Fear is all around us and has been instilled in us since we were young children; even in the subtle ways that our parents/guardians, teachers, and friends interacted with us by asking us, “Are you sure….?” or “Be careful of…” and these fears were almost necessary as a child for our survival. However; as an adult, we hold onto fear and even let it control our lives. It affects us in ways unbeknownst to us, causing worry, hesitation, anxiety, avoidance and more. Fear can make us feel like we’re not capable, worthy, or ready. Fear is what stops us from following our dreams, asking for that deserved promotion or raise at work, pursuing someone we’re attracted to, or from going outside your comfort zone and developing personal growth. All the emotions tied to fear, when left unchecked, lead to an unhealthy lifestyle… we’ll overeat, over exercise and injure ourselves, find distractions (like my drug abuse), or you simply avoid life all together. Here’s the thing: As an adult, we can redevelop our thought patterns and reframe situations and control how we handle fear. We can become more mindful and conscious of fear and ask yourselves why we’re feeling fearful and then focusing on the “what ifs” in a positive manner. For me, I recognize that I’m fearful of many things going on right now:
- I’m trying to write a book that’s part autobiography and part self-help (how to level up). You can ask anyone who’s written a book (or even a blog post) and most of them will admit that it’s scary. But, instead of focusing on the scariness of it, I’m choosing to focus on the positive “what ifs.” What if this book or blog post helps someone breakthrough as it resonates with them or someone close to them? What if this helps me grow my business?
- I’m also trying to put on an event for the first time called Active For Recovery Bike Ride and I’m fearful that the event won’t be as great as I’m imagining or that I won’t raise as much money as I’d like. But focusing on those negatives held me back from starting this event a year earlier when I first started talking about it with people. Now, I’ve learned that the positives of the event far outweigh the negatives. At the absolute very least, the event will raise awareness of drug addiction and recovery.
You see, fear can be just a temporary thing, but most of us get caught up in this fear and let it control our lives, we let fear feel like it’s our entire world. Think about this:
- Some of the most successful people in the world, who have made great accomplishments, originally had no idea what they were doing when they started. Do you really think Thomas Edison or Nikola Tesla had any idea what they were doing when they first started playing around with electricity? Richard Branson had no idea what he was really doing when he started Virgin Atlantic, as he previously only had background with music record labels (Virgin Records).
- You have endured life so far. You didn’t always know how to walk, ride a bike, lift weights, work on a computer, or do whatever you enjoy doing. Most likely, you had to endure the initial struggle of learning. Your probably fell or flat out failed a few times, but you survived. You’re reading this blog post now.
So, when fearful thoughts begin creeping into your mind. Recognize it, don’t hide from it. Trust yourself and remember that in each moment, you will be ok. Take action, the first step, toward whatever your goal is or whatever would help you conquer that fear. But learn to trust in this perceived discomfort, this ok-ness. Imagine yourself enjoying the struggle of obtaining your dreams, rather than fearing it. Once you become more conscious of your fear, becoming more ok with it and the present, and trusting in yourself, you will upgrade your “childhood” tools into “adult” tools so you can become more equipped to deal with life and pursue what you’re passionate about.