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5 Ways to Conquer Your Fears

Realize that you are stronger than your fears.

McKenna here talking about fears and how to conquer them. Do I dare say, "I don't know?" Whenever I hear someone talking about facing down their fears, it's quickly followed by, "Just do it!" Easier said than done. One of the things I love about writing is that I can do ANYTHING I want on a page and not worry about falling to my death or being eaten alive by bears. I write myself out of danger the same way I write myself in, and in the end, all is well . . . Okay, not for all of my characters.

Real life isn't so simple. We can't write ourselves out of a dangerous situation, but does that mean we shouldn't try? No! I've jumped out of an airplane, and I'm still afraid of heights. I've watched Arachnophobia too many times, and spiders still freak me out. I happen to like haunted houses and cemeteries, so not everything is scary. What's a person to do when they're afraid of the dark, or whatever?

1. Fight the fear. This is another way of saying, 'Just do it,' and it's pretty good advice. I recommend keeping it safe, but if there's something you fear, like publishing a book, going on an airplane, or starting a new career, sometimes just going for it is best. There is tremendous power in overcoming fears.

2. Think positive. I always try to give my characters a positive outlook. They go through so many ups and downs, have moments of self-doubt, and wonder if they're going to get their happy ending, but ultimately they try to remain positive. It's how they make it through the tough times.

She turned, the feral expression on her face surprising him. He recognized the look for what it was—fear and guilt and perhaps a touch of wild rage. Jordan considered all of the compelling reasons why he shouldn’t do what he was about to do, but he ignored them all. —from SHADOW OF THE FORGOTTEN

3. Find your courage. Being courageous for yourself and for others can bolster your inner strength and give you the fortitude to overcome fears. I don't believe anyone can conquer fears without first finding and embracing their courage. Realize that you're stronger than your fears.

4. Play out every worst-possible scenario. I do this ALL THE TIME! If I know I have to confront someone about a problem or do something that forces my stage fright to kick in, I play it out from start to finish. I imagine the worst of what could happen. Once it sinks in that the worst-case scenario isn't as bad as I think, I can move forward. This is a great trick for writing, too. I put myself in the character's situation and try to think my way out as if I were them. Thankfully, I'm safe at my computer while they're battling the ugly stuff.

5. You're not alone. It's up to each of us to overcome our fears, but that doesn't mean we have to do everything alone. I give my characters friends, families, lovers, all of whom are there to help them face fear and conquer it. We have to take the final step, but there are no rules that say you can't lean a little on others and ask for help.

How have you conquered a fear?

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Book Spotlight

As the threat against them grows and the questions multiply, they’ll have to trust each other—and their feelings—if they’re going to survive.

The Dragon's Staircase

Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller

Heat Level: 3

Language Level: 3

Violence Level: 3

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