Advice on Overcoming Fear By Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar motivational speakerFear has been correctly identified with the acrostic False Evidence Appearing Real.  The truth is that if we think something is to be feared, that perception becomes the cruelest form of reality.

A second-grade boy was overheard saying, “It’s easy to be brave when you’re not scared.” By the same token, it’s easy to talk about how to overcome fear when you have little to be afraid of.  Fear is certainly real for most people and all of us face a fear of something – poverty, divorce, rejection, death, failure, speaking in public, being laughed at, etc.

How do we overcome fear?  First we must learn to examine our fears.  Example: Giving a speech, which is the number one fear in our country, according to Reader’s Digest.  (It’s also a tremendous confidence-builder.) If that’s your fear, ask yourself a few questions.  “Why am I afraid to make a speech?  Is it because I’m afraid of being rejected?  Then why do I think I’ll be rejected?

Do I believe what I’m about to say?  Is my speech worth giving? Am I proud of the comments I’m about to make?”  As you ask yourself these questions, the fear will begin to subside. It subsides because you have explored your subconscious mind with your questions and flushed out some of your fears.

My research indicates that only three people have died while making a speech. Since twelve billion people have lived and only three of them died making a speech, I’d say it’s a fairly safe thing to do.

If you’re a little nervous, consider this: You could lead a mule into a crowded room and he would be so calm that he would almost go to sleep standing up.  A thoroughbred in the same situation would be as nervous as a cat.

If you’re a little nervous, just be grateful you’re a thoroughbred – not a mule.  So face those inner feelings, stand up and speak up with confidence.  When you do, I’ll see you at the top!
Zig Ziglar is a teacher and motivator. He offers a newsletter filled with more of his inspiring stories as well as practical ideas to help you in the areas of sales, marketing, customer service, and related topics. You can visit him at

-What are some ways you go about overcoming fear?

  • Great, motivating article. I'd say the math is off. I can think of more than three people who've met their ends at the podium. Political figures, of course. Seriously, though, overcoming fear really unlocks the doors of potential and there are some strong ideas for doing that in here. Thanks.

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Oscar. In the example you mentioned perhaps it was more a case where the politicians in questions true character/beliefs shone through or were uncovered as opposed to the podium itself (or fear it created) bringing them 🙂

    You're so right when you mention “overcoming fear unlocking the doors of potential.” Not always easy, fear (real or imagined) can sure feel very, very real when one is dealing with them. Even so it's worth finding a way over, around, or through whatever is needed. The results for having done so is so very worth it.

    I hope you'll visit here often Oscar.

    It's your life, LIVE BIG!
    Josh 🙂

  • Excellent post,. I quite liked the thoughts expressed and agree with them. I think all of us needs to have some insight to ourselves. Thanks for sharing.

  • Xidic

    You did a fantastic job because you explain to everyone how to combat with fear. This piece of text really helped me over come my fears in Public Speaking class.