01/19/2014 11:16 am ET Updated Mar 21, 2014

Don't Be Paralyzed by Fear!

At some point or another, we've all experienced fear -- that feeling when your heart is racing out of control, your palms are sweating, you're short of breath and your digestive track goes into spasms. Fear has very real effects on the body, and these effects are meant to protect us from danger. In day to day life, a small amount of fear or insecurity can be beneficial, in that it keeps you on your toes and motivated. However, when fear and insecurity eclipse common sense, these unhealthy thought processes can cloud your judgement and prevent you from realizing your goals. Moreover, constant anxiety, self-doubt and irrational fear can cause a myriad of health problems, including digestive ailments, headaches, depression, high blood pressure and even cardiovascular issues. It is important to be aware of your own fears and insecurities, and to recognize if and when they are preventing you from living the life that you truly deserve.

How to Let go of Fear and Insecurity

1. Identify your fears and insecurities. Make a list of all your fears. The first step to eliminating fear is recognizing exactly what it is that makes you afraid. Is it a fear of failure? Rejection? Looking foolish? Once you pinpoint your fears, think about why you are afraid of those things. Are your fears rooted in logic or are they a product of your own emotions?

2. Stop overthinking everything. Sure, it is good to think a situation through before you make a major decision, but too much thinking prevents you from actually doing anything. And if you never act on anything, you'll never get ahead. So stop over-analyzing every single little thing, don't talk yourself out of making decisions and instead, just act!

3. Find your strengths and play those up. When you remind yourself of what you are good at and what you like about yourself, you gain more confidence and start to let go of your fear. The next time you feel that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, try to think about at least three strengths that you have that make you unique.

4. Exercise and eat well. We all know that exercise and a healthy diet are good for our bodies, but a healthy lifestyle can also improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed, balanced and confident. This in turn, is a surefire way to vanquish anxiety and insecurity.

5. Set goals. Without a plan it is very easy to get lost and feel as though you have no purpose in life. Goal setting can give you some direction and force you to rise above your fears to achieve the things you want in life. In addition, every for milestone or goal that you reach, you will gain that extra boost of confidence that will help you to get over your insecurities.

When it comes down to it, fear is very much a product of the mind and more of an internal struggle than anything to do with the reality of the outside world. If you look within yourself, trust your decisions and learn to love yourself, you will find that your fears will dissipate and you can get on with enjoying everything that life has to offer.

For more by Dr. Cynthia Thaik, click here.

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For preview of her upcoming book: Your Vibrant Heart