Is there something you want to do in your life, but fear keeps you stuck? Do you want to face your fears head-on, so that you can finally move forward?
Join the club!
Fear keeps a lot of people from doing the things they really want to do. And ultimately, fear gets in the way of many people’s best selves and best lives.
All of us have fears. The fear of making the wrong decision, messing up, failing, looking stupid, being rejected, not fitting in… And on the list goes…
And this fear can be debilitating… It can literally stop you from taking action and moving forward. And ultimately, it can prevent you from becoming your best self and living your best life…
And so… because fear stands in the way of so many people’s dreams and desires, I felt compelled to write this blog post.
Over the years, on my own quest to live my best life, I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone and face my fears. And along the way, I’ve learnt some valuable lessons that I want to share with you. I hope they inspire you to never let fear stop you from taking action on what’s important to you.
And so… let’s get into it!
Fear is inevitable, especially when you’re growing.
When you grow, fear is inevitable.
Fear is, in a way, our nervous system keeping us safe. And when you grow in any way, you’re expanding and stepping out of your comfort zone. And in the unknown, fear rises up.
But, in order to grow, you need to expand into the unknown. You can’t grow and learn new things if you stay safe in your comfort bubble.
And so, when you feel fear, remember that there is nothing wrong with you. It’s completely normal to feel it.
Just by simply acknowledging and accepting that fear is inevitable, you can start to move forward.
Take the pressure off by letting go of the outcome.
Oftentimes, we fear the outcome of something.
We want to do something, but we don’t know how it will work out. And that can freeze us into in-action.
But, at the end of the day, no one knows how things will work out.
We can plan, prepare and work our butts off. But, we still can’t know for certain how something will work out. But… we can’t let that unknowing stop us from trying anything!
And even if it doesn’t work out the way you want it to, you’ll still learn something important along the way. All outcomes – both the good and the challenging – are all part of the journey. And oftentimes, it’s the most challenging outcomes that teach us the most valuable lessons.
So, when you’re working towards something and you’re feeling fear, I invite you to simply focus on doing your best and let go of the outcome.
There is something very liberating about letting go of how it will work out.
So… liberate yourself!
What’s the worst… and the best… that can happen?
Sometimes, when I’m feeling fear about doing something, I do a little best-case-worst-case exercise.
First, ask yourself “What’s the worst that can happen?”
I like thinking this way because it brings me back into a more practical mindset. Instead of getting caught up in the emotions.
When I was doing videos on Instagram, I’d ask myself “Sian, what’s the worst that can happen?” And some of my answers would be: “Well, people may think my videos are really bad and they will unfollow me. I may even get people messaging me and saying what I talk about is wrong or stupid or unhelpful”.
Being real about what the absolute worst is that can happen is helpful. Because then, you can think of reasons why this worst-case scenario is still okay… “Well, if this happens, that’s okay because the people who don’t like my content and unfollow me aren’t the right audience for me. So this is a good way to refine my audience and speak to the right people.”
Then, ask yourself “What’s the best that can happen?“
Here you can jump into all the value it’ll give you… “I’ll build my confidence and I’ll get better at doing videos. This will help me start that YouTube video channel one day. I’ll also get valuable feedback from people, and this will help me refine my content. I may even inspire and help people, and that will feel so good and will keep me motivated.”
This best-and-worst-case exercise is great, as you often find that the PROS far out ways the CONS. And you realise that, regardless of what happens, you’re going to grow. And that can motivate you to move forward anyway.
Fear is the ultimate teacher of growth
And so, instead of being afraid of fear, I challenge you to consider fear to be the ultimate teacher of growth.
Think of something you want to do, big or small, and ask yourself “What am I afraid of?“
Are you afraid of failure? Or that you’ll make the wrong decision? Are you afraid that you’ll look stupid and that you’ll get rejected?
Really think about what you’re afraid of, and then spin this around and think about how this fear is encouraging you to grow…
Doing videos on social media brings up a lot of fears for me. I get scared that I’ll look stupid, and that people will think less of me and reject me. Essentially, I fear being seen by others, and not being good enough. By acknowledging these fears of mine, I knew I had to grow in these areas. I knew that I had to stop playing small, and that I needed to come out of the shadows. I knew that I had to start getting more comfortable with being seen and putting myself out there. Especially if I wanted to be a successful online entrepreneur.
And so… I started doing videos. Even if it was scary, I did it anyway because I knew I had to grow.
And so, shift your mindset when your fears come up. And instead of letting them squash you down, face your fears and ask the question “What can I learn from my fears? Where do I need to grow in my life?”
Remember, you are not alone.
Sometimes our fears can make us feel stupid, because they seem so silly. But I encourage you to show yourself more compassion. You are not silly or stupid for having fears – we all have them. And no matter how small the may seem, don’t berate yourself for having them.
If you want to face them and move forward, be kind to yourself on the journey. Forgive yourself for having them and remind yourself that it’s okay to have them. And, commend yourself for being brave enough to face them!
A thought that inspires me when I face my fears is that “I am not alone in this. Everyone has fears”
This is a powerful reminder that every single one of us has our own fears. We’re all facing our own internal struggles. So you are not alone.
To remind myself that there are many others out there, like you, facing your own fears, is comforting.
And this can inspire you to be more vulnerable. You don’t need to be perfect and pretend to have everything figured out. Life is complicated and we’re always working through stuff… like our fears. And that’s okay.
When I was doing my Instagram videos, it was liberating to talk about my fear of doing videos on social media. It was freeing to just say “Hey guys, I’m doing videos to face my fears of being seen… it’s scary, but I’m doing it anyway because I want to grow…” It actually felt good!
Getting more comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
And so, if you want to grow into your very best self and you want to live your very best life, accept the fact that fear is part of the journey.
And while moving through your fears is uncomfortable, it’s part of the growth process.
When you feel fear rise up:
- Stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and acknowledge your fear.
- Take a moment to forgive yourself for feeling it. There is nothing wrong with you. It is okay to feel fear. It is part of the process.
- Acknowledge your bravery in being willing to face your fears and grow into the unknown.
- Take a deep breath and say something encouraging to yourself. Something like “You’ve got this” or “You are brave and growing into your best self. You can do this”. Some simple words of encouragement can go a long way.
- Then… take a small step forward.
There is a beautiful quote by Christine Hassler:
How lovely is this quote? I just love it!
It’s a powerful reminder that fear is inevitable, and that part of the process is having the courage to feel it but to still move forward anyways.
Face your fear and choose to move forward anyways.
And so… what do you deeply want to do, big or small, but you aren’t doing it? What is getting in your way? What are you afraid of?
It’s time to face that fear.
And remember, it’s not about getting rid of your fear. It’s more about acknowledging it’s there, but choosing to move forward anyways. No matter how small the step.
Of course, it is challenging and uncomfortable to face your fears. But… the only way out is through… and once you come out the other side, you will be stronger and you will be empowered to keep growing.
Are you ready to face your fears?
I hope this blog post has inspired you to stop letting your fears stand in the way of what’s important to you.
Be it to finally go to that first dance class, to tell someone how you really feel, or to move cities or change careers.
When you start to get more comfortable feeling your fears and choosing to move forward anyways, you’ll get more and more courageous. And inevitably, you’ll start to move forward in all areas of your life!
Embrace fear as part of the journey and your greatest teacher, and you’ll become unstoppable!