What would you do if fear didn’t exist? Imagine living a fearless life…what would you accomplish and how would your life be different then it is now?
Fear-An unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined.
The “real” fear
Yes, naturally we are born with fear.It is helpful and protects us. Fear can be used in a positive way to warn us of legitimate danger. When faced with a real danger that threatens our survival, our bodies fight or flight response kicks in which alters our hormones to flee quickly or fight back. This natural response is embedded in us as a survival mechanism in which a threat or fear triggers the reaction. Consider this fear a gift.
The “imagined” fear
So, looking back at the definition of fear above, I love that “imagined” made it into the dictionary’s interpretation. There is this imagined fear that waits on the outskirts of our comfort zones. It’s as if the windows of our comfort zone are like fun house mirrors at a carnival that magnify and distort reality. Our thought process creates an image of fear as we ponder everything that could go wrong. When in reality the fear of taking a risk is so minute as compared to what could actually go right.
When staring down fear consider the risks and the rewards. Usually the risks aren’t as bad as what the mind thinks they will be. Challenges that evoke fear typically involve risks such as…humiliation, failure, hurt and self-doubt . If others judge you or humiliate you for pushing past fear and taking a risk…well 99% of the time they shouldn’t be considered your friends and their opinion should not matter. If the risk leads to failure…guess what? You brush it off stand back up, adjust, and go for it again. Many successful individuals did not get where they are today because they didn’t fail. They made it because they allowed themselves to fail several times but they continued to persevere. The risk is worth the reward.
Fear Kills More Dreams Than Failure
Fear is like a school bully. It is known to paralyze, kill dreams, trigger anxiety and keep us from living our best life’s. I am not sure why we allow a simple 4 letter word wreck our world. Fear will always exist throughout life no matter how much we try to ignore it, the feeling will always arise. Weather it is real or imagined, it happens naturally, but you do have control over it to an extent. Fear typically arrives unexpectedly without an invitation in which we have no control over. We do however, have the ability to control how we react to it. You can either allow it to fuel your fire or put the flame out. Allow the feelings and symptoms of fear fuel your fire, be courageous and do it scared.
I am not saying I am by any means immune to fear. I still feel it build up inside of me, my thoughts race as a I worry over it, and my heart rate rises. But I face it head on and do it anyway. Why? Because I will not be a prisoner of fear, I will not sit behind it’s bars and allow it to dictate my life. If I allowed fear and my rare condition of porphyria to hold me back, I would be confined to the walls of my home wishing I lived a different life.
I used to hate covering up to go outside in the sun during the day. I feared what people would think of me and did not want to appear different. A few years ago I went to an outdoor activity center (zip lines, rafting, paddle boarding, etc.) in the middle of the day in direct sunlight. If I wanted to participate I would have to have every inch of my skin covered with UV protective clothing. For me, in my mind, this meant looking ridiculous and feeling completely humiliated. Although, I only knew my sister in law who I went with and no one could even see who I was behind all the clothing. I was still scared but I geared up and exposed my covered self to the public.
It was the worst and the best thing I have ever done. Yes, I got the dreaded stares, rude remarks and felt humiliated. I also had an amazing day being able to do what I love being outside and adventurous. This day propelled me forward to doing it scared. I now cover up and spend more time outside enjoying what I love. I recently went back to the same outdoor center to do it all again. I was shaking as I entered knowing the humiliation I felt previously. I switched my mindset to be brave and positive and had an amazing day. People still made comments, but I heard the positive instead of the negative and had some good convos with strangers as I shared my rare disease with them.
Do It Scared
It is perfectly OK to feel scared, but you have to take that first step and get out of your comfort zone. Replace fear and self doubt with courage and bravery. Use the feelings of fear to fuel your fire . Flip your mind set, keep your eyes on the reward and know the outcome is far greater than the risks. I challenge you to choose something you are fearful of and do it. I believe in you!
Share a dream that you feel fear is holding you back.