April 3, 2017
How to face — and overcome — fear
There are plenty of measurable steps you can take to strengthen yourself in order to be afraid of fewer things, but when it comes to what you do fear, what do you do with that feeling? Do you avoid it? Or do you use it to propel yourself forward?
Fear is a funny thing, in that it’s something a lot of us avoid at all costs, but it’s also something, if confronted properly, that can help us achieve our biggest dreams.
Sure, it’s uncomfortable. Who actually likes the feeling of being afraid? Not many. But what if we told you that you can take that feeling, turn it on its back and use it to drive you to all the places you’ve ever wanted to go?
Whether you’re afraid of failing, have a fear of rejection or fear that you’re not enough in some way, rather than let those fears paralyze you, it’s well within your reach to make them your greatest motivators.
So, instead of avoiding fear, use it as your personal guidepost.
Fear tells us a lot about ourselves. It shows us what we value, points out qualities we must strengthen and lets us know just how important our goals are to us. That said, in order to use it to your benefit, you have to face fear with a degree of curiosity.
If you find yourself feeling fearful, instead of jumping to mitigate that feeling, ask yourself, What is this fear telling me? Perhaps it’s letting you know that you’ve gotten too comfortable and it’s time to take your growth to the next level. Or, maybe it’s telling you that you’re neglecting a component of your potential and you need to shift your focus. Regardless of what your particular brand of fear indicates, we promise it’s telling you something you can use to your benefit.
Once you target the message your fear is sending, your next step is to lean into it — look at it, play with it, toss that fear around. Let the discomfort wash over you so you can fully realize that it’s only a feeling.
No one has conquered fear (or anything else, for that matter) by walking away from it. The most successful people among us are those with the courage and discipline to face fear head-on because they know from experience that that’s where growth is found.
So, the next time you experience that familiar pang of fear, your job is simple: First, ask yourself what the fear is telling you about your current situation and what it can teach you. Then, practice leaning into the discomfort you feel and absorbing the fact that it’s only that — discomfort. Nothing more.
Cultivating the abilities to find messages in your fear and sit with its discomfort tells your brain that you and your will are stronger and more enduring than any brand of fear that comes your way, which means there’s no limit to what you can accomplish, no matter how scary the road might seem.
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