Have you been saying you want to make changes or take specific actions in your life, yet still find yourself standing in the same place? In your career, social life even relationships? If the answer is 'yes', you may unknowingly be letting fear stop you from achieving your goals and affect your decision making.
Let's take relationships for example, does this scenario sound familiar? Jennifer is frustrated because she hasn’t been able to find a great relationship yet. She keeps promising herself that she'll try online dating but says she hasn’t had the time. In reality, it’s not time holding Jennifer back but resistance to confronting fear.
Fear is inevitable. You can either let it stop you and continually be scared in life, or use it to propel you forward. What's important to remember about fear is that we need it in order to push forward and achieve greatness.
Fear and decision making
There are many causes of fear, but ultimately it comes from experiencing something outside of our comfort zone. It’s an emotion we experience when our mind contemplates change in the future – even if it’s for the better. Here's a list of the most common everyday signs and symptoms of fear that we each face at one point or another in our lives. Sometimes it helps to write down what you think affects a change in mood or a sudden alternative thought process in order to recognise where fear is stemming from. Ask yourself which one(s) applies to you so that we move on to understand how to tackle them, achieve your goals and release fear:
- Making a career change?
- Leaving a relationship?
- Raising your standards?
- Letting go of bad habits?
- Making decisions?
- Saying 'no'?
- Envisioning a different future?
How to overcome fear and anxiety
As a child, you probably had some big dreams of what you wanted to be or do in your life. If you have been around children lately and listened to their conversations – they think big. There are dreams of being president, of flying to the moon or becoming a world class ballerina. As we get older, the world seeps in and the more we listen, the bigger and more debilitating our fears become. Here are some valuable tools to keep in mind when trying to remove fear from the mind and heart, overcome them and reduce your levels of anxiety tied to it:
1. It’s important to know there is nothing wrong with feeling afraid. If you are continually growing and stretching, fear will regularly come up. Fear is not the problem – it’s the way we deal with it that creates obstacles. Instead of fighting or ignoring fear, think about working with it.
2. Fear will only subside once you face it. Yes, you will feel scared and it’s impossible to be fearless but you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable and not always knowing the answer or outcome.
3. Know that courage is not fearlessness. Courage is simply the willingness to move forward fear and all. The better you are able to manage and push through fear and discomfort, the greater the quality of your life and achievement of what you want will be.
4. You are not alone. Everyone is afraid sometimes. When you see people who have succeeded and wonder why they weren’t afraid – most likely they were. The people that succeed in achieving their big dreams and goals just took action in spite of feeling fear.
Take on these tools to help you move forward in life and stay motivated and finally achieve your goals. What would you do in your life if you weren’t afraid to fail?
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