What stops you from living an audaciously brilliant life? We explored how your beliefs can hold you back, but your fears are equally as powerful. Fears come from a place deep within us that at one stage in our evolution kept us alive. At the dawn of humankind, fear of change and the unknown kept us from crossing that big river (and potentially drowning), or from leaving the tribe (and being eaten by something fierce), or running about in the dark (and perhaps falling into a ravine).
But in our day and age, there really are very few true “life and death” decisions that we have to fear. So why are we still riddled with doubt and fear over whether to have that tough conversation with our boss, or to take a chance on that new job offer?
A question: Is fear still a healthy survival tool, or does it now simply keep us in our comfort zone and therefore smaller and less significant than we could be? Most fears we face these days are fear of the future, or the unknown, rather than actual dangers. What would happen if we lived every day without the trace of fear?
Would we perish? Probably not, at least if we could temper the lack of fear with common sense. Don’t fear getting hit by a car, but don’t cross the street without looking both ways, either!
Would we live bolder, more vibrant, exciting lives? Yes! What if we didn’t stop to be afraid of what people would think before we did something? Or if we did not get the stomach-churn when considering introducing ourself to someone we admire? Or if we didn’t feel like crawling into a hole when faced with the opportunity to speak in front of a room of 200 people?
Sounds liberating doesn’t it? So what are some tools we can use to reduce or vanquish fear from our mind?
When you notice yourself feeling fear:
- Focus on the present moment. Because your fear is actually fear of something that hasn’t happened yet (and may never happen), notice that at this moment, all is well.
- Remember the saying that FEAR stands for “false evidence appearing real.”
- Feel the fear and do it anyway — push through it to prove to yourself you don’t actually get eaten by the saber-tooth tiger. What happens in reality is probably not going to be anything as bad as what you’d feared.
- Try to switch into a place of faith rather than fear. Have faith that all will work out in the end.
By the way, if you turn the corner in a dark alley and come face to face with a saber tooth tiger, I suspect it is totally OK to revert back to your roots, feel your fear and RUN! You’ll probably feel amazingly alive at that moment!
What fears do you allow to stop you? What are you afraid of? What would you do if you weren’t afraid?