All of us have at least one thing that we’re afraid of, that stands in the way of us achieving something bigger.
If we ignore it or deny it, it continues to expand, taking up valuable real estate in our minds and feeding off our vulnerability.
Susan Jeffers has a great piece of wisdom that really works (which also happens to be the title of her book): Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.
Whatever your “it” is, the fastest and most direct way to turn something you fear into a reference point for success is to do these 3 things:
- Face it
- Admit that it scares you
- Get on with it.
Face it. Don’t avoid, deny or suppress your fear. Look it in the eye. Give it your attention and focus.
Admit it. It’s okay to say you’re afraid of heights, or enclosed spaces, or driving to an unfamiliar place. Everyone has got something they’re afraid of. What’s not healthy is judging yourself for having the fear, telling yourself that you’re weak or useless for being afraid to go on the rollercoaster because it makes you nauseous. There is usually a good and perfectly valid reason for your fear that you may not be consciously aware of.
Get on with it. Taking action is the best antidote I know if you habitually let fear stop you from doing things you really want to do, or things that you need to do.
If the fear feels too big and overwhelming, build up to it by taking on smaller challenges.
Focus on the positives you will gain when you have mastered your fear. The feelings of accomplishment. How proud your friends and family will be when you tell them. How you never thought you’d see the day when you could do this. How you are subtly inspiring your children by showing them that fear is not the end of the story, and that mastering fear is a skill anyone can learn.
Best of all, each time you step out in spite of your fear, another light goes on in your neural network, creating a new superhighway in your brain that will make future repetitions easier and easier.
Eventually you won’t even have to consciously think about that “it”. You will just do it in autopilot mode, and if anyone were to remind you that you used to fear “it”, you might even be surprised and think, “Really? I used to be scared by THAT?”