose not to be defined by their situation but rather by how they respond to it.

Follow Mary at ResilienceCafe.com or on Facebook.