My dear readers,
Today’s post comes straight from the book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. If you want to know how to get over your fears in life and reach your full potential, then this is required reading.
Early in her book, Dr. Jeffers discusses the five truths about fear. I will break each one down and explain it so that you can use these truths to your advantage and achieve your goals faster. Be sure to stick around till the very end where I show you how to deal with fear personally. Sound good? Let’s dive right in.
Truth #1: Fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow
This means that there will always be fear (of the unknown, uncertainty, ambiguity, etc.) when you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and living life in a meaningful way. When you are doing something you love, especially if that something lies on the road less traveled, then you will sense fear creeping up on you. It will speak to you and say, “where’s the money going to come from?”, “what will you do if you go broke and homeless?”, and “why would you go out when you have security and protection right here?”. The point is to be aware of the voice, and then prove it wrong. It takes faith in yourself to handle it.
Truth #2: The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it
This means that you must take action toward your goals. DO NOT LET FEAR PARALYZE YOU. A lot of people are stuck in jobs they hate working for people they hate only to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again. You want to know why this happens to so many people? Fear. They are gripped by the fear of insecurity and not having enough money to ensure their survival. Note, I am aware that we must fight for our survival in this not-so-nice world. I am saying that we must not let fear defeat us and we must focus on what we want and take small steps towards that.
Truth #3: The only way to feel better about yourself is to go out and do it
This means that, once you take action toward your goals, you will feel an increased sense of self-confidence and esteem. This is totally healthy and normal. Success is subjective, and you succeed whether the actions are small (saving $10 every pay period for your side business) or large (buying an empty building to that you will turn into your own gym and mentorship studio). Let’s face it, we feel like crap when we are stuck in something we hate. Fear is like mom’s hand on the cookie jar telling you “NO!”, and you have no choice but to back off….unless you take action, stand up to mom, and convince her that her hand needs to get off that lid because you deserve those damn cookies!
Truth #4: Not only are you going to experience fear whenever you’re on unfamiliar territory, so is everyone else
This means simply that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! (Can I get an amen!) This is arguably the most relieving truth about fear, and once you understand it your life will be changed forever. Just take a second to think about the people in your life who are living new experiences. They could be your classmates at school or colleagues at work, or even you. If you’ve thought that people just “have it all together”, I assure you that you are dead wrong. I can promise you that they are experiencing as much fear as, or perhaps more than, you are at the moment in your adventures. Be open about it. I guarantee that if you talk to people and tell them it’s your first time in a new state or at a new school or job and you’re a little scared, you’ll meet someone who currently is or has been in a very similar situation. Common ground – just like that.
Truth #5: Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness
This means that if you let fear stop you from living your passion, then you will face something even worse than fear – regret. You see, fear is a flaky thing. Once you stomp your foot to the ground and get to work, it goes away. But regret, oh no, regret lingers like a snake wrapped around your heart; cutting off its circulation and preventing it from bringing vitality to your body. Where fear paralyzes, regret petrifies. Remember, you are the only one on your deathbed. No one goes with you. It’s up to you whether you will say, “I lived my passion and I gave it my all. I can die peacefully”, or “I wish I had pursued my dreams and lived up to my own expectations. I am not ready to leave…” The former statement is made by those who went out there and DID IT whereas the latter statement is made by those who were paralyzed by fear and petrified to death by regret. Take action to prevent helplessness in the face of fear.
These are the five truths about fear. Now, as promised, here’s how you deal with fear personally: remind yourself that you can handle whatever comes your way. You control your emotional reactions to and interpretations of every situation. Focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want. Finally, instead of running from fear, wrap your arm over its shoulder, give it a kiss on the cheek, and say, “hey, you can come along for the ride, but you ain’t gonna stop me”.