Excuse my French, but fear is a muthaf*****.

Beyond its paralyzing ability to stop us from living a full and rich life dead in our tracks, it is ridiculously convincing. But Michael Jordan was on to something when he said, “Limits like fear is often an illusion.”

Here are three ways to give fear the boot and reclaim your life.

1) Take time to develop a relationship with your intuition.

Your intuition is best described as a “gut feeling.” There is no real logical reasoning for it, but it is always correct, even when your mind and heart do not agree. By actively engaging with your intuition, you are allowing yourself to naturally detect what is fear and what may be fact. In doing so, you put yourself on the path of being in control of your fears and, ultimately, your life.

2) Understand that fear is the false protector.

Unless you are in immediate physical danger, fear does not keep you from harm. In fact, it prohibits. The greatest trick of fear is that it appears to not only be real but be a protector. It isn’t. And if you really think about it, most of the things that we fear do not even come to fruition.

3) Stop living in the past.

We fear the unknown, but we are also afraid of what has already happened. We do not want to experience the pain of heartbreak again, so we do give our hearts to folks. We don’t ever want to feel the absence of a loved one again, so we keep everyone at a distance. But that isn’t freedom or protection. It is a prison. The only way to move forward is to let the pains of the past go. Your intuition will serve as your compass once you do.

Shantell E. Jamison is EBONY’s senior editor of love and relationships. Her book, Drive Yourself in the Right Direction, is available on Amazon. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @Shantell_em and Instagram @Shantell_em.