Identify the fear. For instance, if you’re hesitant to go after a new job, it’s probably not the work itself that frightens you. Think about what’s really behind your worries. Are you afraid that a new boss might judge you harshly? Or are you uneasy about the thought of leaving your familiar workplace?
Ask yourself where the fear comes from. Some fears are instinctive — we’re cautious around fire to avoid getting burned — but many others are taught. If you were labeled as “awkward” or “shy” as a child, you may have trouble believing that you could be confident enough to give a presentation at work.
Make peace with your fear. “This is not about ‘muscling through’ anything,” Stone says. “It’s about seeing ourselves for who we really are, without apology, excuse or justification.” It’s also about having compassion for your whole self, even your fearful side. Take some time each day to sit, breathe deeply and meditate on a positive, self-accepting message such as “I love all of myself” or “I deserve happiness and success.” Then, rather than looking at your fear as something negative, think of the lessons you can learn from it. For example, if you’re afraid of entering a new relationship, praise yourself for the strength and wisdom you’ve gained from past ones.