Every situation has a silver lining – discover a mindset that heals and enlightens.

November 17, 2021 · 7 min read

i'm scared
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Being scared is a lonely and repulsive feeling from positive thoughts.


There are a lot of things that you might be scared of. It’s completely natural and there’s nothing wrong about it.


“I’m scared of the future”, “I’m scared of the unknown”, “I’m scared of everything”.

However, when fear takes control over your life, that’s when it becomes a burden and a signal to cope with it. There are plenty of ways to handle it. Let me show how.

10 Signs you’re scared

Here you may find common signs that you can’t feel yourself:

  1. Increased heart rate.
  2. Feeling anxious.
  3. Sweating or chills.
  4. Shortness of breath or quicker breathing.
  5. You’ve cloudy thinking or thoughts.
  6. Your performance and productivity are decreased.
  7. Shaking muscles.
  8. You have trouble sleeping.
  9. Upset stomach.
  10. Chest pain.

Is it normal to be scared?

Being scared is normal when you face unfamiliar situation. Sometimes you might be scared even without particular trigger which often confuses people.


It’s completely normal to feel scared for a short period of time. Fear that lasts for extended period of time, however, is not a very good case, but there are some exceptions.

Fears can have an impact on your quality of life. It might affect your sleep, relationships, focus, productivity, limiting your life experiences, and not letting you to enjoy life in general.


It’s important to recognize whether fears take over your life. Only then you will be able to help yourself.

Why do you feel scared?

You feel scared because of:

  • Fear of not understanding.
  • Fictional events.
  • Stereotypes and old beliefs.
  • Fear of the future.
  • Fear of certain animals, objects, occurrences, etc.

Fears can be dangerous and not dangerous.


If you’re threatened for your life and you’re afraid of things like driving a car, flying with a plane, going through dark alleys in the night, then it’s a dangerous fear.

Also fears can be non-threatening for your life, such as trying to pass an exam, having a public speech, confessing love, asking for a raise, fear of the future, etc.


Generally speaking, fears are barriers for people. Fears are the wall that separates people from living joyfully and experiencing life at its fullest.

When should you overcome your fears?

If your life quality is impacted in one or another way, you should consider overcoming your fear.  It’s also very important to distinguish if it’s worth it to overcome it, though.


It’s important to recognize what sets of stimuli provoke your fear. These stimuli lead to patterns of behaviors which make you respond appropriately [1].


For example, if you’re scared of taking an exam or asking out someone who you like, in most scenarios a recommendation would be to overcome your fear and to simply execute the task. That’s because it will benefit you in the long-term and it’s not dangerous by any means.

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On the other hand, if your survival instincts are turned on and you’re afraid of predators, such as alligators, snakes, sharks, or other animals, it’s completely understandable that sometimes it’s not the best idea to face the fear directly to overcome it.


However, there are different ways to ease your fear and to let it calmly sit in your mind.


Fears that make you scared of your life should be coped with very carefully. You need to properly research the topic and bust the myths (if there are) that prevent you from overcoming a fear.

15 Things to do if you’re scared

1. Stay mindful

Fear is just a thought.


Your mind is unconsciously trying to protect you from fear of pain. In such scenarios, we naturally think of negatives thoughts and that’s completely okay. Negative thoughts come from evolutionary standpoint, according to Victor Carrion, M.D. professor [2].


Take some time to watch professor Richard Davidson’s speech regarding mindfulness and impact on emotional life:

The more stress you have, the more likely you will lose control of your emotions. You will be more prone to be impulsive and act according on emotions.


That’s why it’s important to recognize when you are experiencing fear. You need to distinguish it and take control of your emotions.


It’s okay to be scared but it’s also important to understand that it’s a temporary feeling. You will be completely okay if you will act carefully.

2. Find the root cause

You’re scared because you fear something. Fear has a root cause that triggers your such emotional state.


When you will be able to identify the root cause, you will have the power to pivot your emotional state and hopefully make yourself calmer.


The best way to identify your fear is by using Root-Cause-Analysis (RCA). Here’s how the procedure goes:

  • Recognize your problem (fear).
  • Identify the emotions and other evidence that support your problem existence.
  • Identify all issues that have an impact on your problem.
  • Define the root cause.
  • Make a plan how to eliminate the issues of the problem by addressing the root cause.
  • Execute your plan to implement solutions.
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If you think you’re not good at something, you have no skills, you have no future, etc., you need to validate it. Where’s the proof? Have you put your 120% effort into it? Are you completely sure about your efforts?


Without sugarcoating, I can definitely say life isn’t easy. It requires a lot of persistence and endurance. A lot of people face with fear of the future.

The only difference is that some people take actions and do something about it, while the others keep on overthinking and drown in negative thoughts.


