Updated February 2023

How often have you let fear crush your dreams and then you meet someone who is super successful doing something you had wanted to do, but haven’t dared try?

Because what if you failed? What if you discovered you couldn’t succeed. What if you did succeed and had to come out of hiding and let yourself be seen?

If this is you, take a step back and remember that you are capable of achieving great things. Stop placing limits on yourself by accepting things as impossible or telling yourself you don’t have the skills, resources or knowledge to make things happen for yourself.

Allow yourself to feel scared and uncertain – everybody does – but don’t let those feelings prevent you from striving for success. Face fear head on and you may be surprised at how far you can go!

Whatever reason or excuse you give yourself. Know this. The greatest obstacles to your dreams are fear and doubt.

And they’ll crush every single dream you have. If you let them.

We’re all afraid. It doesn’t mean we can’t be bold, or daring. You can exceed everyone’s expectations, including your own, if you accept fear and doubt as part of the process of living, without letting them run the show.

1. What’s the worst that can happen

Don’t let fear keep you from achieving your dreams!

Recognize that not all of your plans may work out and that it’s ok if they don’t.

Refocus your attention on the positive outcomes, such as growth and empowerment you can experience through pursuing them. Don’t let fear crush your dreams before they can even begin!

Fear and doubt will always be there, especially when your desire is to do something bigger than you’ve ever done before.

So don’t be the one who crushes your dream.

What would happen if it didn’t come true, but you’d done everything you possible could?  You’d have grown. You’d have empowered yourself to seize every opportunity to live in alignment with your dreams and to express your greatest self.

Accept that life is never perfect, but strive to live an exciting, epic life anyway

2. The red riding hood syndrome

We all knew fear when we were kids. And not much has changed since the big bad wolf was crushed by a little girl in a red cloak.

When kids are afraid of the unseen in the dark, or conjure up monsters in every shadow we say they have vivid imaginations.

As adults, our fears are still about scary monsters, but now they’ve turned into perfectionism, rejection, failure, abandonment, judgement, being hurt. And on and on.

We’ve kept those vivid imaginations, only now we’re projecting them into possible future scary scenarios.

You might be swimming in a sea of fear and doubt, but you don’t have to drown in it. Fear isn’t going away anytime soon, for any of us.

It’s a recurring theme of life. It’s just a different animal that keeps showing up, one that can’t hurt you, if you don’t let it.

3. Fear can set you free

There will always be fear. Steve Jobs knew fear, Paul McCartney too  and J.K. Rowling said  “I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized.”

The successful among us are willing to act despite their fears. They’re willing to be set free because of their fears. Why not you?

Don’t let fear crush your dreams and stop you living the epic life that you, as much as anyone else deserve.

Don’t wait for fear to fade. It will be back with a different name and a new disguise.

Whenever you feel it, acknowledge it’s there and decide to see it as foreshadowing something amazing that’s about to be happen.

Say to yourself “Yes, I’m feeling afraid, and filled with doubts, but I’m ok.  I can still see myself accomplishing my goal, enjoying my success and fulfilling my dreams.”

4. Your inner scorecard

If you want to reach your true potential and stop allowing fear to crush your dreams, it’s important for you to be aware of how you define success.

Even though other people might measure success differently, it’s important for you to create your own “inner scorecard” that reflects your personal values and beliefs. This inner scorecard will ensure that the standards you set come from within rather than from external sources.

As Warren Buffet’s father taught him, taking this higher road to success is much more meaningful and will help you tap into your deepest desires and greatest potential where fears have no place in your dreams.

5. Remodeling is messy

Truth be told far too many of us see fears and doubts as big red warnings saying you’d better stop right now! But progress is made by being so absorbed in your dreams and desires that it crowds out most other thoughts.

If life isn’t happy and joyful right now, if you’re honestly not living the life you desire, you know something has to change.

And change is often messy, chaotic and sometimes frightening. Fear of the unknown can be enough to have you back away from even your greatest dream. But once you accept it as part of the process, once you acknowledge that it’s there, the power it has over you is diminished.

