“Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear..” Dale Carnegie
Almost every person who has ever achieved their dream or a major life goal has, at some point, had to face fear. Fear is an inevitable component of personal growth. What’s most important to understand is that fear does not have to paralyze you or prevent you from experiencing the fullness of life.
Why must we face our fears?
In order to achieve anything new in life, we must be willing to change our actions so that we can produce new and improved results. But any time we introduce change into our life, we move out of our comfort zone and the by-product is typically some form of fear.
If we do not understand what fear is and why we experience it, our natural reaction would be to retreat from the new, uncomfortable change and revert back to our comfort zone. When this happens, many people become stuck.
If you want to liberate yourself from the shackles of fear and step into new and exciting places in your life, your journey must begin with awareness. You must become aware of what fear truly is so that you can identify it and ultimately move through it.
The first thing you should take into account is that fear is a reaction that the brain produces when it senses pending danger. It is actually a very beneficial emotion because it keeps us alive in a potentially dangerous situation. Unfortunately, over the years, we have been conditioned to associate fear with other, non-life threatening events.
For example, you may be driving along the highway when someone swerves and cuts you off. You quickly hit the brakes and avoid a collision. At the time of the incident, the physical sensations in your body could be extremely powerful (pounding heart, shaky hands, knees knocking, etc…). When it comes to personal fears, if you are afraid of public speaking, you may experience the exact same physical effects when you walk to the front of a board room to deliver a presentation.
What’s the difference? One situation could mean physical harm or even death. The other situation, at the VERY worst, would result in some short-lived embarrassment. While the two situations are poles apart in terms of consequence severity, our body reaction is almost identical!
So when you really boil it down, it is not so much the fear that stops people, it is the physical feelings produced by fear.
With this new awareness, you are now in a position to take bigger actions and play full out, in any area of your life. As Susan Jeffers points out in her best seller, you can “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” Why? Because you understand exactly what is happening and you ACCEPT that is a completely normal reaction!
Don’t worry about eliminating fear, just focus on taking necessary actions towards your goals and dreams in SPITE of fear.