Putting Fear in Its Place
by Jack Canfield
Feeling fear is a very natural part of living. Fear is a helpful emotion, as it tells you when you need to be extra careful, keenly aware, and cautious. Fear is not an emotion that is telling you to stop. Acknowledging fear helps you know when you are stepping out of your comfort zone. It brings your awareness to areas where you could improve and grow. Confronting your fears is a very necessary step in achieving success. There is no other way.
Successful people also feel fear, yet they don’t let it discourage them from moving forward. They realize that fear is a feeling telling them they are about to do something new, something that they are not especially good at yet. For this reason they know they should pay extra attention to how it should be done, research the process, and plan out the steps they will take to accomplish it. And as they go through the process, they can see what worked and what didn’t.
To be successful you must be willing to be afraid because fear accompanies risk. Without taking risks you will not achieve your dreams. But also realize that so many of your fears are self-created. You imagine a horrible outcome to your new experience and that image is the fear that holds you back. Realize that all new experiences will be slightly scary, but also acknowledge that what it is you are afraid of is a self-created image of what is going to happen. Acknowledge that you are imagining the worst and that you really have no idea what will happen. You have a choice in what you let your mind dwell on. If you’re going to let yourself visualize the worst, then make sure you let yourself visualize the desired outcome, too!
If a fear is too great for you to overcome, try breaking it down into smaller challenges. Try starting out doing the parts of the project that don’t scare you so much. You need to give a speech in front of a large group? Try giving your speech in front of a small group of people who care for you. Work your way up until you are able to feel the fear but still move forward. As you do you will build your confidence and eventually you won’t feel fear surrounding those issues because you’ll have done them enough to count it as a skill.
As you move toward your goal, don’t attach yourself so much to the outcomes. Keep moving toward your dream doing everything you can to create what you want, then let it go and see what shows up. Sometimes the universe will have a better idea in mind for you and present a better opportunity when you were expecting something completely different. Don’t let fear keep you from moving forward. Even if the horrible outcome that you imagined happens, the universe will always provide for you another way to succeed. So be on the look-out.
Acknowledge your fear. Treat it like a child, hold its hand and take it with you. Trust that no matter what occurs, you are smart enough and strong enough to keep looking for opportunities. If you are willing to try new experiences in spite of your fears, then more new experiences will present themselves for you to try. And the more you try, the more you are likely to succeed!