That got your attention, didn’t it? lol
This is “Do Your Thing” month here at One Page For and I thought maybe I would blog today about a thing which keeps many of us from doing our thing and that is a four letter word starting with “F”…. FEAR!
In honor of this topic, I will be posting pictures of things, in no particular order, that I have been afraid of in my life. To show I am not a scaredy cat LOL
Whether it’s fear of failure, rejection, or even success, fear of the unknown, fear based on past experience, fear for ourselves, fear for others, fear – FEAR – can keep us from doing what we want to do, what we need to do, what we should do, what we are capable of doing. Fear is the ultimate F bomb.
One type of fear is good. It’s a natural instinct that keeps us safe, the “gut instinct” that keeps us from dangerous things. Fear can be essential.
But I mean the other kind of fear. The fear that keeps us from doing things because of the non-dangerous or slightly dangerous outcome we think- think- might result. “I don’t want to try for that new job, I don’t want to talk to that new person, I don’t want to speak my mind on that issue…because it might not work out.” You know what Im saying.
I think most of us in the human race have times when something we’re afraid of stands between us and what we want. Sometimes, we put the fear aside and go for it. Sometimes, we let the fear get the better of us.
I mean, consider the things you know you want to do in life right now and why you are not doing them. Is it for legitimate reasons, like if you took a trip around the world, your kids might be like “Hey, where’d mom go?” . Or is it for fear reasons, like “I don’t know if I can succeed at that, so, I’m just not going to try….” .
It isn’t always easy to distinguish, I know. Me, I can come up with alot of nice, sane sounding reasons for not taking action when in fact, I am afraid of something being difficult and failing.
There’s a book I recommend about dealing with different kinds of fears – jobs, money, personal, etc – called The Worry Cure. I’m not a huge “self-help” book person, but this one is pretty good. Very practical. I want to share two things the author, Dr. Leahy, suggests for getting over fears and moving towards action (and there are a lot of other methods in the book…)
1. List times where you put aside fear and took a chance. Then ask: What was the result? This list lets you realize a few things a) awesome things have happened in your life before because you did something scary b) you would have missed out on some great stuff if you hadn’t have taken some chances and c) you probably have failed at things you were afraid you’d fail at – and you survived!
I like that one. The other one is even simpler:
2. Make a list of all the good and important things in your life. Now, mark what on that list would disappear if you took this specific scary chance and failed? This is a great exercise for realizing how insignificant and fleeting some consequences we’re afraid of really are. For example, if a play gets rejected somewhere, do I suddenly stop being an aunt? Do I lose my health? Am I homeless? Am I unable to write ever again? Of course not! So why the heck am I even worrying about that failure? It will sting or sixty seconds and then everything in my life will be exactly the same. We let things build up in our minds as really bad when they’re really nothing.
So, anyhow, those are two little exercises I have found useful, kind of “mental checklists” that put things in perspective for me sometimes.
Another thing that helps me is considering a courageous role model, someone who has survived, been strong, faced fears, and who takes care of business, often against great odds. Those kinds of people make me think “Well, if he can do that….” Or you can even use yourself as an example. Look at that list of chances you’ve taken before. For example, if you have a kid, then, you took a HUGE risk- you put everything on the line with gigantically high stakes. So how you gonna worry about your ability to conquer the little things?
For my religious readership, I offer the quick and to the point scripture reference of Pslam 27:1.
Everytime we face a fear – whether we succeed or fail in that specific endeavor- we get a little stronger. We have more on the list of “stuff I tried” and more on the list of “I failed but it didn’t matter.” Facing fears, big and small, builds confidence. It becomes our way of dealing with life.
Bottom line, face whatever fear keeps you from doing your thing . Mow over it. Do you thing! It will be all the easier next time. And you and the world will be better for it.