Challenging Fear

“He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg”. Chinese Proverb

 

Each of us has an inner voice that keeps us safe, sometimes too safe. This is the voice that heightens our awareness when we’re in a dangerous situation. It’s the same voice that increases our anxiety when we’re drawn to a project, or a dream, or a lifestyle change outside of our comfort zone.

Our inner voice may respond by listing the reasons we shouldn’t attempt our goal. We could face embarrassment, rejection or failure. We won’t have enough time, energy or money.

It’s our job to determine whether these fears are legitimate or not.

We can begin to better understand the difference by gently addressing the fears our inner voice brings up.

  • Decide whether or not it’s worth the risk. Will taking on a new challenge or dream cause embarrassment? If so, is it worth the risk? Growth requires some discomfort. If there’s something in your life you want, can you tolerate some discomfort to get it?
  • Create the time and space for your new challenge. Our lives quickly expand to fill the hours of our days. Find something you can eliminate to make time for your new goal. Start with 15 minutes a day (t.v. or social media could be a good place to cut back).
  •  Find support. Sharing  your goal with a friend, family member, or online group is a great way to hold yourself accountable and receive encouragement.
  • Create a simple plan. Taking on a new challenge can feel overwhelming. Write down three simple things you can do to work toward your goal today. When you complete those three things, write down three more, and so on.
  • Follow through. Your first efforts may feel clumsy or awkward. It might not go exactly the way you planned. That’s okay. You’re learning as you go. That’s progress.

 With practice, we can learn to challenge our fears and move boldly toward our best lives.

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