75 Steps for a Fear-Less Life

by Tess

Close your eyes

Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out. ~Karl Menninger

Everyone has fears. Not everyone makes a big deal out of them.

Some people learn to cope with fear, and others embrace fear.

Fear is an illusion, a distortion of reality.

Most fear is about a future event. Most fears never materialize.

Fears are stories and beliefs your ego would have you believe. Don't believe them.

Fear holds you back and keeps you stuck in a life of mediocrity. Dare to step out, risk and move forward.

I find that when I live with integrity, do my best, and keep moving forward, I have less fear. 
I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.
~William Allen White

The following tips will help you to fear less and live an outrageous and juicy life:

1. Let go of negative and limiting beliefs. When they persist release them again.

2. When things go wrong, take a break. Tweak your plan.

3. Accept your imperfections. Everyone has flaws.

4. Praise yourself. Toot your own horn. Give yourself credit.

5. Surround yourself with people who love you back.

6. Change what you can. Let the rest go. 

7. Be honest, even when it hurts. You'll feel relieved.

8. Learn from your past, or you will repeat it.

9. Challenge yourself. Don't settle fro mediocre. 

10. Thing big. Why not?

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
11. Seek support. You don't need to struggle alone.

12. Do the impossible. One step at a time. Don't forget to breathe.

13. Seize the opportunity in front of you, or someone else will.

14. Embrace your fear. Take action. Success will follow.

15. Take one limiting belief and gather evidence to prove it wrong.

16. Forgive everyone. Don't forget God and your parents.

17. Work hard. Go the extra mile. People will notice.

18. Praise your efforts. It will make you feel like you can do more.

19.Let go of what you want to be so right about. Be happy instead.

20. Don't compare yourself to others. You cause your own suffering.

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. ~H. P. Lovecraft

21.  Don't allow molehills to become mountains. Take care of your business now.

22. Take responsibility. Nobody is going to do it for  you.

23. Drop all blame. It's all relative.

24. Expect the best to happen. You get what you look forward too.

25. Focus on the good. The bad will fall away.

26. Ask for help. Then receive it.

27. Ask questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question.

28. Take calculated risks. What do you have to lose?

29. Get enough sleep. Your day will flow better.
The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear. ~Gandhi

30. Simplify every facet of your life. Why life any other way.

31. Don't listen to or watch the news. It steals your joy.

32. Get a big 'yes' and say no to everything else.

33. Choose your friends wisely. If a friendship is a struggle. Break ties and choose again.

34. Live in the moment. Nothing else exists.

35. Prioritize your tasks, then do them one at a time.

36. Take a digital sabbatical. The world won't end.

37. Eat healthy food, 90 % of the time. Make it your health care plan.

38. Help others get ahead. Give what you want to have.

39. Learn something new. It keeps your brain healthy.
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~Dale Carnegie

40. De-clutter. You'll free your bold energy.

41. Work passionately. If you don't like your job passionate until you find one you love. 

42. Practice gratitude. You can't be appreciative and unhappy at the same time.

43. Want what you have. It will keep you in the present moment.

44. Validate  yourself. You don't need approval from others.

45. Enjoy the ordinary. It's where joy sleeps.

46. Walk your talk. Trust is a difficult thing to get back, once lost.

47. Be comfortable expressing your emotions. A key to good communication.

48. Be yourself. The world needs you and your dreams.

49. Smile often. It's a gift to everyone.

Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not. ~Virgil Thomson

50. Put your needs first. Then help others.

51. Praise others. It makes people feel good about themselves.

52. Use your money wisely. Spend some. Save some. Give some to a good cause.

53. Be adventurous. Travel.

54. Balance work with play. You can never get enough done. Your ego will move the line.

55. Invest in your relationships. This will only bring you happiness.

56. Seek support. Believe you're worthy.

57. Don't take things personally. It's not about you.

58. Don't give unasked for advice. It's verbal abuse.

59. Be prepared. The Boy Scouts got it right to begin with.

Fear is only as deep as the mind allows. ~Japanese Proverb

60. Be prompt. People don't have time to wait for you.

61. Don't fear making decisions. You can always choose again.

62. Make intentional choices. You'll have few regrets.

63. Be open to suggestions. Don't assume you know everything.

64. Ask for advice. People want to help you.

65. Live in the present and plan for the future.

66. Spend time in nature. It will nourish your soul.

67. Volunteer. It will take your mind off of your problems.

68. Meditate. It is good for you.

69. Make exercise fun. Do athletes look miserable?

Who sees all beings in his own n self, and his own self ~Isa Upanishad
70. Cheer someone on. You both will feel good.
72. Spend time with children. They find joy in everything.

