Think back to last time you really wanted to do something but didn’t? What stopped you from doing it? Did something change your mind? Was there a voice inside your head? Whatever the reason might have been, let’s take the time to stop and question what might be going on with our fears and how we can get beyond these fears so we can start pursuing things we’ve always wanted.
Fear is an interesting little thing as it can act in ways where we don’t even know it is present. For example, we might want to do something that first requires a few things to come into place. The scenario might be getting a new job. Next thing we know we start saying to ourselves; “Well where would I work? How would I get there? How do I quit my current job? What if I can’t get another job?” These are only a few of many stories that we may begin looking into when we have that initial thought of changing our job situation. Although we sometimes call this; facing the reality of the situation and doing what’s realistic, truth is, this sequence of thoughts and rationalizations all stems from fear.
Here are some key of points to help you overcome your fears.
1) Feel The Fear and Move Forward Anyway
How many times have you been about to do something and fear is creeping up on you as you get closer and closer to doing it? In these times, right before you are about to jump with both feet in you feel the fear at its highest and then seconds or minutes into it all, the fear dissipates into nothing. This is by far one of the most powerful ways to get beyond and rid your fears. Just Do It! (Nike paid me to say that.. j/k) By taking the leap and confronting your fears, you do the one thing that we allow fear to stop us from doing -doing what scares us. My feeling is, more often than not, just doing it will get rid of the fear from that moment forward when it comes to the challenge you face.
2) Let Go of The Past
When we face a situation that we may have experienced before, fear can arise if the previous outcome made some kinda of undesirable impact on us. Maybe in the past we weren’t quite prepared for the experience, we needed to gain a lesson from it, or it just happened to turn out how it did. This doesn’t mean we need to close up and never go after it again. Looking back to the past and fearing a repeat outcome puts the control into the hands of one instance that no longer even exists! You are a new person in each moment and are ready to make adjustments as you go. Sometimes all it takes is a few small tweaks and what may have once provided a challenge in the past is now easy to move through. Either way you learned something! Let go of the past and try again!
‘It’s too hard! I’m too tired! I don’t have time?’ I know these ones fairly well myself. There have been some situations in my life where I would have loved to do certain things and delayed them for quite some time due to these 3 sayings. Of course, these are not the only 3 excuses we like to come up with to put something off, but these certainly are common. Obstacles are one of the easiest ways for our minds to bury a fear. Obstacles appear real, they are quantitative and qualitative, they are easy to describe to others and others often agree with them. Given all of these qualities, it’s easy to see why we look out for obstacles all the time, but it does not mean that we are not using obstacles to mask our fears. After all, an obstacle is truly only as big as we make it. You can see it as a road block or as a necessary challenge along the path to your goal. See the obstacle for what it is, don’t give it anymore power than it needs and take the steps to move forward. There is little need to make them so serious.
4) Avoid Judging Outcomes
Have you ever been unsure of why something happened when it happens? Only to find out a few days, weeks or months later that it ended up greatly assisting your situation? It was in all moments leading up to your realization that you may have judged the experience as being bad, negative or not ideal. Instead of seeing the outcome as a succes no matter what, we define and categorize how it should have happened. This way of looking at our goals or choices creates fear in having certain outcomes play out. Often times the reason things happen the way they do is beyond our understanding at a particular time. We might want to judge or feel upset about why things happened, but they are part of a bigger plan. To help address your fears in this situation, go beyond reason and beyond judgement. There isn’t always an obvious reason why now is the time or why something might or might not happen. Go with how you feel beyond the unnecessary chatter of the mind and know that no matter the outcome, you successfully created that experience for yourself. It is likely the experience will provide you with positive growth no matter the outcome. After all, the mind is the only one who creates fear or who sees an outcomes as a failure.
5) Too Little, Too Late
How many times have you put off doing something only to find out it was now too late to have a go at it? I know myself I have experienced this one a few times and while regret might like to sneak its way in, that isn’t much help either. This one can also play with us in a couple ways. Either fear puts off what we are wanting to do, or the fear of having too little time makes us immobile because in the end we are afraid of failure. Either way, to address this fear is to simply take action. The journey is what’s important in the end. Whether the end result happens in time or not, it doesn’t help to keep putting things off. Let’s learn from our choices of waiting too long and choose to get going on actions now that we would like to take. When we get moving on something and face it head on, you notice quickly that your fears diminish.
My final thoughts are this when it comes to fears: they are there because something created them. Most of the time it was because of an experience of the past, judgment of an outcome or because we are afraid to fail. A combination of these thoughts exists in almost all of us and do nothing but create suffering and immobilization in what we want to do in life. While it may not be easy, starting today, take the steps to begin implementing some of these tactics when it comes to your fears. You can never fail, you are never wrong and there’s no need to judge or be judged on an outcome. I repeat due to its importance, the journey through life is what is most important, not the outcome. This goes for everything you choose to be part of.