"Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears."
- Les Brown
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
What a freeing question that is and one we don’t ask ourselves enough. But seriously, what would you do? Once you have that in mind, what is it that’s holding you back?
Chasing our dreams is scary. It’s actually terrifying. People often use this fear as a deterrent rather than a motivator. The idea of not pursuing something sounds greater than failing at it.
But what if you don’t fail? What if you actually succeed? How great would that be?
Fear doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s often just a measurement of how much you care. It shows how badly you actually want something.
If fear has prevented you from pursuing a passion or goal, ask yourself the following questions:
- Without this goal, are you satisfied with the life you’re currently living? Are you OK with your current situation being the rest of your life?
- How much will you regret not following your dreams?
If the thought of not taking action gives you a pit in your stomach, it’s time to get over your fears and chase your dreams. Here are a few steps to help you do that.
Get to the Root of the Fear
I always say I’m afraid of spiders, but what I’m actually afraid of is getting bitten by a poisonous spider. The spider itself really isn’t that scary. So what is the actual root of your fear? Is it something you can overcome?
Find Something That Scares You Even More
I don’t want you to go to a dark place with this, but by finding something that scares you more than going for your goals, you’ll realize the fear associated with your goal may not actually be that bad. Comparing it to something more frightening makes it less scary and easier to tackle. Maybe that’s weird advice, but it works.
Make A List of Consequences of What Would Happen If You Fail
Think about your worst-case scenario. Is it really that bad? Chances are you have it built up a lot more in your head than what the reality of the situation would actually be. Are the consequences manageable or will they impact you negatively long term? Knowing the answers to these will help you decide if the fear is justified or not.
Reframe How You View Failure
If failure is what you’re afraid of, don’t look at it as a mistake, see it as an obstacle you may encounter on the way to success. You’re not going to have a perfect journey on the way to greatness, so just see failure as part of the process. It’s normal, it may knock you down temporarily, but it doesn’t have to keep you down. Look at it as a detour, not a dead-end and you’ll become more resilient to move on from it to take on bigger and better things.
Make a Plan
Fear of the unknown is scary, so instead of setting out on your journey without any direction, put a plan in place that will help you work towards your goals. Taking some control over the path you decide to take will make the adventure less daunting.
Make Progress Daily
Fear likes to creep in when you have time to think about it, or if you’re thinking about the task at hand rather than doing it. To avoid this, commit to making some sort of progress towards your goal every day.
Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
If you take on more than you can handle, you’ll begin to feel overwhelmed, and excessive stress is a great entryway to letting your fears back in. Instead, understand what’s on your plate and what you can handle. If you feel like you can actually accomplish what you’ve set out to do, you’ll have greater confidence, will feel more in control, and will have fewer doubts.
Get Started Today
Sometimes the scariest part is just getting started. Just rip off the bandaid, put one foot in front of the other and make your first move.
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