Many people assume that to live boldly means you have to find a way to live fearlessly. I’ve written before how I don’t believe this; you don’t have to be fearless; that’s really hard to be. We all fear, or feel variations of it, such as doubt or uncertainty, from time to time. You may face one fear to find another lurking around the corner. That’s just being human.
Often people assume they have to either rid themselves completely of their fears or avoid them. The former choice seems daunting and unrealistic; the latter means your fear is controlling your life. Neither is desirable.
Fear is actually beneficial to us, whether we realize it or not. Fear is a mechanism that alerts us to uncomfortable situations or new experiences. All too often, though, the message is distorted and interpreted as “Turn Back Now! Danger Ahead!” when in reality it should be “Brace yourself, rough waters ahead.” It serves to inform us when there are opportunities at hand.
My suggestion: Embrace your fears. Acknowledge them. Write them out and try to identify why each item frightens you. This brings them out of the shadows so you can see them for what they are. You know those old Hollywood movies where the shadow on the wall is always so much bigger and scarier than the real thing? Same principle. Once they are written down, your fears become more manageable.
- What am I afraid of/what is frightening me?
- How could I work through that fear to reach the goal on the other side?
- Is that goal worth it?
This structure I have offered presupposes that your fear relates to an opportunity, an opportunity you would otherwise miss out on if you let the fear turn you away. Deciding to move forward despite the fear–that is courageous and bold. It won’t be easy, but the challenge is what makes the success so sweet—it’s that sense of accomplishment.
You aren’t fearless, after all, who really has no fears? If you don’t fear anything, I’d like to hear about it if you’d comment below. For the rest of us who occasionally run into fearful situations, we must accept those fears, listen to them, and see what opportunity they are alerting us to. Determine why its fearful and then work through them. This is managing fear.
If you have thoughts to share, please comment below. Please share this link and spread the word on dealing with our fears.