Advertising
Advertising

8 Ways to Challenge Yourself and Face Your Fears

8 Ways to Challenge Yourself and Face Your Fears

Some days we ooze confidence, in other areas we tend to pull back where we should lead. Like anything, confidence takes work. Especially for those who sometimes feel the burn of self doubt. We must challenge ourselves in order to lead fulfilling lives!

1. Do as the Europeans do

Check out some of your European friends. Though all cultures have their fantastic individual traits, Europeans are generally confident, self-aware, and live life as if they deserve their place in it. Take a few pointers from their attitude. Whatever it is you want to be doing, approach it as they do. Push your ego out of the way and don’t ask anyone or anything for permission to battle forward for the life you want.

Advertising

2. Stand naked in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eyes

Giggle. But seriously, this is one of the most confronting things a human can do. Eye to eye communication is thought to be the most personal, so being eye to eye with yourself can be intense. But give it a go. The more you do it, the more comfortable you are with yourself, and in time your self confidence will know no bounds. If you can manage it, tell yourself ‘I love you’ too. It might seem silly, but we don’t do it enough.

3. Live in a new country

It is all well and good travelling to a new country, but we are talking pack your things, say goodbye to your home, grab one medium-sized bag and just take to the hills. Find a new home, that place you always really really wanted to go but never did. Go and live there. Ensconce yourself in the culture and habits and see what you learn from those around you. It will be the hardest and most rewarding thing you might ever do in your life.

Advertising

4. Take up a new activity/sport that scares you

Pick one. Do it. Stick to it.

Start small. Practise every day. Do it until you can feel the power of your efforts, and the triumph. Your physical and mental strength will reward you.

Advertising

5. Take aim at your most unrealistic dream

Think about the thing you really, really want but never thought you could really really have. Maybe it was a class, maybe it was a job, maybe it was a family, maybe it was becoming a clown or learning to walk on hot coals! Whatever it was, and whatever the reason you pushed it aside, remember your long lost dream. And however unrealistic, if you can imagine it, you can aim for it. And once you realize you can do it, you also realize how much in this life really is possible.

6. Practice communication

Sometimes it is the daily things that make us believe we aren’t confident or good. Learn what is making you feel a certain way and communicate about it. The first time might be really really hard and also uncomfortable, but the more you learn to do this, the better you get at being able to communicate in ways that truly benefit our lives and our relationships.

Advertising

7. Because practice makes perfect

Aim high. Keep doing whatever it is, every day, over and over, until it isn’t scary any more. Aim for the part that scares you the most, keep calm and don’t stop until you get there. Just a little bit every day, until your confidence grows, and then a little bit more. The important thing is to just never ever give up.

8. Look your fears dead in the eye

There really is a lot of worth in the saying “Face your fears”. When we run from something, or avoid it, it grows in size. It doesn’t actually disappear like we want it to, just because we want it to. When we practice meeting our fears head on, the fear begins to dissipate and we learn to approach all situations with much more confidence. Not only does it benefit your own self worth, but such fearlessness commands respect. You will attract similar people into your life which will only further your positivity. You will be leader of your destiny in no time!

Featured photo credit: Magdeleine via magdeleine.co

More by this author

25+ Quotes That Bring You Inner Peace To Face With Every Challenge What Is Lactose Intolerance And What To Do If You Have It Nutritionists Say Granola Bars Are Just Dressed Up Junk Food Researchers Explain Why People Often Feel Disappointed In The Dating World 3 Effective Home Remedies For Annoying Eczema

Trending in Communication

1 40 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place 2 6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak 3 How to Train Your Brain to Be Optimistic 4 How to Stop Living on Autopilot with Antonio Neves 5 The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

Advertising

Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

Advertising

How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

Advertising

Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

Read Next