During times of important growth and development we will most likely experience fear and anxiety, and in order to keep an accomplished attitude toward our goals, we need to learn how to embrace these emotions. There are two important points to consider in order to accept and work though limiting fear. 1) Fear is a powerful emotion There is a tremendous amount of energy associated with fear. Our bodies become aroused and ready to act. Our heart rate increases, breathing quickens, and we become ready for flight or flight. There are many stories of people who exhibit superhuman strength in the face of a life or death situation, where fear spurs them to act in order to save themselves or others. Fear can be a catalyst and motivator, whether positive or negative, for taking action. Don’t let your fear weaken your strength. 2) Fear is a natural emotion Fear is a basic human emotion and an essential part of survival. It is a warning signal that provides us the opportunity to protect ourselves. A specific example that stands out to me is the near accident that occurs when a deer runs in front of my car. The fight or flight response kicks in and we can, fortunately, instantly and unconsciously swerve to avoid hitting the frantic animal. Our immediate fear provides a surge of kinetic energy to take action and avoid the tragedy. These two points being said, we can either live life ruled by fear or by the faith that our emotions are purposeful and essential. Fear can either motivate us to be productive and persevere, or limit our success by keeping us stagnant and afraid.
For instance, a fear of uncertainty can lead us to avoid new situations and worry about the outcome that may occur, thus stifling or preventing growth from taking place. On the other hand, by embracing our fears, and working through them, it can be transforming and reveal we are capable of much more than we believe. Experience your fear with a sense of energy and excitement. By trying something new or pushing ourselves past our comfort zone, fear will become minimized, and we can continue moving forward and seeking growth. The goal then is not to eliminate fear but to learn to harness it for our benefit. Let fear be the fuel that energizes your pursuits!
Know your Enemy
Since one of the greatest obstacles that gets in the way of setting and achieving goals is fear, we need to begin examining what we’re scared of, and notice when fear and anxiety creep into our life. The awareness to know when you experience fear, will provide the preparation to confront the challenge head on. Often times, people experience fear and anxiety when they are being called to stretch themselves to new limits, or when change is taking place. When we’re experiencing growth, it can initially be scary and lead to worry. We may experience fear of succeeding, fear of rejection, fear that our goal involves too much work, too much energy, and too much time, or fear of change itself. Whether we’re imposing limits on ourselves, or resisting change in our life, it’s because we are encountering opposition to our previous and comfortable view of things. Changing our perspective can mean accepting some uncertainty, and it can be difficult to maintain faith in the face of uncertainty. Always remember that fear is natural and will occur during pivotal moments in our life. This is a sign we are growing and approaching a new season where we may encounter novel experiences. We must acknowledge our fears and move forward using this emotional energy to overcome opposition. Continue to believe in your vision and life-path.
“You block your dream when you allow fear to grow bigger than your faith.” – Mary Manin Morrissey
Face your Fear
Be aware of self-limiting fear, as it will say things like “Don’t do it! You’ll Fail! You don’t deserve it! You’ll get hurt!” When we start to hear our fear impulses saying these limiting comments, it’s time to remove these thoughts from our thinking, and set a course to take action toward our goals. By realizing that fear always arises during times of change and uncertainty, we can be prepared to manage it. We can look ahead and plan for the potential obstacles we might experience or the potential excuses we’ll tell ourselves. There is no way to completely avoid risk and discomfort. Every choice we make is followed by a certain level of risk, and we can learn to make uncertainty our ally and have faith in our purpose. Furthermore, we can begin taking calculated risks. These are planned risks, that consider both the positive and negative probable consequences. We can plan ahead and begin to foresee and prepare for possible set-backs. If we have carefully planned ahead, these prior risks can start to seem like more of a exciting challenge. Fear becomes an ally to tell us when we are approaching a new season in our life in order to prepare us for the experience. We can begin to revel in taking risks for the sake of growth. By breaking down a goal into sufficiently small steps we can start to move forward little by little and face our fear. It’s time to start asking ourselves, not whether or not to take risks, but which risk to take.