HomeEntrepreneurshipAre Your Dealing With FEAR? by John Knotts

    Are Your Dealing With FEAR? by John Knotts

    Do you struggle with Imposter Syndrome, a Scarcity and Fixed Mindset, poor Emotional Intelligence, always feeling the Victim, and other limiting factors?

    These days, I see a lot of people talking about these personal limiting factors, but not a lot of talk about how to overcome these things. Like everything else in life, these issues are part of a greater systematic challenge. They cannot be dealt with in isolation.

    Our personal limiting factors tend to boil down to one thing – FEAR.

    Not the fear of heights, spiders, or fire. These are real things that can genuinely hurt you. No, I am talking about the fear of things like failure, loss of confidence, and ridicule.

    You may have heard the acronym, False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR). This is what holds you back.

    The FEAR Zone is what keeps us from moving out of our Comfort Zone and into the Zones of Learning and Growth. However, this Zone of FEAR is manifested in our own limiting beliefs. We create this Zone in our own minds.

    There are two types of fear. Fear of the known and fear of the unknown. Fear protects us. I am afraid that, if I jump off a 30-story building, I will die.

    However, I am not personally afraid of heights – I am just afraid of doing something stupid like jumping off a 30-story building! Though I am sure you have seen many thrill seekers who defy fear in crazy ways. I will not touch a hot stove because I am afraid of getting burned, yet many people every year walk across hot coals. Firewalking has been part of Tony Robbins’ coaching program for 40 years.

    Fear is what keeps you safe. It is what protects you from anything you perceive that could hurt you. However, fear also can demotivate you and destroy your confidence.

    Fear is just an emotion – it is part of our personal risk management system. Our mind perceives something as a risk, and then physically encourages us to avoid that risk as a mitigation tactic. Fear manifests itself in many ways: sweaty hands, upset stomach, crying, even complete withdrawal due to panic.

    The problem is when fear is of an imagined danger. When you buy into this FEAR, then we lose our confidence and motivation. Overcoming FEARs from imagined dangers – especially those that hold you back – is critical to becoming unbelievably successful.

    Courage and FEAR are like bedfellows. The Wizard gave the Cowardly Lion a medal in the classic 1939 movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” But it takes more than a medal to build courage. Ways to increase your courage and deal with your FEARs are as follows:

    • Understand that fear is just an emotion and fear itself cannot hurt you
    • Name and then face your fear
    • When you start to feel afraid, stop and breathe – relax your body – be mindful

    You may have heard people say, “Do something every day that scares you.” Well, there is validity in that statement. The best way to overcome FEAR is to repeatedly face it in small doses. The first step is to recognize what you are afraid of and how it is impacting you. Understand what your fears are preventing you from doing.

    I was afraid of public speaking and I was afraid of water (specifically swimming). Both fears have been overcome. I beat them back by facing them – confronting them – little-by-little. When you recognize your fear, then you can work to overcome it. The most powerful weapon in your fear-fighting arsenal is your mind. You need to overcome your fear by telling yourself that you are not afraid of your fear.

    I think that many people believe that overcoming fear means that the fear is gone. I do not think so. I still am afraid of public speaking. I still get butterflies in my stomach before I speak. However, I recognize that public speaking will not hurt me. Then, I focus on the nervous energy that fear causes and turn that into positive energy on stage. I use that fear to make me a better speaker. As I like to tell people, “I get my butterflies to fly in formation.”

    Our crucial step to pushing past our FEARs is to recognize them. This is why self-awareness is so important in emotional intelligence. It is our ability to recognize our blind spots — why we “get in our own way.”

    Recognition occurs through data analysis. But what data exists in our lives?

    Data comes from always looking back at what has occurred, why it occurs, how you felt, and how you reacted. This analysis often requires expert help. This analysis is your first step to facing your FEARs.

    It allows you to “Name Your FEAR.”

    Naming it shines a light on it — calling it out is accepting that this FEAR is holding you back.

    However, we are often afraid of recognizing and accepting that we even have limiting factors. Accepting is scaring — so, we would rather stay in our Comfort Zone and remain blissfully unaware of our real FEARs.

    Armed with self-awareness, you have the wherewithal to be mindful in the moment. When you feel FEAR grip you — sweaty hands, upset stomach, tearing up, even wanting to withdrawal – stop. Focus on what is scaring you. Name it – make it face the light!

    When you can recognize your FEAR in the moment, you can react and deal with it. Stop letting FEAR push you into Imposter Syndrome, a Scarcity and Fixed Mindset, poor Emotional Intelligence, and feeling the Victim. Deal with it today!

    What fears are holding you back? What are your fears preventing you from accomplishing? Confront and overcome fears that attack your confidence and motivation. Otherwise, your fears will prevent you from becoming unbelievably successful.

    John Knotts
    John Knotts
    John Knotts is the owner of Crosscutter Enterprises. He is a personal and professional business coach and consultant (coachsultant) and Fraction Chief Operating Office (COO). John has over 30 years of experience strategically starting, growing, scaling, and improving businesses. He has worked with 1,000’s of businesses in for-profit, nonprofit, and government; both manufacturing and service-oriented; and across many different industries. John started in the United States Air Force and served a solid 21 years until retirement. He started his own coaching and consulting business in 2008, upon his retirement, but then went to work with Booz | Allen | Hamilton for three years. From Booz Allen, he worked as an internal coach and consultant for United Services Automobile Association (a Fortune 100 company) for seven years. John now works full-time coaching and consulting, and as a Fractional COO, for 1,000s of small, medium, and large businesses. John is many-times published author and professional speaker and trainer. John owns several other businesses and he his wife own one of the largest equestrian businesses in south central Texas. More can be found out about John at his website at


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