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'American Ninja Warrior' host Akbar Gbajabiamila's top strategy for overcoming fear

Ninja Warrior star and former NFLer shares the number one way to overcome...

Is fear getting in your way when it comes to saving and investing?

If so, you aren't alone, according to Akbar Gbajabiamila, host of NBC's "American Ninja Warrior." And there is a way to overcome it, he said.

"My No. 1 strategy for overcoming fear is purpose," said Gbajabiamila, who also once played football for the Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.

Akbar Gbajabiamila, co-host of American Ninja Warrior.
Bill McCay | NBCUniversal

"Purpose always defeats fear, especially when you think about getting to your destination."

In the case of investing, the destination can be a goal such as saving for retirement, building an emergency stash or buying a home.

"Think about it like putting in a destination into your navigation system," said Gbajabiamila, a member of CNBC's Financial Wellness Advisory Council. "If you put that destination in, it eliminates fear of getting lost.

"Same thing in life," he added. "It eliminates you from feeling the fear of getting lost."

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When it comes to saving, many people aren't putting enough aside. And 21% of working Americans aren't saving anything, according to a recent survey by BankRate. Additionally, 25% of Americans have no retirement savings or pensions, the Federal Reserve found.

Gbajabiamila believes many people are afraid because when they get emotional about the investment process, it's hard to trust it.

That can be understandable when there are wild swings in the stock market, but unless you are a trader, experts always advise to think long term.

Purpose always defeats fear, especially when you think about getting to your destination.
Akbar Gbajabiamila
"American Ninja Warrior" co-host

"On the other side of fear is something magical," Gbajabiamila told CNBC in an earlier March interview.

"All of sudden, if you look at it over the history of it, you go 'Wow, on the other side of this, this is great. I'm glad I took the time to be patient and invest in this and now, look, I'm reaping the benefits.'"

—CNBC's Louise Connelly contributed to this report.

Tune into the season 11 premiere of NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" on Wednesday, May 29 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

Former NFLer Akbar Gbahabiamila on how to turn a dream into a vision

Check out 3 Things Experts Say to Do if You Win the Lottery via Grow with Acorns+CNBC.

Disclosure: NBC and CNBC are divisions of NBCUniversal; NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.