03/25/2015 02:48 pm ET Updated May 25, 2015

Overcoming the Crippling Effects of Fear

Blend Images - John Lund via Getty Images

Known to keep us stagnant in more ways than one, the "what if" scenarios that linger through our minds is a little thing called fear, and that fear is unfortunately something many of us can't get rid of. For some it has been the driving force in our lives causing us to live a life of grief, regret and missed opportunities. I've learned, that fear was created, was a preconceived perception, an assumption or anticipation of a loss... before the task has even began.

The: "I don't deserve that promotion," "What if they reject me?", "Am I good enough?", "What if things don't go my way?", and least important, "What will others say about me?"

The source of fear can be attributed to many factors -- lack of faith, perception, validation and approval. Not too long ago, if I failed at something I would automatically tell myself, "I knew that was going to happen. Why did I even bother?" What I dreaded most was the fear of the unknown, rejection and disappointment. It was slowly but surely doing its job and doing a damn good job at that! I began to become fearful of trying new things, taking risks, speaking up when necessary, switching careers and even pursuing personal goals. I allowed myself to become paralyzed within a life of fear.

The residual effect of fear is damaging to living a fulfilled, happy and purposeful life. It cripples decision making, hinders success, promotions, finances and the ability to establish long lasting relationships. It generates stress, anxiety and anger and it ultimately leaves you powerless. While fear can subliminally sneak its way into your life, there are key factors to recognize and combat this ugly four-lettered word.

If you notice that you are becoming socially uncomfortable, that you are possessing mixed emotions of anxiety, disappointment, anger, sadness, frustration and regret you may be suffering from fear. But the first step to every solution is acknowledgement, if you notice fear, bombarding itself into your life, it's time to shift gears and make a change. Nikki Giovanni, said it best:

"I really don't think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don't mind the failure but I can't imagine that I'd forgive myself if I didn't try."

So, dig deep and place your focus on what is truly valuable, living life, enjoying the moment and appreciating the abundance of opportunities that are right in front of you once you let go of fear. Taking the risk is the first step, but as the old saying goes 'Everything you want is usually on the other side of fear.'

Become your biggest supporter, not your own worst enemy. When you begin to acknowledge your capabilities, self-worth, others will join the team! Failure is inevitable and is a part of everyone's journey and it's up to you to take it in stride, accept the lesson and let go of the False Evidence Appearing to be Real.