Regardless, this is an actionable plan that can make your fear go away. Make sure to take it slow and take as much time as you need.

3. Accept the failure

As harsh as it sounds, it’s inevitable to fail. Even the smartest people in the world have faced a lot of failures until they’ve achieved something.


Everyone is scared. However, you must overcome the fear of unknown.


Never be afraid of failing. You should rather be afraid of regrets that will eat you alive after 20 years.

To overcome fear, here’s all you have to do: realize the fear is there, and do the action you fear anyway. ~ Peter McWilliams

It’s completely okay to feel overwhelmed by all the responsibilities, choices, and everything else that surround us. Yes, it’s not easy.  


However, there are ways to make everything easier. Analyzing, researching, and doing trial-and-error method is the way to go.

If you want something very badly, you will accomplish it. You will find a way to overcome your fear. You will find a way to live your dream life.


All you need to do is to create a very detailed and specific plan that weighs properly the pros and cons. If pros outweigh the cons, go for it. Don’t hesitate. Achieve whatever you want and create your paradise on Earth.

4. Learn about your fear

A lot of people face fear of flying with a plane. A lot of people also believe that driving a car is safer than flying with a plane.


However, the fact is that there is a 1 in 7178 chance of crashing a plane and dying in the event, while there is 1 in 98 chance of dying in a car crash, according to the statistics [3].


People fear what they don’t understand. Therefore, it will be a lot easier for you to decide whether your fear is valid or not based on statistical data. Certainly, not all the times you will be able to extract statistics.

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However, any information about your fear is valuable. You can learn a lot about it and get to know it better. Sometimes, your fear might be only in your head.


It’s important to also use your analytical thinking and analyze whether overcoming a fear benefits you in any way or not. Surely, it’s not worth swimming through a river full of crocodiles, or going through a dark alley at 3 AM, especially if you see a group of people.


Always use common sense and decide what proper action you should take.

5. Stop meaningless overthinking

Overthinking only strengthens your emotional state of being scared.


Constantly asking yourself “what if?..” and creating negative scenarios in your head isn’t helpful. You will surely have a feeling that something bad is going to happen and you will always feel anxious.


Our brains are capable of making 35,000 decisions per day, according to Dr. Fowler [4]. Because of our immense capabilities, we can be trapped in analysis-paralysis.

Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

For example, a lot of people have a fear of aging. At least for now we can’t reverse aging. However, we have some control over it and we still can make a difference.


Overthinking doesn’t solve problems. Only problem-solving addresses the problems correctly. Stop thinking of things that you have no control of.

6. Stop building “house of pain”

The more you hold feelings within yourself, the more you will stack the pain. It ends up with the “house of pain” which eventually bursts out.


The truth is, emotions help us communicate with ourselves and others. They signal us that something is wrong and we need a change.

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Holding emotions within yourself make you more anxious, stressed, and having this “emptiness” feeling. You need to set yourself free from worries.


You must assess the situation. Having said that, it leads me to the next point.

7. Assess the situation

What are the chances of failure?

What if I fail anyway?

What can I do to prepare for the situation better?


You need to think rationally. It’s a different type of thinking comparing to overthinking.


You need to think of events, things, that you have control of and you need to think of the most likely outcomes that can occur.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear. ~ Jack Canfield

In other words, you need to determine what risks you may face when you will take actions. Then, look for answers how you can reduce the probability of these risks.


It’s important to assess situation with a clear mind. If you will do this with a cloudy and full of anxiety mind, it won’t be any good. You need to calm down first.


Again, it leads me to another point which discusses about anxiety relief techniques.

8. Use anxiety relief techniques

Some anxiety relief techniques are:

  • Meditation. Helps you to have a better concentration and focus on what matters.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. It’s based on muscle tension and relaxation. Start from the top of your body and gradually go to the bottom [5].
  • Visualization. Close your eyes and visualize a comfortable place (beach, mountains, your favorite place…) and try to feel the wind, waves, warmth of the sun, etc.

These techniques can provide you ease of mind and assess your current situation better.

9. Talk with someone

Talking with someone you trust is therapeutic and makes you a lot calmer.


It’s a superb way to talk about things that you have no control of, for example, fear of losing someone you love.

The best way out is always through. ~ Robert Frost

The greatest thing is that you will find compassion and perhaps the other person might even relate to your situation. He can give you a better insight of a situation and you might get recommendations.


People are naturally social (more or less) and they need support. If you feel like it can help you, don’t hesitate and call someone you trust.

10. Don’t thrive for perfection

Perfection, ironically, can be the root of all problems. You might be scared because you don’t want to fail yourself or you are afraid of fear of missing out.


