How much does fear hold you back? Your fears may even be holding you back without you realising it! We’re excited to share this great post by regular wellbeing contributor Sonia Greyson Newman about how to fear less and live more.
We all feel fear on a regular basis, it is a natural human emotion. And although, we may not even recognise it, it can have a strong hold on our behaviour and actions. Fear can look different for different individuals.
What Fear Can Look Like
Some fears may appear obvious i.e. fear of failure, fear of judgement, fear of humiliation and ridicule, fear of rejection etc. However, there are also fears that might be more subtle and present themselves as host of self-sabotaging behaviours, such as procrastination, perfectionism, toxic relationship choices and lack of self-care.
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway
Living fearlessly is not about ignoring our fears or trying to rid or bury them altogether. It is about embracing and approaching them with an optimistic mindset.
One of the groundbreaking books in this area is ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ published in 1987 by the late Susan Jeffers, who challenged us to take a unconventional approach to the way we looked at fear and it’s role in our lives. This book was a real game changer for me.
Excitement and fear are very similar and we experience many of the same biological changes when we are fearful or we are excited. Such as, rapid breathing, increased heart rate and the feeling of summersaults in our stomach. Nevertheless, we tend to run towards what we label excitement and run away from what we label as fear.
Remember, the only constant thing in life is change. If we do not move through our fears one step at time we can remain stagnant and ultimately live a life of regret, as fears, if approached in the correct way, can propel us to move out of our comfort zones.
Fear Is My Friend Not My Foe
It is not always easy and does not necessarily come naturally but I have learned to make fear my friend rather than my foe and cultivate an attitude of ‘I will either win or I will learn’. Facing my fears is an opportunity to go deep within and ask myself what can I learn from this situation? I can either go through life or grow through life.
I used to absolutely fear of public speaking even though I knew it would help me in my business. I learned that the fear of public speaking was one of the top fears that people had. And even top speakers still felt fearful, or they called it an adrenaline rush before a big speaking gig. Or your favourite artist still gets the jitters before preforming on stage. So, with this in mind, I decided I was going to work though this. I know get booked to speak at conferences and events. I could and to be honest I still get ‘excited’ when I speak on stage. But when I look back at how I used to be, know that we can ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’
A common practice for me is to journal, exploring the fear and the feelings they conjure up. A journalling prompt I use is, ‘How does fear show up in my life?’ Sometimes we limit ourselves because of how we feel specific person or group, or society that we feel may judge us. Write it all down and see what stories and excuses you are telling yourself.
What would you love to do but fear is holding you back? Or reflect on the past year, six months or even more recent and think how things would be different for you right now if you did not let fear hold you back?
There must be a number of things you would do if you lived life fearlessly. It does not have to be something adventurous, it could be public speaking or starting that business you have been thinking about. Create a list and ask yourself this question, What is the worst thing that could happen? You will probably find that the advantages outweigh the fear.
Commit to conquering something that is on that list. Even if it means getting support or developing a new skill.
My advice to you is to seize the moment, take the chance, life is for living. Overcoming your fears can open you up to amazing life changing experiences.
Remember, a beautiful life is waiting for you on the other side of your fears.