BLOG_2019_11_07_Scare Yourself Into the Life You Want

Scare Yourself Into the Life You Want


Go on…what’s stopping you from living your dream life?

Go ahead step out of your shell.  Speak up the next time you disagree with someone.  Call that person who caught your eye in the elevator.  Start that business you’ve been talking about for a decade.  Audition for the part.  You fill in the blank.  What is it you’ve wanted to do, but haven’t?

Are you afraid?  If so, congratulations!  You’ve just identified the pool you need to dive into to reclaim your life.  If you pass on diving in, claiming the water’s too cold or you just don’t feel like swimming today, the fear wins.  And you lose.

“Fear stands between you and your ability to go anywhere you like, do anything you want, and meet anyone you please,”

writes Rhonda Britten, author of several books on fear, including Fearless Living and Fearless Loving.

When we face fear, when we act in spite of the fear, we grow.   Personal growth allows us a more fulfilled life.  As we expand, we push through our perceived limitations by getting out of our comfort zones.  We embrace our individual freedom and become unstoppable forces in our own lives.  And it feels sooooo good!

Making Fear Our Ally

As Britten notes, fear is the gatekeeper of our comfort zone.  But we can make it our ally by using fear as a compass needle.  Wherever the needle points—whenever fear raises its head and says, “Yikes!”—that’s exactly where we need to go.  “Instead of causing you to shy away from situations that could result in the sting of failure,” Britten writes, “the fear gives you the impetus to take on new challenges.”

Doing Scary Things Intentionally

Consider making it a practice to do at least one scary thing every day.  Doing so begins to exercise a muscle that’s been atrophied for too long. Each and every time you take action rather than avoid doing it, you strengthen the muscle, building self-confidence, self-reliance and self-trust. You begin to say “I can” more often than “I can’t.”  How cool is that?

Interestingly, taking calculated risks of a physical nature can often produce noticeable growth in our ability to confront fear in the emotional realm.  For example, my two-year venture sailing across the Indian Ocean on a 45 foot sailboat, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and jumping out of a perfectly good airplane have all helped me face fear.  By sailing an ocean, I realized I had the ability to think about the “what ifs”, and address each one as part of the preparation plan.  But I also learned the more you think about the fear, the more it is going to stop you from enjoying the experience. 

So a good way to start facing your fears is to go out and do a physical activity you are afraid to do.  You will discover the fear is most present in the thinking about the event—not in the actual doing.  When you are 100% focused on the task, the fear won’t have room to intrude.

Stay in the present and go for it!

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