Why do you get scared? Why are you afraid to pursue goals, dreams, ambitions, or personal challenges?
Fear can get in the way of some pretty remarkable achievements. It can keep you from getting married because you’re afraid of commitment, it can keep you from starting your own business because you’re afraid you won’t be able to support yourself or your family. Fear can even keep you from losing weight – what if the effort you put into it doesn’t produce the results you expect?
Fear can keep you from knocking off things on your Limitless list and living a life full of amazing experiences.
Why are you scared?
It’s important to recognize fear for what it really is. It’s simply the association of an event with a negative outcome. So for example if you have always thought about bungee jumping but have yet to do it, it is most likely due to the fixation on some sort of negative expectation of the event. Maybe possibly getting hurt for example.
If you have always wanted to start your own business you may be overly focused on not being able to make enough money to support yourself, or the hard work that it actually takes.
The same can be true if you have been struggling with your health and wellness. Often the fear of getting started, the hard work it takes, or the fear of not being able to keep the weight off can get in the way.
Turning your back on fear
Trying to avoid fear or to convince yourself to have “no fear” is a mistake. Fear is not going anywhere anytime soon. It will always be there. But don’t spend too much time dwelling on it. Quickly recognize it, exchange pleasantries, and move on.
Plan: Here is a quote I try to live by “Counting on luck is counting on random chance; your odds are better when you plan and work.”
How fantastic is that? The best plan of attack when dealing with fear is to plan for it. What is the next big challenge you’ve been thinking about undertaking? Ask yourself why you are afraid and plan for it. When I left my job a few months ago to pursue coaching full-time my personal finances were a big concern.
Instead of concentrating on how much money you need to earn look instead at where you can cut what you’re currently spending.
- Any memberships you don’t use?
- Cut cable?
- Sell some old stuff?
- Get rid of the car?
- Lower your insurance premiums?
- Buying coffee everyday? Busted :)
- Buy generic products instead of name brands
- Brown bag a healthy lunch as opposed to going out all the time
Maybe your big challenge has nothing to do with money as a root fear. Start thinking about what is causing that fear in you. Address it and plan for it. Need some help figuring out a plan? Post in comments in I’ll help you out.
Focus on the positive outcomes: I touched on it earlier but it is important to repeat it. The negative expectations associated with any event are the heart of what keeps you from accomplishing that which you want most. Although it’s important to recognize those possible negative outcomes so that you can plan, once that step has been taken, it’s important to place your focus on the possible positive outcomes that you want to experience.
By concentrating on the good, you are much more likely to stay encouraged and motivated. A great way you can stay focused on the positive is to keep track. Keep an achievement journal each month. If weight loss is your goal, track your progress each week my taking body measurements, hopping on the scale, or getting a body fat test done.
Another great way to focus on the positive is to keep track of your behaviors. Are you acting in a manner that is getting you closer to your goals? Buying healthy groceries and avoiding the junk? Prepping healthy meals the night before so they are ready to roll the next day? Waking up a bit earlier to get in a 30-minute run?
Results are not always measurable right away but the behaviors that lead to those results are.
Review the log at the end of the month and see how you did? Where did you struggle and what might you be able to do this upcoming month to improve upon those things?
Practice, Practice, Practice: Most of us are not naturally remarkable at things right away. If you are one of those people… I hate you. Learning new skills takes practice. Like shooting a basketball, playing the guitar, or weight training – They are each difficult in their own way and it takes time to learn how to do them properly.
So practice being courageous by taking on smaller fears. Make a list of all the things that scare the heebie-jeebies out of you. Review the list and pick the one of them that freaks you out the least. Now go for it! Build upon that success and take on something that scares you a little bit more.
What you’re doing here is training your courage muscle. Just like weight training to build lean muscle or going on a run to prepare for a marathon, you’re training yourself to get stronger. How neat is that?
We’re all scared of something. Some of those fears are big, some are small, and some may even seem silly. Regardless they are real and probably not going anywhere anytime soon. So ask, what is something you can do right now that will get you one step closer to tackling your fear?
Take that step. Time is ticking…
Featured photo credit: Mysterious woman pulls the blinds apart via Shutterstock