How To Overcome What Keeps You Up At Night

“Okay, it seems like it was a dream,” I said to myself, looking around the room for intruders. I had dreams of strangers breaking into my home before, but those nightmares were never this bad. As I sat up, trying to stop my heart from racing, I turned on the light and began to work…another night’s rest lost.

Fear is natural. There’s good fear and there’s bad fear. The good fear is the kind that keeps you from getting hurt. It’s the kind that tells you not to touch the hot stove. The bad fear is the kind that keeps you from making your life better. It tells you not to take the risks that you need to take in order to push forward. So, how do you conquer that fear?

Start by breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Whenever we breathe through our right nostril, our body heat increases, our heart rate increases, and our circulation increases. That’s because our right nostril is associated with a stimulating effect that activates the left side of the brain more. Now, on the other hand, breathing through our left nostril produces a calming effect on our mind and our body. It activates the right side of the brain more. You might even notice that when you do this your heart rate goes down and you start to relax. So, by breathing through the nose and out through the mouth, we can hack our mind and bodies and better respond to the feelings created by fear.

Next, is to adopt a growth mindset. Adopt the mindset of a learner. Believe that the only things standing between you and anything you want to accomplish are time and a skillset. That way, whenever you’re faced with fear-inducing situations, it will be harder for those situations to break your self-esteem and your will (a high self-esteem being something you need to stand up to what makes you feel afraid).

After you’ve adopted this mindset, you can develop what’s called the antifragile ego. The antifragile ego builds your self-esteem on foundations that get stronger when they’re attacked. So, for example, if you’re faced with a nightmare where you feel threatened and afraid, an antifragile ego mindset would be to remind yourself, “I am proud of myself every time I show up to a difficult situation because I am able to prove and validate to myself my strength of character while growing my personal power.” ​Lucio Buffalmano, Ultimate Power.This will give you the strength, the self-esteem, and the mental fortitude you need to stand up to what would otherwise beat you down. It will also make you feel a sense of pride afterward for having shown up to that difficult situation—stood up to that fear—since that’s what you chose to build your self-esteem on.

It’s a process that involves growth, acceptance, and a high payout once you’ve reached the finish line. The newfound mental power you will have against your fears will make it all worth it. Once you’ve completed the process, you’ll be able to acknowledge that the only place fear can exist is in your thoughts of the future. And, we can’t know the future because we’re always in the present, so anything you’re afraid of possibly happening you’re completely making up in your head. You’re manufacturing your own fears—your unhappiness—with your imagination. We can only imagine the future since we’re unable to see it. All we can see is the present. So, in the present, you can remind yourself that the suspense is often worse than the reality.

With these mindsets and strategies, I was able to handle my fears as if they were normal parts of life, because they are. I could feel afraid one minute, remember that there’s nothing to really be afraid of the next, and move on with my day. Use these mindsets and strategies to conquer your fears so you can live your life without the burden of having to bear the weight of fears that only serve to make your life miserable. Gain power over your mind and gain the power to live a happier, healthier life.

Ali Scarlett is a certified networking expert and #1 national bestselling author of The Clever Connector. Sign up for his free relationship-building tips via his website,


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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