Life is just too short to spend it in fear. Having the courage to face those fears can take you to places you never thought possible. Remember that anything new becomes comfortable and routine if it is done long enough. Identify the things that are going well in your life. These are the things that you probably don’t want to change. But also identify areas of needed growth. Making changes here will propel you to a much higher altitude. Making changes here may be necessary if you are to experience the best version of you. Sometimes it is only he who attempts the ridiculous that ever achieves the impossible.
Sometimes we need to take risks in order to grow. How are we to create a positive snowball effect if we consistently refuse to move? Positive momentum is created by motion. Norman Vincent Peale tells us, “Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.” Remember that. Life rewards action. Face the fear that holds you back from the things that you really want in life. Eleanor Roosevelt put it so well: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” And do you know what? The very thing that you fear many times ends up to be no horror at all.
How to Let Go of Fear
- Acknowledge and own your fear. Admit it.
- Try to figure out where it originated. This will help put things into perspective for you. Maybe your fear is rational and you really are in immediate danger, or your fear may belong in the past yet your body still very much reacts to it today.
- Identify what triggers your fear.
- Ask yourself, “How does this fear affect me?”
- Challenge your fears. Is whatever you fear really that dangerous? Are you running from an imaginary animal? If you determine that your fears are warranted, ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen to me?” If you can tolerate the worst-case scenario, you may want to proceed.
- Just do it! You will gain confidence in yourself once you do that which you fear. The new will eventually become routine.
- Take baby steps. This will gradually desensitize you to its power. I once worked with a man who suffered from an anxiety disorder and was overcome with panic at just the thought of leaving his home. I had him go as far as the porch for seven days straight. Then I had him go to the driveway for several days. Eventually he was able to drive to the grocery store, but he did not go in. A month later he went inside the store. What started as a small victory—going to the porch—turned into so much more. He overcame his fear.
- Fight fear with faith. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
- Continue to build momentum by persevering through the setbacks.
- Celebrate breakthrough moments. Celebrate your progress
*Some fears are the result of trauma and need to be confronted slowly and carefully with the help of a mental health professional. Don’t settle for a life of mediocrity or a life imprisoned by fear. Find the support you need to move forward in life and experience the amazing you!