Years ago, while I was still a judge, I had a side business as a professional women’s leadership and communications consultant. During that time, I got to meet women on many different career paths. And, I often found myself discussing their dreams for their personal and professional lives. Looking back now, I see that I was coaching even then.

But back to the story.

When it came to their dreams, many of these high-achieving women were placing them on the back burner. And, it wasn’t because they weren’t doable, or they didn’t have the time or that money was an issue. More times than I can remember, the one thing that was holding them back was fear.

If you’ve been a part of the Her RICH Life community for a while, you know that I’ve spent most of my post-career life working with women. And, whether it was in women’s ministry or business, the pattern has been the same – women not going after what they truly want because of fear.

As a coach, nothing gets me more fired up than when I see a woman with a dream, who has the potential to do good in this world but is afraid to take a chance on herself. Chances are you might be one of those women.

Fear is a small word that can greatly impact your life – if you let it.

It is a sure enemy of success. It can hold you back in so many ways. In prehistoric times, that fear and adrenaline could get you out of some serious messes, but in most modern scenarios, fear has evolved. We rarely need it to save our lives. Rather, today, fear has become a factor in holding back progress for many women. Chances are, there have been times when you’ve allowed fear to keep you from trying something new, taking a risk or enjoying an opportunity. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways to push past fear, so that you don’t let it rule your life.

Here are a few:

Know Your Purpose

Having goals set in place for your life can help you to overcome fear. When you have goals, you’ll also have a roadmap for where you want to go. It’s easier to push past insecurity if you have a specific destination in mind. That means taking time to write down your goals and defining your purpose in life is a great way to combat fear. Knowing what you want is a strong motivator for progress.

You have a divine destiny. And, when you believe that deep in your soul, you can’t help but to put up a fight against fear. If you are to be the woman you were designed to be and do the things you were designed to do, you may be scared – but you’ll keep going.

Take Baby Steps

We often think we need to accomplish things in big ways. It has to be all or nothing. That’s not really the case, though. Often, you’ll find more success when you take baby steps to overcome your fears. Do just one small thing toward reaching your goal, and you’ll soon find you have the confidence to keep going.

No matter how small a step is, if you keep moving forward, you’ll reach your destination. Walk by faith and not by sight and you will conquer fear – not necessarily that it totally goes away, but you’ll be able to “do it scared” despite how you feel.

Challenge Your Fear

People don’t challenge fear often enough. You can do this by examining the worst-case scenario. What’s the worst thing that could happen if you try? How likely is it that will happen? Would it be the end of the world if that event actually occurred? The answer is probably that you’d survive even your worst fear.

This is an exercise I do with clients all the time. Helping them see that they could survive the worst-case scenario is a game changer. The next time fear attacks you, try prayerfully answering these three questions and see what a difference it makes for your situation.

Talk It Out

Sometimes, talking to friends or to others who have done what you want to do is the best way to overcome your fear. Encouragement and support are great motivators when it comes to stepping out of your comfort zone. Realize that you don’t have to face everything on your own and recruit some inspiration from your network.

And, remember to talk it out with yourself. Be your own encourager by speaking life to yourself. There are lots of scriptures that can help you with this. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine. -Isaiah 43:1
  • He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. -Deuteronomy 31:8
  • And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28

The thing I want you to remember about fear is that you don’t have to let it rule your life. You can be scared and still accomplish great things for yourself, your family and for the Kingdom. Give these suggestions a try the next time you need to push past your fear. The more you do it, the easier it will become. (Remember Philippians 4:13)