Does Fear holding you back from everything you want to do in life? Have you ever found yourself watching other people try something new, and you want to join, but can’t take that step from observer to a participant? If you find that you keep missing out on exciting new opportunities, then it is time to free yourself from your fears and embrace a new life of adventure.

There are many insidious ways in which fear can overcome you in life. Sometimes it’s a creeping dread that seeps into your life and holds you back before you even recognize it and other times a traumatic event creates an avalanche of anxiety in your day-to-day life. No matter which type of fear is holding you back, you must confront it to regain control over your life.

Step 1: Name the Fear

Don’t cower in the shadow of your fear and put a name to it. Whether you look up the scientific terminology or just give it a personalized name, calling the fear is one of the first steps that signal that you are aware of its presence.

Step 2: Explore the Fear

Once you name the fear, explore it and get to know it. Ask yourself if you’re frightened of snakes, spiders or crowded areas or does it go deeper than that? Take the time to explore the fear and uncover the deepest roots. This close examination will help you find the best ways to gain control over your fears so that you can take back your life.

Step 3: Evaluate the Risks

While you shouldn’t let fear control your life, you also have to be realistic about the risks associated with your choices. Try to step outside of your fear to do a complete evaluation of the risks and rewards. You need to understand the full spectrum of potential risks and rewards that accompany this fear. Don’t be surprised if you find out that the risks aren’t as high as you thought, and the rewards are far richer than you anticipated.

Step 4: Take Action

Don’t let all that work you’ve done naming the fear and exploring the fear go to waste and take action. Will you find it helpful to confront your fears and face them head on or do you need to adopt a different route to healing? Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends and family during this process – it may be helpful to have a hand to hold during this time.

Step 5: Enjoy

This self-reflection, examination, and challenging of your fears should result in a new you. Find ways to enjoy this freedom from your fears and embrace a life without self-imposed limitations created by doubt, anxiety and fear.

It’s easy to get to the point where you believe that your phobias are protecting you, but what else are they keeping from your life? By doing the work to free yourself from your fears, you allow the light of possibility and opportunity to shine in every corner of your life.