When we remodelled our home it was noisy and dusty and chaotic. Not the best part of remodelling, but we knew it was part of the process of creating something wonderful.

Fear is part of the process of moving forward, of growing of becoming a greater you, of living an epic life. Welcome it as a sign of something wonderful being created.

6. No crushing allowed

Fear will shut you down, crush your dreams and condemn you to a second rate life. Don’t allow that to happen to you.

To stop letting fear crush your dreams, you need to know that everything is possible.

You can learn new skills, get the resources needed to achieve a goal and make things happen.

Overcoming fear is difficult but it’s not impossible. You need to push past your comfort zone and take risks in order to make progress in life.

Every time you let yourself be dictated by fear, it reinforces itself within you, but every time you confront fear and move forward regardless of what it makes you feel, that’s when you forge your own path to making your dreams come true.

6. Spiritually speaking

You are limited only by your inability to control your imagination and the lack of attention you’ve given to feeling you have become the one whose dreams have come true.

Use your incredible ability to call up at will any image you choose, or any concept you wish. Why call up ‘worst case’ scenarios and allow those fears to crush your dreams?

It’s up to you to dust off your ability to focus and concentrate on the things you desire. Rearrange your thoughts to stay focused on the outcomes you want and pretty soon those so called ‘lucky breaks’ or the right people in the right place at the right time somehow present themselves.

And remember, we’re all experiencing fear but we don’t have to allow it to condemn us to an uninspired life.

Encourage one another.

Love Elle

xox

Author

Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.

21 Comments

  1. Dear Elle,

    This part seems to be the golden nugget and everything unfolds from there: “You can exceed everyone’s expectations, including your own, if you accept fear and doubt as part of the process of living, without letting them run the show.” Remember that it’s okay to have doubts and feel fear makes it so much easier to move forward, I find.

    • ElleSommer

      You have such a wonderful way of picking out the things that really matter Sandra and you are so right, everything stems from acceptance. As always, I appreciate your wise words. 🙂

  2. I just re-read ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers, and it was amazing how relevant it still is – and how many great concepts she crams into the book that I’ve seen elsewhere since. Remembering that everyone is afraid can be very freeing. I feel like I’m afraid every day, and every day there’s a new challenge to try and ‘crush’ (love that word!) – but I know I need to keep knocking the fears down if I’m going to do the things I love. Not easy though! Thanks for sharing this fab reminder Elle.

    • ElleSommer

      Hello Ellen, I remember that book, I need to dig it out because as you say there’s a wealth of information available, sometimes in books written many moons ago. You’re so right that it’s liberating when we realize fear is a normal part of the process of life. Just like dust and chaos was part of our remodelling plan! Acceptance makes life a whole lot easier. 🙂

  3. Joseph Appaloosa

    Another fine article, Elle !
    “Fear loses power with lack of attention” , well said !
    You wrote a while back that “Love crushes fear” , or something very similar, and that has stuck with me to the point that I am now able to discern if I am in fear or Love as I respond to things. And if I am coming from fear, now I have another tool in my sack – The Red Riding Hood Syndrome to access to find my way back to Love. Thank you !
    Write on, Elle !

    • ElleSommer

      Hello Joseph – you always make me laugh! Another tool in your sack is a great expression and a wonderful thing to have. How lovely that you have reached a point of knowing whether you’re in love or fear as this crop up in your day. Awareness is definitely our key to freedom. As always, you rock Joseph! 🙂

  4. Mark Tong

    Hi Elle – Very good analysis of fear and why it holds you back. Strange thing is, if you find something important enough that fear often disappears. I find the difficulty is if you are trying to achieve too small a dream, then there are plenty of fears bigger. If you go for a bigger dream, often a lot of those fears are now smaller than the dream and no longer have such a hold.

