Warren Buffett is no stranger to fear. In fact, he was once terribly afraid of public speaking. That is until he took a Dale Carnegie course to improve this very important business skill. Since overcoming his fear of speaking, he’s become one of the most frequently quoted speakers in the world.
Now Buffett gives his followers a priceless lesson on courage, stated in four powerful words: Face down your fears.
Buffett advises young and old to not allow fear to limit them from accomplishing the things they need to do to become successful. And yet, fear paralyzes so many for different reasons.
No matter how skilled you are, fear is the one thing that can crush you and stop you from realizing your dreams. It’s time to stop. Here are three things you must understand to help train your brain to overcome your fear:
1. YOUR FEAR IS NOT A REAL THREAT
President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously quipped, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Think back to what felt like an impossible feat you were able to accomplish despite big obstacles in the way. Did fear hold you back? I bet. And yet you were able to overcome it and pull it off. The point is, that training your brain to accept that there’s no threat involved will help you to switch off the fear response when the next important challenge comes your way.
2. YOUR FEAR IS JUST DRAMA AND NOT BASED ON REALITY
Most of us hijacked by fear fail to gain perspective into our situation and separate reality from fantasy. We need to realize that life will go on, and you’re not going to die from a mortal wound if you get rejected when pitching your product in front of a group of investors.
Any drama you make up in your head is merely that–drama. It’s usually made up, scripted, and based on a past experience that you’re attaching to current reality. It’s not true, and it has no power over you.
3. YOUR FEAR IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED TO EXPERIENCE
When you figure out the thing that you fear, it’s usually the most important thing that you need to make your business successful. In other words, when exposing yourself to whatever you fear, it loses its power and control over you. Try submerging yourself in the activity or activities that you fear for three months. By having contact with the very things that you fear, at the end of your three months, you’ll no longer fear it. That weakness now becomes a great strength.
This article was originally published on Inc.com and is reprinted here with permission.