We all have fears that can be paralyzing and even overwhelming. Whether it’s a fear of the unknown, of failure, or of something more tangible, it can be difficult to face those fears head-on.
Of all the four-letter words, “fear” might be the one that stirs up the greatest reaction. At its most basic level, fear is a natural reaction triggered in the amygdala in the brain to keep us safe—it’s why your “flight or fight” response fires up when you see an exceptionally large spider. But while fear can help protect us, it can also hinder personal growth.
I face my fears and embark on things that scare the $hit out me and you should too. The best things in life are on the other side of fear. Okay, so today’s post is going to be something a little different. As you can see from what you have read so far, I am going to be talking about facing your fears.
Why would I talk about something like this? Seems a bit random.
Well, the thing is, fear is an important topic when talking about any growth or progress in life and I would consider growth and progress a huge part of what this blog stands for.
You’re probably sick to death of people telling you to just face your fears head on and get on with it.
And I am going to ask you to do the same. But I will also tell you what I think will help you in facing your fears, and that is to change your perception of the fear itself and how it effects your life.
This has been something that has helped me personally.
My thinking was always that fear was bad and that it was best to avoid it like the plague. Whether it was speaking in public, starting a blog or a business, fear always had this grip over me in these situations.
As I got a bit older (maybe not wiser) I started to get into self- development. I realized that the fear was there and it wasn’t going anywhere. And then this thought comes to me that if this fear was always going to be there in my life, then why not embrace it, treat it as though it were my friend. Every time my fear popped up, I began to see it as an indicator that I was growing and doing something right, so therefore I was less afraid to confront it. It is with this thinking that my perception started to change. Fear was always there but facing it was that little bit easier because I was looking at it in a different way.
Ever since I was a young school girl, I always had this fear of being on the stage. If I was participating in the school play or had to speak in front of an assembly, I always had this anxiety about forgetting my lines, or just forgetting what I was supposed to do.
I knew it was a completely irrational fear.
If I got onto the stage and stood in front of an audience, my brain went into overdrive.
‘What if I go completely blank?’
‘What if I can’t recall what I was meant to say?”
All these thoughts would circle my head until I got off the stage.
But the funny thing was that I loved being in front of an audience and I really wanted to stay on the stage without being so afraid while I was there.
With my new found perception on fear I took this as a sign that I needed to face the fear and go towards it.
So, when I was asked a few weeks ago, if I would participate in a fashion show, I said “YES!”
I sent out my measurements as was requested by the designer and prepared myself, visualizing walking on the ramp and doing it well. Fast forward to a few weeks later and I finally plucked up the courage to get onto the dais and walk.
This was a very big step for me. A few months earlier I don’t know if I could have done this at all.
Was I terrified getting on?
Am I still terrified getting on?
Not as much as I used to be.
And that is because I faced my fear head on, with the help of the change in my perception of the fear itself. I knew that if I could get comfortable on the stage, then it would actually benefit me and allow me to progress.
Nothing beats the feeling of facing your fears, then overcoming them. It’s why it is there as an obstacle in the first place, so that you can get past it and feel that sense of achievement. When we face that fear and push ourselves beyond what we thought we thought we could do or achieve, we realize what we’re capable of. Plus, it feels amazing to say “yes, I did that!”.
Fear alerts us to what matters. When the stakes are high and there’s something we want to achieve, we feel either fear or excitement. When fear arises, instead of letting it paralyze you to, flip the feeling to excitement. Recognize that the situation is meant to inspire your continued growth and help you develop greater resilience. Life does NOT get easier as we get older and have more demands on our time and emotions.
Tell me – what fear have you faced? Or are you going to face?