Five Ways to Overcome Fear and Build Confidence

5 steps for builing confidence and overcoming fearLast week we discussed fear in our writing careers. After reading comments, both public and private, I decided to take things one step deeper this week. After all, it’s easy to say, “Don’t let fear get in the way of your success.”

Many of us recognize our fears. How do we overcome them? Can I tell you to just go and talk to the bookstores and you’ll conquer your fear? Hardly, it’s much more complex than that. With that in mind, here are five easy steps to help you build confidence and chase away your fears.

1. Recognize what you do well. Instead of dwelling on what you didn’t get done, focus on what you did well. Whether it’s a word count or making that call to an expert to gather info for your latest book. Each thing we do successfully builds confidence. Many times, we go through the day never acknowledging the good stuff.

2. Be thankful. I know, seems silly. How does being thankful build confidence and conquer fears? Look, you get to write books that make people laugh and cry. You help others handle disease and sickness, marriages and divorce or just escaping the “real” world. If that is not enough, spend the day volunteering at the homeless shelter or pediatric oncology wing at the local hospital. The smallest actions on our part can literally change someone’s life. As you harness the mental aspects of these actions, your fears will wither away. Your confidence builds. Suddenly, it’s a lot easier to stand in front of a room full of people and talk about your books.

3. Reach out to the people around you. We have a great community in Indies Unlimited. We’re all in this together. Reach out for help. Share your stories and fears. I can guarantee, some of us experience the same things and share the same fears. Are you part of a local writing group?

4. Set short-term goals. Pick three goals each week and target them for completion. This ties in to the commitment piece that we discussed last week. Each time you hit your target, you build confidence. Be realistic. If you don’t hit one goal, don’t beat yourself up. Losing is a part of winning. The mental process that occurs when you don’t achieve your goal is what helps catapult you in the future.

5. Reward yourself. Celebrate. Each week, look back and recognize what you accomplished, no matter how small. Building confidence and conquering fears is an ongoing process. The end result isn’t a published book (many would agree that is just the beginning.) Each step of the way from the first words to editing to successfully uploading to Kindle is a reason for celebrating. So do it. Life is too short. Don’t miss out on the little celebrations on the way.

The more fun you have, the less fearful you’ll be. Embrace the process as much as the result. When you feel good about your accomplishments, fear melts away. It’s easy to talk to a room full of people or go on a radio show when it’s another process in a long line of celebrations. Yes, celebrations. Every day you give life to your work, you should celebrate. You’re creating. That’s an exceptional talent and not everybody can do it.

Be fearless and create—and then share it with the world.

Author: Jim Devitt

Jim Devitt’s debut YA novel, The Card, hit #1 in three separate categories on the Kindle Bestseller list in early January and was a finalist in the Guys Can Read Indie Author Contest this past summer. Devitt currently lives in Miami, FL with his wife Melissa and their children. Learn more about Jim at his blog and his Amazon author page.

15 thoughts on “Five Ways to Overcome Fear and Build Confidence”

  1. Loved the post Jim, but particularly the last resonated…”Every day you give life to your work, you should celebrate. You’re creating. That’s an exceptional talent and not everybody can do it.” That’s a keeper:)

  2. Good stuff as usual, Jim. I always think of it as baby steps. As long as i hold back from that first tiny step I can remain frozen, but there is something about that first step that seems to give me enough courage to take the next one – most of the time. 🙂

  3. Great post, Jim! That whole “recognize what you did well thing” is the clincher. Well, and #5. I am a big believer in reward therapy…

  4. You have reminded me that life is serious enough without beating ourselves up over our writing. We need to have a little fun with it or it will soon become a toil. I especially like # 5. I love your attitude on every post you have been kind enough to provide. All the best to you!

  5. Here it is from me: I’m fearless. I raised five kids–after that, what is left to fear? Plus, I once out-witted a bushmaster curled on my roll of toilet paper in a jungle outhouse. Yep. Sat there ridged as a sphinx for two hours waiting on dusk for the geckos to make an appearance. As soon as the snake had one in his gullet…I was out of there. As far as fear and writing. I don’t have fear or lack confidence there either. I do the best I can with however much or little talent I own. It is just steady on. I know what I can do–and I’m darn certain of what I cannot. I ain’t got the savvy to edit a book or manage the tech end of formatting and building covers. As for a writing group. I formed one. We support one another. I’m good with where I’m at.

  6. Jim, your points about being grateful and rewarding yourself are key. We always have a mountain in front of us, and it never seems to get any smaller, but we have to keep it in perspective, glance in the rearview mirror once in a while and see how far we’ve come. We may never get to the top of that mountain, but we can still see that long road trailing out behind us. Great post.

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