73. Help an elderly person. Make them feel important and worthwhile.

74. Be generous with your time, talent, and money. Others will feel like the world is a good place.

75. When you become anxious learn to hold your own hand. Calm and soothe yourself.

 Fear less, breathe more. Fear less, love more. Fear less. Live more.

What would you do today if you  had no fear?

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew Olson July 25, 2011 at 7:39 am

This is such a cool post! I can’t believe you came up with 75 (great) steps. I read through them all, and I especially like the “be honest” step. It’s so important to be honest with yourself. If you’re afraid, hiding from the fact will only make it worse.
Andrew Olson´s last post…Conquering the Slump


Tess July 25, 2011 at 10:39 am

I’m happy you’ve found my list useful. I think we could use be honest as the umbrella. There is nothing to fear when we’re honest. No tracks to cover! Thanks for stopping by.


Kira July 25, 2011 at 9:21 am

Hi Tess!

I deeply… really deeply thank you so much for sharing this. I’m in such a depressed moment in my life now but when I read this… you gave me enlightenment. Your blog is life changing. I hope more people will read this. You are brilliant and most of all wonderful! I want to hear more from you soon. I will surely come back to read this post again and again. If I can memorize the 75, much better! thanks!
Kira´s last post…5 Steps To Financial Success


Tess July 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

I’m sorry about your current situation and being depressed. I loved the opportunity to help you. That’s why I blog! Thanks for stopping by and let me know if there’s anything else I can do.


Belinda July 25, 2011 at 11:38 am

Great post, Tess! Everytime I read one of your lists, I immediately know that you are writing from experience. I’ve seen others stop living their lives because of fear and here, you show us how much of it is imagined rather than real and that it is largely a momentary obstacle that we can move around and out of our path.

Thank you for sharing your rich life and wonderful wisdom with us! xx


Tess July 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm

You’re the best!


Cathy | Treatment Talk July 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Great list on how to conquer your fears, Tess! Sometimes we let fear run our life, and I know I need to look at that once in awhile and get a reality check. We can only live for today. Right now is only moment that we have.
Cathy | Treatment Talk´s last post…How to Get Help with Addiction


Tess July 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Yes I always have some monster fear lurking around and tempting me to play.


Sara July 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm


It’s been too long since I visited, but I did pick a good day. This was a great post to read. It should be read again and again so you can absorb the wonderful ways to kick the butts of our fears:~)


BTW I would list my favorites, but there are too many:~)
Sara´s last post…Apalachicola Trip


Tess July 25, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Thanks for the visit. I’ll kick arse with you!


Meg | One Love Meg July 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I love #72. Kids do find joy in everything. They help you remember how to value life the simple care free way. This is a great list. Thank you for sharing.


Tess July 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Spending time with my 3 grandchildren and that’s how 72 came to be. I was reminded.


Chris Barba July 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Hi Tess!

Amazing list you’ve thought up here. What really hit me was, “Take responsibility. Nobody is going to do it for you.”

I feel like I put in some effort and expect results to fill in. When they don’t I blame external circumstances. But I’m starting to grow out of that mindset and be accountable.

You control the results. You want it – go out and get it. Might come off as slightly daunting, but at the same time is is incredibly freeing since you no longer are tied to excuses holding you down!


Tess July 25, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I can use a sign that designates my office as a no excuse zone! I think I’ll make one and share;)


Lorna - the roamantics July 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm

this is so beautiful and helpful tess! thank you for taking the time to help others. so glad to find you, and this, through ordinary traveler on twitter. i’ll be sharing this and using it as a life checklist! :)
Lorna – the roamantics´s last post…The Roamantics Turns 1- My 7 Links of the Year


Tess July 25, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Thanks for coming over and also for your kind words and share!


Lance July 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Mmmm…outrageous and juicy…I’m in!!!