The solution to the problem is simply to let perfection go. It’s unhealthy and can make your mental health to decline.

you're scared

You don’t have to be perfect. The matter of fact is that nobody is perfect. While you might notice only the positives within other people, they may be very self-aware of the negatives about them and be very conscious about that.


Our mind perceives what we want to see, thus making fear the mind killer. If you want to see the negatives, you definitely will. Be yourself and don’t be scared not to be perfect.

11. Lower your fear levels

Similarly to educational system, you should rate your fear from 1 to 10.


Is it a 10? Okay, then think of ways how to lower it. Research your fear properly. What precautions can you take?

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. ~ Marcus Aurelius

Hopefully, now it’s a 7. Try to lower it until you feel comfortable and the fear doesn’t bother you. Always remember to only take care of things that you have control of.


Don’t bother with something that you can’t control.

12. Seek for nature

Nature is a natural stress relief for people. We simply have deep evolutionary connection with it. It was our home for thousands of years.


Watch some plants, go to a park, forest, plant a flower, and anything else that has to do with nature.

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Nature can reduce our pain, anger, fear, improve our mood, help connect with other people, and increase other pleasant feelings [6].


It doesn’t matter what your age is, everyone can find peace within the nature when they’re scared.

13. Be kind to yourself and be courageous

You need to understand that nothing is wrong with you. Your mind is simply playing tricks on you and makes you feel scared.

You always should have compassion to yourself and accept who you are. Each of us has a different response to our problems.


Always remember to have kindness to yourself and execute a task with courage. Being grateful can have a positive impact on your psychological well-being and personal growth [7].

14. Focus on your health

If you’re scared, it could be that you need to focus more on your health.


Exercising might have positive benefits when coping with stress. Also, people that exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from stress outcomes which are related to chronic stress problems [8].

The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one. ~ John C. Maxwell

Similarly, exercising can help you boost your self-esteem [9]. Because of that, you may feel more confident in yourself and be less scared of the source that makes you frightened.

15. Look at the positive side

If you’re scared that’s okay because there are positives to it. Fears make people push themselves past them and learn from their mistakes.


In other words, fear is a source of knowledge. Whenever you overcome it, you gain new skills or learn something new.

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Instead of approaching a fear with a negative mindset, try to move towards it with a curious mindset. The moment when you overcome your fear, you will become much stronger person.


Even if you have fear of loss, you can still overcome it and come out as a more experienced person.

Final Words From Delightful Mindset

It’s natural to be scared. You need to understand that you’re not alone when you feel scared. There are people you can talk to which can ease your mind.


Ultimately, fear is just a thought. It’s a product of overthinking. First, you need to calm down before taking actions.

It’s very important to clearly define what you are scared of. Generalizing fears like “fear of the future” is very abstract and you will never be able to overcome this fear if you will think in that way. 


Therefore, define what makes you scared. Remember to think less and act more. It’s the only way to overcome your fear.

  1. Adolphs R. (2013). The biology of fear. Current biology : CB23(2), R79–R93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2012.11.055
  2. Stanford Medicine. Stanford Study Finds Stronger One-Way Fear Signals in Brains of Anxious Kids. [viewed Nov 17, 2021]. Available from:http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2020/04/stanford-study-finds-stronger-one-way-fear-signals-in-brains-of-.html.
  3. NHTSA National Center for Statistics and Analysis. 2008 OVERVIEW Traffic Safety Fact Sheet. Retrieved from: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/811162
  4. Houston Methodist.When Overthinking Becomes a Problem & what You can do about It. , 2021 [viewed Nov 17, 2021]. Available from:https://www.houstonmethodist.org/blog/articles/2021/apr/when-overthinking-becomes-a-problem-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/.
  5. Very Well Mind. Chill Out: How to use Progressive Muscle Relaxation to Quell Anxiety. August 03, 2020 [viewed Nov 17, 2021]. Available from:https://www.verywellmind.com/how-do-i-practice-progressive-muscle-relaxation-3024400.
  6. University of Minnesota. How does Nature Impact our Wellbeing? [viewed Nov 17, 2021]. Available from:https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing.
  7. Brunier, G., Graydon, J., Rothman, B., Sherman, C. and Liadsky, R. (2002), The psychological well-being of renal peer support volunteers. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 38: 40-49. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2648.2002.02144.x
  8. Childs, E., & de Wit, H. (2014). Regular exercise is associated with emotional resilience to acute stress in healthy adults. Frontiers in physiology5, 161. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2014.00161
  9. Zamani Sani, S. H., Fathirezaie, Z., Brand, S., Pühse, U., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., Gerber, M., & Talepasand, S. (2016). Physical activity and self-esteem: testing direct and indirect relationships associated with psychological and physical mechanisms. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment12, 2617–2625. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S116811