Fear. It creeps in, grabs hold of your stomach, and paralyzes you. Despite your efforts to keep going you decide to turn back and forget that anything happened. The funny thing about fear is that it can sometimes be good for you. Most people actually fear failure, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try whatever it is you’re most scared of.
I like to push myself sometimes to prove to me- and only me- that I can do it. Some people can get too comfortable where they are in life and this is more paralyzing than that of fear. I don’t think humans are meant to be complacent. You must constantly put yourselves in uncomfortable situations in order to grow.
A few weeks ago I tried to jump off this cliff into a body of water. It looked so much fun and it was something I felt like I had to do at least once in my life. I made it to the top, looked down and was so frightened I couldn’t jump. Every time I looked down my stomach grew queasy as my heart beat so fast I thought it was going to lunge out of my chest. I was urged to walk back to the car before I could face my fear and as we walked further away from the jumping site the more my disappointment grew. I had been looking forward to that jump or months and when it came down to it…I chickened out! I silently vowed to myself that the next time we went I was going to do it. No excuses. So I went again the weekend after and tried again. I just had to prove to myself that I could do it! It took me awhile to jump off. I even felt the same nerves come rushing back as I stood at the edge of the cliff. I took a deep breath and let myself go with faith and desire to accomplish my goal. I was so proud of myself! I actually jumped off! I ended up jumping twice that day.
That was just minor example of how fear can hold you back from some pretty rewarding experiences, but even more so it can prevent you from being fulfilled in life. Fear can stop you from taking a risk to pursue a career that brings you joy, getting that raise you deserve, making new friends or experiencing love.
Three years ago I made the difficult decision to go to journalism instead of the pre-destined route to medicine. It was the hardest decision of my life, but I was so unhappy that I knew I had to make change or else I’d be miserable for the rest of my life. So I decided to o to journalism school and haven’t looked back since. It was the probably the best decision I’ve ever made and one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences of my life. So what are you waiting for? Go face your fears!
Here are 3 ways to clear the obstacles of fear and open up yourself to positive experiences:
- Words of positivity
I can and I will. This is my own personal mantra. This helps remind me that I’m the only one who is holding myself back from achieving my goals. It gives me the courage to try something I’m really scared of. What are your own words of positivity or encouragement to help you through tough times? Keep it to a few words so it is easy to remember, repeat it to yourself when you wake up and repeat it again throughout the day. Don’t forget to recite it before you’re about to do something difficult or scary. Most people are quick to tell others words of encouragement, but they often forget to say positive words of encouragement to themselves. We need to remember to be kind to ourselves, especially during challenging times.
- If it’s uncomfortable, do it!
People as a whole do not like feeling uncomfortable…as they should. It does not feel good. However, this is the key to facing your fears. The more you put yourself in uncomfortable situations, the more you become comfortable with those situations. You learn to adapt, to deal and acquire the skills to face fear head on. For example, if you’re afraid of public speaking or talking to new people you will constantly have to work at getting better at this by putting yourself in situations where you must speak in front of people. Try to talk to someone new every day or take a public speaking class where you are required to make speeches in front of a group of people. You may not accomplish this at first, but eventually it will get easier because you will acquire the skills to deal with your nerves and follow through with the task
When your nerves are getting the best of you make it a point to stop what you are doing and focus on your breath. It is scientifically proven that breathing can affect those with asthma, heart failure, change levels of pH levels in the body, as well as, change the levels of blood pressure. Take a deep breath in for 4 seconds and a deep breath in for 5 seconds. This will gradually calm your nerves down and clear your mind. Once you do that you’ll be ready to face your fears in a less agitated state.
I was once told that I possess the remote control of your life. You choose whether to be happy, stay stagnant, move forward or grow. The question now is what will you choose? I urge you to choose to live and not let your fears stop you from obtaining your goals!