Susan Jeffers, author of Feel the fear…and do it anyway, makes an observation about our fears: that whatever they are (fear of success, fear of failure), fears are rooted in our belief that we can’t handle the particular fear.
The observation has a simple solution: develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.
It does not matter where your fear originates, you just have to believe that you can handle it.
In fact, you have been handling all that life has dealt you thus far.
As you make adjustments in your life for your dreams, you will feel afraid of what the changes might bring.
Recognize that as you continue to grow, the fear will never go away.
Fear is pervasive in all the big dreams that you are welcoming into your life and in all the steps you take to make them come true. You will experience fear. So there is no point in waiting for the fear to go before you take any action.
As fear is not going to go away, there is no point in trying to get rid of it. Yes you can minimize certain risks but at the end you can take the actions you need to make one step closer to your dream.
So, is it possible for the fear to go away?
Yes and there is only one way…to do the thing that you are afraid of.
I used to be afraid to teach in front of a large freshman class years ago. But, the more I did it then less I became afraid. Now I can walk into a large class with no feeling other than excitement to encourage young minds to explore.
The best thing that happens when you take action in spite of fear is that you feel note confident in yourself. You end up feeling better about yourself.
As you master an action, your fear of that action lessens. The more you do it the greater the confidence you build in yourself.
This is true not only for you but for everyone else. Other people feel the fear too and like you, will feel more confident as they take action. You are not the only person in that situation.
Not everyone has had things handed to them. Most people who have what you desire would have had to push past the fear to get what they want. This is a fundamental truth.
Another fundamental truth is that fear is not a signal to retreat. It is a signal to proceed.
So if fear is present in every step you take to your dreams, why would you still pursue your dream?
Because knowing you could have had what you desired but did not take action to get there when you were afraid is worse than going after your dream. What could haves and regrets are worse than trying and failing. Feeling helpless to take action is more painful in the long run than taking action on something within your control or just beyond it.
So what is the best way to face your fear? Take small risks and learn. With each risk you face one type of fear and gain more confidence in yourself. And each risk takes you one step further on your journey to your dream.
Incorporate Susan Jeffers’ five truths of fear into your prayer:
1. The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow.
2. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.
3. The only way to feel better about myself is to go out and do it.
4. Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m on unfamiliar territory, so is everyone else.
5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.