Feeling Overwhelmed. Stress. Not enough time. Promises of tomorrow... these are all reasons we cite frequently to justify our daily actions or inactions around things we say are important to us. What you might be experiencing though, is fear disguised as 'too busy'. 

Fear comes to us in many different forms. We often use the justification, 'I didn’t have time' and believe it's the truth. Even friends and colleagues put things off with the same reasoning, so it’s become widely accepted. Rarely will anyone question that classic excuse, really. That’s why broken commitments and inaction run rampant in most of our lives. Any of these sound familiar?

• I’ve just been too busy.

• I’ve got so much going on I haven’t had time.

• I’ll do it tomorrow.

• I’m tired and stressed today. 

• When things slow down I’ll start.

Yes, we all get busy sometimes. However, if you find yourself perpetually not having enough time to do the things you say are important, it’s time to look a little deeper and figure out if you have an anxious or lazy perspective towards dealing with fear.

How to remove fear from subconscious mind​

How to remove fear from subconscious mind

Taking actions that are typically most important to achieving your biggest goals are rarely comfortable and are almost always fear inducing. An awareness of this can shed a whole new light on the potential payoff for keeping yourself stuck in the cycle of overwhelm.

Overwhelm can be a convenient excuse to avoid something that scares you or puts you beyond your comfort zone. Consider that you may keep yourself in a state of 'too busy' because it works for you. It provides a solid justification (that most people won’t challenge) as to why you don’t move forward in certain. You become justified in avoiding those fear-inducing actions.


On any given day it’s easy to keep yourself overly busy with unimportant tasks. In, The 4-Hour Workweek, author Timothy Ferriss explained two truisms:

1. Doing something unimportant well still does not make it important.

2. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.

Consider that your lack of time is often a case of just not setting proper priorities. Tackling the uncomfortable tasks that stand between you and your goals is far more important than accomplishing more of what doesn’t matter much, and helps in overcoming fear in the long run. Busier does not always equal better!

How to overcome fear and anxiety

Here’s a challenge: As you make your 'to do' list, note which items are most important to meeting your ultimate goals. Take a moment to prioritize what should be done first versus what is easier to do. Focus on the quality versus quantity of the actions you take. You will most likely find the items you label highest priority are also least comfortable to take. Every time you tackle something that stretches you beyond a comfort zone, you are growing, learning and becoming better at overcoming fear. Taking these uncomfortable actions also breeds more self-confidence!

Try it today and ask yourself these questions as a start:

• What actions are you avoiding out of fear?

• If you continue to put them off, what will the impact be on your life?

• If you were going to get a million dollars to figure out how to fit those tasks into your day, could you do it? 

Read next:

The Breathing Technique You Need to Know to Stop a Panic Attack

5 Simple Ways to Control Your Anxiety

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