“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” ~Emerson
You know the feeling – it may be a tightening up of your body, sweaty palms, or nagging thoughts of self doubt before you start something new. We’ve all experienced fear in our lives at one time or another and it’s likely that the more often you challenge yourself , the more often you feel fear. Feeling fear can also make us feel intensely alive at times such as when we’re climbing a mountain or when we’re getting ready to give a presentation or perform on stage.
When fear keeps us from doing the things we really want to do in life, that’s when it becomes a problem. Fearless living is taking steps out of your comfort zone in order to achieve a goal, opening yourself up to new possibilities, and overcoming your fear to allow yourself to grow in the direction of your dreams. Here are four tips to help you live fearlessly:
1.) According to Raphael Kushnir, author of The One Thing Holding You Back and Surfing Your Inner Sea, to move through fear, you need to feel your fear and bring your attention to it. This will bring you into the present moment. The harder you try to resist the feeling, the more power it will have over you and can even run your life. Being in a state of fear causes a constriction in your entire body, it “shuts you down” and can keep you from moving forward. Kushnir says there are two steps to feeling your emotion:
- To experience an emotion, place your attention directly on the sensation it produces in your body.
- Keep your attention on that sensation until it either dissipates or changes.
2.) Remember, feelings of fear are normal, even for the most confident CEO’s, public speakers, and accomplished people in the world. Chances are, they still feel moments of fear. Their secret is in their response to the fear: they don’t let it stop them from pursuing their dreams. When you are successful, the fear doesn’t go away when you try something new or different. It can get easier to manage your response to the fear with practice.
3.) Love yourself fully and make a commitment to “being in love” with life. John Lennon says it so eloquently in his quote about love and fear:
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” ~John Lennon
If you struggle with loving yourself, a simple Flylady mantra you can practice is to breathe in and say, “I love“. When you breath out say, “myself.” You’ll feel a bit silly at first but this really does work. You can also begin practicing extreme self care. Each day, do something nice for yourself.
4.) Think about your fear rationally for a moment and realize the “worst case scenario” is never as bad when you look at things logically. Sometimes it helps to write your fears down so you can be more objective. When you face your fears, you make them manageable and you can make plans to help you mitigate your fears.
My friend was recently concerned that he might be losing his job in the near future. Some of his co-workers had already been let go and the company was having financial difficulties. When he stopped coming from a place of fear, he realized that he had options and that if he did lose his job, it might prompt him to start the business he wanted to start. He also became more focused at work which made him more valuable and less likely to be selected if additional lay-offs were necessary. While losing his job wasn’t something he wanted, he realized he would be ok regardless of what happened. Facing his fear allowed him to move forward in a positive way.
How do you overcome fear? What tips or tactics work best for you? Share your thoughts below.