And what a great list – to start moving beyond those fear that (all too easily) crop up…
Lance´s last post…Our Town…Our Life…


Tess July 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Fear you? No way! xox


kathleen July 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Hi Tess, thanks very much for this wonderful post – I’m going to print it out and reread it often – so many great tips for living life to the full! xo


Tess July 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm

You’re very welcome. I’m glad you found it useful!


Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition July 26, 2011 at 5:18 am

This is fantastic. I love – take a digital break, and hold your own hand. I need both right now. lol
Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition´s last post…Crossing Over: What Happens When You Die?


Tess July 26, 2011 at 11:42 am

I hope you get your break soon! xoxo


Farnoosh July 26, 2011 at 6:01 am

Beautiful and insightful and just a brilliant resource with an awesome photo. I’ve been having a really bad night/morning and this helped me even though you are talking about fears, so thank you dear Tess!
Farnoosh´s last post…How To Restart A Habit


Tess July 26, 2011 at 11:43 am

Thanks for your kind words. I do hope your day turned around and all is well!


Jenny ann fraser July 26, 2011 at 6:19 am

Thank you for this Tess! What a wonderful and wise list. I will be sure to refer to this often!
Jenny ann fraser´s last post…That Still Small Voice


Jen July 26, 2011 at 6:38 am

I LOVE this. It is just what I wrote an article about today that came out on Mamalode.com, called the Fear Factor.

I let fear control my life for years. I finally found some of the tips you listed here on my own long journey, and my life has never been the same.

This is such a wonderful list to keep handy. I am going to print it out. Thankyou thankyou! I am so happy to reconnect with your blog, and I’m looking forward to sharing my new site with everyone soon!
Jen (Formerly Life’s Little Lessons Under the Big Sky)


Tess July 26, 2011 at 11:44 am

It sounds like you’re doing great! Keep on dancin’.


Gail Brenner (AFlourishingLife) July 26, 2011 at 7:14 am

Hi Tess,

This is a post to return to over and over. There is so much wisdom here.

I especially love that you are such a straight shooter, telling people to not give unsolicited advice, to ask questions and ask for help. Following just a few of your points can change everything.


Tess July 26, 2011 at 11:45 am

LOL that’s me a straight shooter! Yes isn’t it always the case where a little thing can make a big difference.


Naima July 26, 2011 at 8:00 am


I came across your post on running over on Leo’s site, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

This is a great list that will be duly bookmarked. I particularly like #44, and how you haven’t forgotten about the elderly.

You are such an inspiration.

Naima´s last post…Why you should invest in a portable solar charger


Tess July 26, 2011 at 11:46 am

My assistant taught me about validating myself years ago. It stuck!


Ken Wert July 26, 2011 at 9:31 am

Amazing list of tips for overcoming fear, Tess!

I tend to confront my fears head-on. I used to fear shots, so I forced myself to watch as I got stuck. I focused on the pain and asked myself if it was as bad as imagined. It never was.

Basically did the same thing with childhood shyness and fear of heights.

It’s amazing how able we are of we confront what we fear. You are so right that what is feared is almost never as bad as we think it will be.

Awesome post, Tess. Loved every word!


Tess July 26, 2011 at 11:47 am

Maybe I can do that when I get the tattoo I’m thinking about;) Well done!


John Kowalski July 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

Such an incredible list!!! Thank you for sharing!!
John Kowalski´s last post…Personal Brand – What’s Your Brand?


Tess July 26, 2011 at 11:48 am

Thanks, I’m happy you found it useful. Thanks for stopping by.


Rand July 26, 2011 at 11:26 am

Ok Tess…since my birthday is Halloween…I am going to pick number: ! 13 !

13. Seize the opportunity in front of you, or someone else will.

To me this action can be motivated by “fear”.

Just look what helped fuel the sub-prime realstate market that went kaplunk.

The mentality was ‘I better up the offer and make this happen, or I will never get another chance.’

I have found that the times in my life when I have been the most happy have been when I did not possess the bright shiny objects that everyone else wanted.

I found this short little poem that kind of relates…


Louis Simpson

Ed was in love with a cocktail waitress,
but Ed’s family, and his friends,
didn’t approve. So he broke it off.

He married a respectable woman
who played the piano. She played well enough
to have been a professional.

Ed’s wife left him…
Years later, at a family gathering
Ed got drunk and made a fool of himself.

He said, “I should have married Doreen.”
“Well,” they said, why didn’t you?”

