I have spent a large part of my life living in fear. Fear of being broke, fear of rejection/of being alone and fear of failure have been constant companions for the most part. It has consumed me at times: Should I make this decision or that one to avoid my fears coming true? Should I act this way or that way to secure a loving relationship? If I choose that will I end up happier in the long term? The problem with this is that we spend a large amount of time worrying about “what ifs” and many of my theories on the best course of action have not always been correct, especially when it comes to second guessing how someone else will react. I know I am not alone in this as I have many clients as well as friends who deal with the same fears that I do.
Fear is useful if it makes us more cautious and helps us to think through possible scenarios before acting but humans seem to have a tendency to over analyse situations and cause themselves a lot of unnecessary grief in the process.
1) See life as an adventure
Many of us live a fearful life – perhaps initiated by our parents constantly telling us to be careful and be cautious. Perhaps it’s partly genetic but you do have a choice. You don’t HAVE to life a fearful life. Of course, there are times to be more cautious but being brave and getting on with life is just as important as being cautious. Some of us take caution too far and stop living in the process..ending up with a life full of “what ifs” and regrets.
2) Keep fear in perspective
Many fears are unfounded. We catastrophize and imagine things to be worse than they are. Nine times out of ten, we we break the fear barrier and do it anyway, we realise that our fears were far worse than the actual event.
3) Watch your thoughts and attitude
Your thoughts and attitude to life influence the heights you will attain more than anything else in life. If you believe the world is a scary place and that people will trick you when possible, you will live life and behave in ways that are in line with these beliefs. If you believe that death comes to us all so why not make the most of time we are living..you will probably grab more opportunities than others.
4) Stop thinking, start doing
Stop over analysing and get to it. Do a risk assessment and go for it. There will never be the perfect time and there will never be a time when absolutely everything you consider confirms that the decision is right. There are no guarantees, there will always be unknowns…Get used to it and work around it but most of all take action. Too much thinking can lead to no action at all.
5) Know what you’re good at as well as your inherent worth
When you know what you’re worth and trust yourself you will be far more eager to get out of your comfort zone. We do the most growing as a person when we are out of our comfort zone. Unease and a lack of safety can feel awful but the upside of that is a huge surge in your confidence and abilities to cope with whatever comes your way.