Are you sick and tired of feeling afraid and timid all the time? Friend, know that you’re not alone.
You’re going to be just fine.
Being afraid had been a huge part of my life growing up. I hated myself for being held back by my fears and not putting myself out there to try new things and do the things I actually wanted to do.
If you’d rather listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post: Overcoming Fear
Over the last few years, I’ve slowly evolved my relationship with fear. I’ve grown from hiding from fear, to confronting my fear, to finally acknowledging fear and now sitting with it.
What I learned is that you can build so much strength from fear. You can read my fear story here.
Fear is a very negative and uncomfortable feeling. You feel very uncertain and unsafe. Sometimes, we’re not even feeling afraid of the outcome, we’re simply feeling afraid to FEEL that fear.
If you are feeling very fearful toward a situation right now, I want to offer you 3 simple steps to manage that fear better.
3 Steps to Managing & Overcoming Your Fear
1. Name That Fear
If you are feeling afraid, you need to call out that fear and identify it.
Often times, when we’re confronted by fear, the automatic response is to protect ourselves and hide from that fear. But what if you can lean in toward it just a bit, and identify what that fear actually looks like to you?
What exactly are you afraid of? Are you afraid of failing? Are you afraid of others’ opinions about you? Are you afraid of people leaving you? Are you afraid of not being good enough?
Sometimes for one situation, there can be multiple types of fears. Instead of simply feeling afraid, try listing our exactly what your fears are so you can call them out.
2. Analyze Your Fear
Determine if the result is worth these fears. After you have listed out your fears, go through each of the fears and ask yourself these questions:
- Is my desire for the result, greater than this fear?
- Is this the kind of fear that excites me and scares me at the same time?
- Will I regret not having done this one day, if I choose to give in to my fear?
If your answer is YES to all three of these questions, you should probably pursue this fear. Nowadays, I use fear as a compass to guide me. You’re feeling afraid, because it means something to you.
3. Change Your Story About That Fear
Once you have decided to pursue the action, the next step is to change your thinking around that fear. You need to create a more empowering reason for feeling afraid.
Fear is simply a feeling. When we feel fear, we’re creating our own definition and meaning about why we’re feeling afraid. Instead of defaulting to a negative thought/ story for yourself, you can purposefully create deliberate, more empowering thoughts for that feeling.
For example: I am scared of public speaking.
The negative story about that fear would be: “I will mess up. People will laugh at me. I will forget my lines.”
The more empowering story for that fear would be: “Doing this is important to me. I will grow from this experience. My desire to spread my ideas is much more important than my fear. What I want to share is valuable, so people will really be focusing on what I say instead of how I’m behaving.”
Notice the difference between these thoughts and how they can really influence how you feel about that situation?
Either way, you are feeling afraid. But the thoughts about that fear are now different.
Excitement vs. Fear
Also, did you know that the feeling of excitement and fear actually produce the same type of chemical release in your body? But what differentiates us from feeling fear compared to feeling excitement is simply our OWN INTERPRETATION of that feeling. Crazy right?!
So next time, if you feel afraid, you can really justify your feeling by saying “I am excited about _” instead. This will change your entire story and thoughts about the situation.
To live a daring life means to embrace and accept every piece of us, including our insecurities, our imperfections, AND our fears.
I know very well that sometimes we hide from fear and we refuse to feel it.
But during those vulnerable moments, if you feel afraid, acknowledge it for being there, and still decide to show up to do what you wanted to do anyways, repeatedly, again and again, that is called courage.
You need to be afraid to be strong. Sometimes, in order to grow, you need to face your fears to be better than who you were. And it is only when you are able embrace yourself completely, can you truly live a more honest, courageous, and passionate life.
This is what living a daring life is all about.
What’s your relationship with fear? Let me know in the comments below.