How To Overcome Fear – 4 Simple Exercises

How To Overcome Fear - 4 Simple Exercises

Want to know how to overcome fear? These 4 exercises will help you redraw your mental blueprint so you can refresh, restart, get motivated, and move closer to your wildest dreams.

Psychologists say we're born with only two fears: falling and loud noises. This means that every other fear is LEARNED. And can therefore be UN-LEARNED! The mission of our dance camps is to empower girls to move to love through carefully designed programming and team-building. But if you've ever wondered how to overcome fear, these 4 exercises are for you!

“Our problems are not the issues of the world that we choose to believe in, or the people we judge. Our only problem is that we deny love and choose fear. Our fears are delusional thoughts we bought into a long time ago that we continue to project onto the present and the future – all fears are illusions. THEY AREN’T REAL, but they sure feel real so we continue to believe in them. With a willingness to witness our negative thought patterns, we can slowly begin to disassociate from the fears we’ve come to believe in - when we look at darkness without judgment, we shine light on it.”

~ Gabrielle Bernstein, Spirit Junkie

New Year's Resolutions - Gabby B. Quote

All of us have downloaded a blueprint in our subconscious mind of "How It Really Is" - our belief system is like the architectural blueprint for a house - that someone else designed. Whether it's love, health, friends - or any other aspect of our life - how we're raised, the lessons we're taught, and our home environment, all form this blueprint.

And this blueprint is reinforced with habitual thoughts, language, and feelings, and so it becomes our reality. However, just as with any architectural blueprint, we can change our mind's framework if the one we have is not producing the results we seek.

If we want to know how to overcome fear and move to love, the first step is to understand our current blueprint and what we can do to change it. Changing our mind about anything is hard work, but the realization that we CAN change our mind - and therefore our life - is the start.

This is not magical thinking, but science - neuroplasticity. New neural pathways are formed in our brain as we learn how to overcome fear by changing habitual thoughts, language and feelings from fear to love. So let's quiet our doubting mind, try the simple exercises below, and see what transpires.

Exercise #1 for How To Overcome Fear - Kick the Crap Out of our Mafia Mind

Just as the mafia extorts money for "protection," our fear mind behaves the EXACT same way by extorting the joy from our life and threatening us with what may happen. We must be patient and committed to becoming aware of our fearful illusions. When we begin to see our fear as separate from our authentic self, we begin to see how to overcome fear. Ask "what am I afraid of?" and take five minutes to free write a response. Then create a loving response for each fearful thought.

How to Overcome Fear - 4 Simple Exercises

 Example of how to overcome fear by responding with love:

  • Fearful Thought: I can't make money.
  • Loving Response: Love did not create lack, and so it is not real.

Then, throughout the day, police the mind for deep-down limiting beliefs that are obstacles to love. Carry a journal and write them down.

Exercise #2 for How To Overcome Fear - Take a Fearless Inventory

In order to learn how to overcome fear and find our truth, we have to analyze what in our life feels right and in line with our authentic self, and what does not (what we do out of feelings of obligation or fear).

Knowledge and desire to change what is not working in our life is the first step to creating a life we LOVE where fear informs but does not dominate. This second exercise will teach us how to overcome fear by stockpiling an inventory of fearlessness!

Ask "what do I want?"

  • Draw a line down the center of a sheet of paper.
  • On the top left side of the line, write, "What do I want more of in my life?"
  • Then write the following categories, leaving some space between each to fill in what you want - school/career, love, finances, health & wellness, family, fun, spirituality, other.
  • On the top right column, write, "What do I want less of in my life?"
  • Take some time to fill out what you want more and less of for each category. When you're finished, tear the paper along the centerline, and safely burn (or tear up) the "want less" list, releasing its energy from your life.

Exercise #3 for How To Overcome Fear - The Five Fold Why

As Josh Kaufman explains in his book, The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, "very often we're not consciously aware of why we want what we want." In order to learn how to overcome fear, we need to know the motivations behind our desires.

So let's apply Kaufman's "Five Fold Why" exercise to the things we decided we want in exercise #2. Don't try to force an answer - just ask the question in a spirit of curiosity and the mind will generate an authentic response.

When the mind provides an answer, ask "why?" again. Continue to ask why until the response is, "because I want it", which indicates this is the root cause of our goal.

Here's an example of the Five Fold Why when we think we want to lose weight:

  1. Why do I want to lose weight? Because I want to look better.
  2. Why do I want to look better? So I don't feel anxious.
  3. Why don't I want to feel anxious? So I feel secure?
  4. Why do I want to feel secure? So I feel free.
  5. Why do I want to feel free? Because I want to feel free.

So, the root desire isn't losing weight - it's feeling free.

Exercise #4 for How To Overcome Fear - The Five Fold How

After applying the Five Fold Why, we'll likely discover that what we actually want is quite different than what we thought we wanted. Now that we've identified the root cause of our original goals, it's time to figure out how to overcome fear and get what we actually want.

The Five Fold How is a way to connect our core desire to physical actions. Let's use the previous example: the core desire is to feel free. Is it possible to feel free without losing weight? Absolutely - there are many ways to feel free that have nothing to do with a scale. So let's take an alternative approach that addresses the real desire.

Ask "how might I go about feeling free?"

  1. Pay off an outstanding debt.
  2. Reduce my work hours, find another position, or become an entrepreneur.
  3. Start a meditation practice.
  4. Move to a new city or country.
  5. Break off a restricting personal relationship.

Once we find a "how" that looks like a good idea, ask "how" again. Let's say starting a meditation practice would give us the greatest sense of freedom. How would we go about doing that? Continue asking "how" until next actions are clearly defined. The purpose of the Five Fold How is to create a complete chain of actions from our real desire all the way down to things we can do right now.

At American Dance Training Camps, we've asked ourselves "why" and "how" a lot. This is the process that has helped us discover our true purpose - to inspire and empower young girls to choose love in their lives. To learn more about ADTC dance camps, request a brochure (right). We hope these simple exercises help you discover how to overcome fear, find your "why", and live the life you've imagined. Good luck!!


About the Author:

In 2003, at the age of 24, Lindsey Fadner organized a 3 week overnight camp in Stratton, VT for students at her CT dance school. That pioneering venture evolved into American Dance Training Camps, the world's premier dance camps company. Still excited about it after all these years, Lindsey continues to serve as ADTC's spiritual leader, and CEO of all things relating to girls' self-esteem. Always on the hunt for new and interesting places to dance, her favorite camp continues to be the next one she's starting. Questions? Contact her anytime at!