Are you afraid of death? Spiders? Quicksand? I’ll end The Replacements references from this point on.
Fear is something all of us face. Yet, I feel like we have become lost a little as a society when learning how to deal with our fears.
To paraphrase what Suma Narayan said, debilitating fear can destroy ambition and aspiration and the will to live.
I completely agree. I can’t tell you how often I’ve live that life where I let my fears take control of me. The worst part is, I would never talk about them. I would never talk to anyone about my hopes and aspirations of the world because I was afraid to fail. I was afraid of those conversations I would have five years from then when someone asks, “hey are you still writing?”
Sometimes It’s Easier To Be Keep the Dream Than To Discard and Live It
I think a big part of our fears in starting anything new is that dream we hold onto. That dream is hope. The hopes that you can still be a writer. The hopes you can still get into the best shape of your life. The hopes that you will have a successful career when that day happens that you study more.
To live a dream, you must discard the dream first and live it. That step is frightening. When you take the step from dreaming to living, reality hits you in the face. You start to realize you’re at level zero and it is going to take a lot of time to get to level 100. Do not allow that humbling experience to scare you away. That experience is the guide of what direction you need to go. It allows you to know what you should improve on.
Changing Your Perspective on Fear
Is the pain you experience when working out a negative thing? Usually no. It’s the pain your body needs to adapt to get stronger. The same goes for your mind. I have began to choose thinking of my pain from learning something I’m not comfortable with as growth. This is incredibly uncomfortable. Especially when you perceive yourself as someone who is intelligent and can learn anything. Maybe we all need that humbling experience.
There were all kinds of things I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to ‘mean’ horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid. -Teddy Roosevelt
Fear is growth. If I constantly stay in my comfort zone, I will never grow. Fear can be excitement. If I’m scared it probably means I should do it. As long as it not something stupid. Most of my fears are not rational. Meaning they won’t hurt me. If there are no real consequences, other than hurting the ego, then its a fear I should conquer. Even if there are consequences its just more motivation to do it right.
Change Your Perspective On Risk
The root of fear is trying something that ends up with a crash and burn. What if you fail? What if you get rejected? These are short term assessments. Yes there is a chance you will fail. If you take no risk there is no chance of failure right?
Here comes the old cliche, “the only failure is the failure of not trying.” As cliche as it sounds, it is true. We all live on a finite timeline. If you don’t try, eventually you’ll die without ever realizing your potential. It’s never too late to start. You could be 30, 40, 50 years old and want to reinvent yourself. Maybe you should. Don’t live your life afraid.
Fear is the catalyst to courage. Without fear, there can be no courage. Courage is the ability to overcome your fears. Fear is one of the most primal instincts we have. Almost every animal in the animal kingdom has it, yet one of the things that makes us human is our ability to over ride it.
How Do You Begin To Overcome Your Fears
One of the first things that I did when trying to overcome my fears was to write all of them out. Every fear, no matter how small. I think I wrote down over fifty things in about five minutes. I started to get down to the root of why I was afraid of those things. I started with the big things that are more applicable to what’s holding me back in life. I wrote out, what would happen if I did this and failed vs what would happen if I didn’t do it at all. It almost always came back to me bruising my ego and being afraid of feeling like a failure.
After you start to get to the root of some of these things, it’s time to implement. Not necessarily in the sense of, “I’m going to overcome my fear of heights today.”
Try to become more self aware. Whenever there’s something that you think you should do but your brain is holding you back, try to do it. Try to overcome one small fear a day. Sooner or later, you’ll get more used to overcoming your small fears. You’ll start to realize that your fears aren’t as scary as they seem. Once you get through them, one the other side may be the best things in life.