Fear. You’ve experienced it: Sweating, chills, gut-wrenching nausea, difficulty breathing, and a racing heart.
Fear is hardwired into your brain to protect you from danger – but it can also consume your energy, hinder your progress, and choke your spirit. Next time you feel fear’s grip, ask yourself, “Who could I be and what would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” ~ George Addair
“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
“Many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” ~ Les Brown
Sometimes it feels like the road of life is paved with doubt and uncertainty. No matter how brave you are, odds are you’ve experienced one of these common fears:
Fear of rejection; fear of failure; fear of success; fear of judgment; fear of being alone; fear of appearing weak; fear of being disliked; fear of making wrong choices.
Fear is a natural part of life, a biological reaction meant to keep you safe … but it can also keep you from living boldly. It’s all too easy to use fear as an excuse. Zig Ziglar said, “F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.” The idea isn’t to eliminate fear; it’s to feel fear – then respond with courageous action, moving forward despite your fear!
You must be vigilant to live a life that’s larger than your fears. Otherwise, fear can easily define your life, holding you back from pursuing your passions and dreams.
So, instead of running from fear, carefully arranging your life to feel safe and comfortable at all times, learn to face it down. Take Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice and do one thing every day that scares you. Then when you encounter a fearful situation, you’ll have built up the mental muscle to face and overcome your fears.
Don’t let life intimidate you — you are stronger than your fears. Take small steps to address your fears and watch your anxieties dissolve, replaced by inner calm, joy and soaring confidence. Face your fears and you will experience the limitless freedom to live your best life.
Tips for Living a Life Larger than Your Fears
- Take the first step. The old saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Summon the courage to act on your fear by taking a first, small step. After the first step, you’ll find each ensuing step becomes easier.
- Keep your eyes on the prize. When you feel fear, refocus your attention and energy on the positive result just beyond that moment – like a fulfilling career, a satisfying new skill, or a loving relationship.
- Ask, “Is it true?” Fear is a feeling, not a fact. Still, uneasiness accompanying fear can paralyze you needlessly. Next time you experience fearful thoughts, check if you’re being honest with yourself. Recognize fears are often irrational and self-protective, then refocus your thoughts on more empowering truths.
- Share your fear. Reach out to your family and friends to share your fearful experiences. Everything seems a bit easier when you have emotional support.
- Live in the present. Fear dwells in the future, but all you can change is the present. Instead of allowing fear of “What if …?” to distract you, stay grounded in the here-and-now, moving forward one step at a time to conquer your fears.