It could be that thing you want to run away from, the person you’re terrified to speak to, or that something you’re not sure you really want because it scares the pants off you. Regardless what it
is, if you want to live with as little regret as possible, you need to face your fears and find courage.
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
I know it's tough to believe that our greatest potentials exist outside comfort zones, especially when those spaces make our hearts feel like they're about to explode out of our chests. But, each time we don’t embrace our discomforts and get more used to being uncomfortable, we become weak.
Ready to say: Bring it on?!
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Here Are 6 Ways To Face Your Fears And Get Your Courage On:
Take an inventory.
Keep track of all the times you have faced a fear and got stronger from doing so. Write each occasion down and treat this as your "Book of Evidence." Refer to it often!
Develop a mindset of bravery training.
Make a list of those things you’re afraid to do and decide to start embracing them. To become fearless we need to practice being fearless. So why not use whatever irritates, frustrates, or frightens you as bravery training? If it's too tough, add a little perspective is to ask yourself, “Who would be happy to have this problem that’s scaring the crapola out of me right now?!”
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Decide to channel the adrenaline you’re feeling into a force for good. Ask yourself “How can I make use of all this “energy” I’m feeling?” In his classic book The Magic of Thinking Big
(1959), author David J. Schwartz says that action is the antidote to fear. I couldn’t agree more! And if the thing you’re grappling with at the moment just feels too big, begin by smashing it into smaller parts. What’s the one thing you can take action on today? Approach that first.
Again from The Magic of Thinking Big
“Belief works this way. Belief, the ‘I'm-positive- I-can’ attitude, generates the power, skill, and energy needed to do. When you believe I-can- do-it, the how-to-do-it develops. Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figuring ways and means and how-to. And believing you can succeed makes others place confidence in you.”
Don’t worry about thinking you have to have 100% belief in yourself right now. All you need to do is acknowledge there’s the “possibility” you can you do something, even if it’s tiny! Remember, the more fear you infuse into any situation and worrying about what “might” go wrong, the more you create the playground for exactly that to happen. So if you can’t quite muster up 100% belief in yourself right now, then focus on the possibility of why it just might turn out okay, and how you’re going to feel when it does! Then, play by this rule:
Don’t obsess about the outcome; get passionate about the process.
Some of the reasons we don’t do the things that frighten us is because we’re afraid of being judged, stumbling or even succeeding. We’re so attached to getting something done perfect the first time, we won’t even give certain things a go. Seems unneccesarily limiting, doesn't it?
So, try this – develop a philosophy of living more in the moment without worrying about how it turns out. Doing so will help develop your sense of fearlessness, bravery and courage.
So what if it doesn’t turn out? If you give something your all, you’ll undoubtedly learn something about the situation or yourself you didn’t know before, and that will have already been worth pushing through your fears for.
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And finally, it’s time to D.A.R.E.
Here’s to living your life as a daring adventure! In another wonderful book on this subject, The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt (2011), author Russ Harris explains that when we D.A.R.E. – Defuse from our negative thoughts, Accept discomfort, set Realistic goals and Embrace our values – we empower ourselves and get unstuck.
Whenever we chose to try out new things, explore new horizons and turn our life into a an adventure, we will experience the pain of growth. Growth will always include plenty of fear, but with a little courage, we get to take back the power we give our fears and live for ourselves.
For those of you ready to dare, write this down and keep it close:
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“Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each new thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt from her book You Learn By Living: Eleven Keys For a More Fulfilling Life (1960)
Emma Bathie is a Soul Happiness Coach. Learn more about her work and how to create more of life's magic here.
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Tell us in the comments: What fears have you overcome in life? How did you do it?