Over 50 life

The Most Effective Way to Overcome Fear

Updated October 30, 2023


The most effective way to overcome your fears starts with turning off your negative fearful thoughts.

Now that may seem pretty obvious, but when we’re confronting fears and beliefs we’ve had for decades, it’s not easy to turn that voice off. The voice in your head that says “I need to worry about this or it will come back to bite me!”

You know the one I mean. It doesn’t always make sense, it comes out of nowhere but it’s that little voice in your head that says “this is going to hurt” and “I need to be afraid”.

Overcome Fear and Anxiety

Fear isn’t always logical.

If you’re confronting a wild beast or a creepy noise in the middle of the night, no wonder your heart starts pounding

But chances are your heart actually pounds more over thoughts like “I’m never going to find someone to love me” or “I don’t see how I’m ever going to be able to retire”.

Fear tends to follow patterns like this: 

  • I’m getting older which means ….
  • I don’t have a loving partner which means
  • My future health is an unknown which means…
  • Financially I’m not as prepared as I could be which means…

When we talk about how to overcome our fears, I’m not talking about wild beasts or noises in the night. Your body is programmed to feel fear when a real threat is happening. Read the Gift of Fear by Gavin deBecker and you’ll understand the difference.

But even if you’re not facing a truly life threatening event, your fear can be just as scary. Fears that live in our heads can be debilitating and life sucking. If we’re going to master our midlife mindset then we need to identify which fears matter. We’ll choose which ones need to get shut down or managed mindfully.

Most fears start with a thought. Whatever your fearful thoughts are, here’s how you can change that inner dialog.

What are Ways to Overcome Fear

Detach yourself from the scary fear based outcome in your head and create a new positive scenario instead

  • I’m getting older which means I’m afraid I may eventually lose my independence.
    Reframe to:
    I’m getting older but looking ahead, I can set up a lifestyle that allows me to live independently as long as possible. It may mean moving but I can see it working.
  • I don’t have a loving partner which means I’m afraid I’ll be alone when I get old.
    Reframe to:
    I don’t have a loving partner right now, but I know I’m capable of attracting love and being loved as I age. Maybe I’ll sign up for a dating service or a relationship course.
  • My future health is an unknown which means I’m afraid I could get ill or die.
    Reframe to:
    My future health is an unknown but there’s so many ways I can choose to live a healthier lifestyle with diet and exercise. It’s never too late to make some changes.
  • Financially I’m not as prepared as I could be which means I’m afraid I won’t have enough money to live on as I get older.
    Reframe to:
    Financially I’m not as prepared as I could be but I’m researching ways to earn some extra money, keep a budget and explore places to live less expensively.

I get it. Our fears seem real. But honey unless that bear is breaking down your front door, your fear is just a thought. It’s not actually real.

Oh it can make you sick, unhappy and scared to death, but it isn’t real. It’s what you think it means that scares you. If it hasn’t happened yet, you can change it.

Change the thought and overcome your fears.

OK let’s take one more scary thought as an example. Let’s say your unfaithful husband has come out and said he wants a divorce. You were afraid it might happen but now it has. What do you do?

You sit down and try to look at the situation with some detachment. Oh I know you just want to scream and cry and detaching yourself doesn’t feel like a good option right now. But trust me. After you’ve finished crying and feeling like crap, I want you to stop and reframe the situation.

  • Is this the worst thing that could happen? How do you know that’s true?
  • What if divorcing him could be the best thing that could happen for you right now?
  • Underneath the fear, isn’t there a little voice that’s saying “Maybe now I can be happy?”

We fear change above all. When we’re afraid of what the future holds, it’s the unknown that scares us. We like sameness; we thrive on being in our comfort zone.

Sweetie, it’s OK. I understand because we all get afraid.

But don’t let the fear of change stop you from living your best life. Be willing to believe things will work out for you. Change your thoughts, detach from scary possible future scenarios that haven’t happened. This is how to overcome fear of failure; focus on the beautiful life you can have when you’re willing to change your thoughts.

Start a habit today to keep your thoughts positive with this planner.


About Author

With over 30 years in a creative role in advertising and publishing, and a lifetime of journeys between the US and UK, I've created Hipoverfifty for you. I hope my journey and perspective will guide you on yours.