Thank you Tess


Rand July 26, 2011 at 11:37 am

“58. Don’t give unasked for advice. It’s verbal abuse.”

Looks like Ed should not of listened to his family and friends…


Tess July 26, 2011 at 11:50 am

You raise a good point. I was thinking of it more in terms of procrastination…think of it applied to the right relationship. Ya passed it up cause ya hesitated. Thanks for sharing your point of view I appreciate you.


Rand July 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Your funny Tess…and yes I appreciate that you appreciate me more than you appreciate me…except the times when I loose my memory and forget why I am so appreciative.


pea July 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm

A great list Tess. A few I have already done and the rest should be stuck on the fridge and revisited. (Is it me or is 41 a bit askew?)


Tess July 27, 2011 at 8:47 am

Thanks for pointing that out! I’m fixin’ it now.


Peggy Nolan July 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Hi Tess!

You know already how much I love your list…from one list maker to another :-)

I love #2…and in my life, I’ve replaced the word “wrong” with “when things don’t go according to plan…”

My own plan didn’t pan out. It doesn’t mean my idea isn’t useful – it still is. I’ve just come to the conclusion it’s not where my passionate energy wants to be. So…I’ve taken a break and I’m creating a new plan, a new idea, but always I’m drawn back to where I started.

This time I’m determined “no more distractions!”

Peggy Nolan´s last post…This Old Barn


Tess July 27, 2011 at 8:48 am

Thanks for that tidbit. Oh yeah on the distractions thing. Life is too short.


winsomebella July 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm

You’ve done it again. Great list that will be kept near and dear for time to come. Thanks.
winsomebella´s last post…Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mayhem


Tess July 27, 2011 at 8:49 am

Thanks so much. I felt it was time for another list and I couldn’t think of a better topic. You’re awesome!


Betsy at Zen Mama July 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Beautiful post Tess! I’ll have to print this out! I totally agree with the Ghandi that fear is the enemy. Fear is what usually brings on hate!
Betsy at Zen Mama´s last post…What Would You Put In Your Child’s Backpack? A Life Lesson!


Tess July 27, 2011 at 8:50 am

Fear is under anything that isn’t expressed as love.


Tyler J.Logan July 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm

These are some great points in what you have mentioned here! The one that some people have gotten mixed up is about focusing on your own needs first! Too, that fear is a great emeny that holds a lot of people back!
Tyler J.Logan´s last post…This is how to say no


Tess July 27, 2011 at 8:50 am

It’s codependent. I still have to watch out for that monster!


Megan Bord July 27, 2011 at 5:43 am

You know how much I love your lists, Tess! 75 awesome tips on living a less fearful life — so many stood out to me, but this one, my friend, rings true: “Surround yourself with people who love you back.”
When I’m feeling my most vulnerable or need encouragement, I need only look beyond the tip of my nose because standing there, waiting to love and support me, are dozens of true-blue friends & people who love me. I am a love-magnet, and as a result I am surrounded by the very best people who help me when I need it most.
I am able to live more BOLDLY because of people like YOU, Tess Marshall, and I’m so grateful for our good connection.
Loving you lots!
Loving this post lots, too!


Tess July 27, 2011 at 9:03 am

Hi Megan,
This is so true for all of us maybe I should have put reach out to people who love us back! I stand corrected. Sending luv back at ya! xoxo


Adrianna July 27, 2011 at 7:50 am

First time! such a in credible list i don’t really know where to start it was very true…thanks for sharing.
Adrianna´s last post…Everybody Lies: How can you tell if he is lying?


Tess July 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

Thanks for the compliment. I’m happy you stopped by.


John Sherry July 27, 2011 at 9:48 am

Tess, you’ve excelled here major time. I got to No.25 before stopping to take them in because that’s what you have to do there’s so much truth and depth you’ve included. You have uncovered and discovered oracle type insight and I hope it touches people’s lives in only the most positive of ways. And what would I do without fear? Starting a new life like I am now without a plan or purpose except to be me! Let’s see where it takes me and what encounters come my way. Bliss you!
John Sherry´s last post…6 Reasons Why It’s Best To Say Only Good Things


Tess July 28, 2011 at 10:18 am

How exciting for you. Like Dr. Seuss says ‘oh the places you’ll go!’ Thanks for praising my list. It means a lot.