    • ElleSommer

      Hello Mark..I think you’re right about the dream being big enough and how that can make a difference for most of us. But there are still some who are only ready to take baby steps because they see that big bad wolf as being so much bigger than themselves. And that’s the place to start, beginning to see ourselves with much more power than we are currently aware of. Have you experienced the bigger dream diminishing your fear. Would love to hear more. I’m sure you have something to say that would benefit our community, including me! 🙂

  5. Hi Elle,
    Handling fear was put very succinctly to me not long ago. I’d love to share it with you! The difference between the top 99 golfers and the number one is how they cope with their fear moment to moment as the stride onto the green. Fear is never the enemy – it is always about allowing fear to be present and not letting it stifle or crush our talent and flow.
    thanks
    Bren

    • Hi Bren…love this…what a great insight, thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  6. Aracelis

    Ellesommer,

    I have struggled with fear pretty much all my life, as a child I was abused badly and so trying to break free from it has been difficult. I have tried everything and still I feel this way, I had a big interview the other day, I decided not to go because I felt like what if I’m not good enough, what if I can’t answear the questions correctly, what if they don’t think I have the skills and my mind keeps on with negative thoughts…. and so I’ve never been able to succeed because and grow. I try to avoid putting myself out there out of fear of rejection. My dreams are so big but I’ve allow fear to define me in the worst way.
    What other suggestions you may have that can help me overcome this horrific torment.? Idk what else to do?

    • Hi Aracelis…I can honestly and personally relate to what you say and I am so sorry for the brutal childhood you experienced. You deserve so much better dear heart. I recently did a Facebook Live that might give you some more tools to get you through the challenges that are holding you back from living the most wonderful life. The one you are definitely designed to live. Always remember you are unique in the world and have much to offer. Here’s the link to the Live. https://www.facebook.com/pg/livepurposefullynow/videos/?ref=page_internal . 🙂

  7. Hello Elle

    It has been a long time since I wrote to you, but this post has really moved me. If I could just make a point…do you know how posts with this content appear to be written for young women, I would just like to say I am a man in my 60s in it applies to me. Your posts cross the genders and age quite admirably.

    When you get to a certain age, you begin to give up, fear becomes powerful, or if you are single, you will never find that extra-special partner, or how am I going to cope in retirement, funeral or cremation, will I have enough money to last me? Those are some of the fears that tend to haunt people of my generation.

    But your posts always bring that sunshine, that relief, that welcome reprieve from everyday living, that hope, that spark of love that gives one a resurgence of hope.

    So thank you, from us older males who also need that little something, that intellectual kick in the pants, we so deserve at times.

    You are a real tonic and why I relish the day your post arrives.

    Much respect to you.

    Neville

    • Hi Neville…lovely to hear from you again. Although my audience is generally women…what we write about definitely is for anyone, of any age. And I appreciate your kind words very much. I too need that proverbial kick every now and then. 🙂

  8. Fear can limit our lives tremendously. It did mine for many years (and still does sometimes if I’m honest.) While I can’t do away with it totally as anxiety – it’s innately wired into my brain, I have learned how to work with it. I qm in the “feel the fear and do it anyway” camp. I refuse to let fear rule my life.

    • You are so right Debbie, for most of us doing away with all fear is a tough one. I know I haven’t managed it yet, but as you say, we won’t allow fear to rule our life. 🙂

  9. You wrote….”What would happen if it didn’t come true, but you’d done everything you possible could? You’d have grown. You’d have empowered yourself to seize every opportunity to live in alignment with your dreams and to express your greatest self.” How true! It’s better to go for it than to live in regrets! The lessons learnt can only make us stronger!

    • You and I are on the same page here Evelyn…sounds like we have similar experiences with how life works. 🙂

  10. There is so great advice for us all in this article Elle. I especially love: “Rearrange your thoughts to stay focused on the outcomes you want and pretty soon those so called ‘lucky breaks’ or the right people in the right place at the right time somehow present themselves.”
    I was having a conversation with a friend today and we were discussing just this, that there is no substitute to fearlessly going for your dreams, no matter how tough seem. Perseverance and patience crush fear brick by brick.

    • Oooh I love that phrase Zeenat, perseverance and patience crush fear brick by brick. Just beautifully put. Thank you. 🙂

  11. Elle tthis is so important as I believe so often fear keeps up playing small and out dreams becomes memories

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