How do I stop letting fear hold me back?

Don't let fear stop you from doing the things you love!

Question: I have new opportunities that have opened up for me, I want to be excited, but I have so much fear about moving forward. There is so much to learn. I find myself continually falling short and asking myself if I can even do this at all. Do you have any advice on fear and how to keep it from holding me back?

Answer: The fact you recognize fear is causing your resistance is such useful information! Fear wants to be useful and truthfully in certain circumstances it can be. However, when it comes to moving forward and progression fear is generally not the feeling you want driving you. That being said I realize letting go of fear can take some work, but it’s work worth doing! 

A question to consider here might be what are you really afraid of?  Or try reframing your thought from “what if I can’t do this” to “what if I can” or “how have I already been doing this”? It takes courage and bravery to start something new and the fact it scares you tells me it’s probably something that means a lot to you. Let fear be your cue. Let it be your indicator, your reminder, that you have a great work to do, and you are not willing to let fear hold you back because you were created to progress.

Imagine you’re driving down a busy freeway. How much thought is geared toward your steering wheel? I’m guessing if you have driven long at all you give very little, if any, thought to how far you turn it. 

I remember the first time I drove on a fast freeway. As I was switching lanes I turned the wheel too far too fast and it scared me. If I hadn’t corrected, I would have wrecked. If I had corrected too quickly or too far, I would have overcorrected also resulting in a possible wreck. 

Someone could have said “turn the steering wheel X inches for X number of seconds, when you’re driving at X miles per hour…” you get the idea. There are so many factors for someone to tell me exactly how almost overcomplicates it. This isn’t to say that we don’t go through the learning program necessary before taking to the wheel, but no amount of explanation takes the place of the experience.

How many people have a perfected foul shot the first time they shoot a basketball?

How many people can play a song the first time they sit down at the piano?

It takes time after time of making mistakes, dusting yourself off and going at it again to achieve success. So, is making mistakes or “failing” as our mind might want to call it really such a bad thing?

Forbes magazine said, “Failure is not a step backward; it’s an excellent stepping stone to success.” It went on to say the most progressive companies actually look for employees with track records reflecting both failure and success. This is because those who survive failure and hardship gain irreplaceable knowledge, perseverance and confidence born from overcoming them.

What does it even mean to fail? Failure is just a thought, a label we decide to give something. The definition of failure, according to google, is “the omission of expected or required action”. We get to decide what our failures are. What if we accepted failure as part of the journey to success? Know it’s going to happen and remind ourselves that this “failed” experience is instead a learning opportunity and is exactly how we get better.

It’s so much easier to stay the same, but you weren’t created for stagnancy. You were created to grow, learn, and share. If we never unbox ourselves, if we never put ourselves out there to possibly fail how can we possibly grow?

You’ve got this! We are cheering for you!

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