Justin | Mazzastick July 27, 2011 at 11:52 am

Hi Tess,
Many of is live in fear which only exists in the mind. There is no fear in the real world. We can’t go out and dig up fear and place it in a bucket.

It’s like the people who fear for months going to the dentists office and once they go and the dentist says that all is well, they spent months worrying for nothing.


Tess July 28, 2011 at 10:18 am

I love your example of the digging and the bucket!


Swapan July 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Enjoyed reading your post Tess. Your take on “Fear” i.e. the negative energy have so nicely been elaborated. Great learning for me & my community….Thanks.


Tess July 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

Thanks so much. I appreciate you for stopping by.


Susan July 27, 2011 at 11:21 pm

WOW! What a list. Helpful? Beyond words. I may just read this every day. Thank you!!


Tess July 28, 2011 at 10:20 am

Your life will completely change as you read the list;) Great idea for all of us.


Eric Lenhard July 28, 2011 at 3:51 am

Hi Tess! Great tips I agree with most of them! Thanks a million! Printed and attached to the wall :)


Tess July 28, 2011 at 10:21 am

Great idea! I’m going to do that myself. Fear is easy to fall back into!


pearlyosborne July 28, 2011 at 7:46 am

You seriously have made my day! Thank you for all the inspirational and full of wisdom listings! I could not help it, I just felt like I needed to share your generosity of posting this. I just had to print it and share it with colleagues and would re-post this with credits to your link. Thank you! Bless you!
pearlyosborne´s last post…- First Date Advice


Tess July 28, 2011 at 10:21 am

You’ve made my day by sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it so much.


Chrysta Bairre July 28, 2011 at 11:36 am

This is a great list to live a fearless life! I learned years ago that fear is behind most of my reactions, and I choose to act instead of react in my life as much as possible. I choose to live a life of joy and peace and all the ideas on your list are part of that life.
Chrysta Bairre´s last post…Want change? Try acceptance.


Tess July 30, 2011 at 4:44 am

Acting vs reacting is a wonderful way to respond to fear. Never quite looked at it that way! We’ll call that no. 76!


Justlife July 29, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Thanks Tess for the great tips~ (awesome!) It’s so hard to pick a favorite one because I love them all. I think applying these steps will not only reduce/eliminate fear but they bring joy and happiness to life too. Keep it coming, Tess :)
Justlife´s last post…Resources – Motivational-quotes-for-women.com


Tess July 30, 2011 at 4:45 am

And we can all use more joy and happiness. Amen to that! Thanks for stopping by.


Sandra / Always Well Within July 31, 2011 at 8:09 pm


What an amazing list! I like getting enough sleep. :) But holding my own hand and soothing myself is good too.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the idea and word “illusion.” What does it really mean. Often, when you are in the grips of fear it’s very difficult to understand or believe this. It seems so real. You’ve said it many different ways in this post and my feeling is that the key to love and accept yourself regardless of having fear.
Sandra / Always Well Within´s last post…Your 2011 Word: Dead or Alive?


Luke Holuboch August 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Love it, makes me feel good to feel good!


sam October 20, 2011 at 12:40 am

Thank U very Much For This Very Truth Lines about life


Alan@Lifestoogood The free life, health, business and money coaching site October 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Hi Tess,

I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog. I love this list – I particularly like the quotes that help you along as you’re reading it (also because I’m a sucker for a great quote).

thanks for sharing,
Alan@Lifestoogood The free life, health, business and money coaching site´s last post…How much should I pay for a Life Coach?


Tathata February 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Whenever I feel especially fearful of something, I like to write a letter to myself in which I envision/write about the scary thing (whatever it is) happening in the best way possible. I do not worry about what ifs, or whether my vision is actually practical or not. It gets me excited about the great possibilities that could sprout from what I am afraid of.

In the end of ends though… what is the worst that can happen? In most cases, nothing that isn’t fixable.

Thanks for writing!
Tathata´s last post…How My Own Value Shows Itself In Many Forms and The Importance Of Seeing Many Points of View


Jing Jin April 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm

What a wonderful post! I’d love to repost this article on my website http://www.cycleharmony.com, with your permission of course. I think it’ll benefit my community greatly. Let me know.


Marie April 19, 2012 at 6:49 am

Loved the thoughts, but please proofread. Mistakes, and there are several, detract from your message. Don’t settle for mediocre, or, as you put it, don’t settle fro mediocre.


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