I’ve interviewed 12 people so far on fear and how they’ve been able to overcome it in their lives. I picked one short lesson from each interview I’d like to share here. Before I begin though, I want to let you know what I mean by the word courageous. Courage is not about fearlessly marching forth, totally certain about what you’re doing. Courage is about taking steps even though you are afraid. So here we go.
1. It’s rarely too late to overcome a fear. Patricia showed us that age is not a very good excuse for not going for that thing you’ve been wanting to do. Yes, there are exceptions and the outcome may look a little different than if you had started earlier, but go for it anyway.
2. Understand that there are risks to all actions and learn how to manage your fear rather than avoid it. Tom showed us that there are risks to everything, including just staying where you are and not making any fear-inducing changes. It’s about acknowledging the risks, deciding if you can deal with them or not and then taking action.
3. Writing out what you’re afraid of and the consequences of those fears becoming reality can help get it out of your head and put into perspective. Razwana showed us that more often than not, you realize that you can handle what happens.
4. You can’t really know if anything is going to work out if you don’t take that first step. Lauren showed us that even if it takes you a while to take the step, the step is still needed and it provides you with all sorts of information about yourself and what you are doing that you just cannot get by simply thinking about it.
5. Thinking about how you will feel years from now when you look back and see that you never tried to do that thing you were thinking of doing can act as a great motivator. Carrie showed us that regret sucks! How many times have you read or heard of some person on their death bed wishing that they had done something?
6. Lindsey showed us that you need supportive people in your corner to help you keep moving forward. It can be friends, family, a group of likeminded individuals, a therapist, it doesn’t really matter who, it just matters that you have them. It makes the journey a little less tough and a lot more fun.
7. Obstacles will come up along your journey through fear. JP showed us that the trick is finding ways to deal with them when they come up. You can’t know in advance all of the things that will happen, but that shouldn’t be an excuse not to try. You’ll figure out how to handle it one step at a time.
8. Duane showed us that overcoming one fear can give you fuel to overcome another. Think of a snowball rolling down a hill and collecting more snow as it rolls. In addition to momentum, overcoming fear also gives your self-confidence a boost which makes you more likely to believe that you can achieve the next thing.
9. Ariana showed us that part of overcoming fear is being able to stand in your truth and show your true self to the world around you. We all need each other’s brightness to shine even brighter. By letting fear keep you silent, you deny the people around you the joy of being around you.
10. Willie showed us that fear can manifest itself in more than just sweaty palms and a fast heart rate. It can also show up in certain behaviors like procrastinating, being irritable or overeating. It’s up to you to figure out how it manifests for you and then do something about it. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.
11. To learn how to trust yourself to achieve your goals despite fear, Melissa suggested that you practice making commitments to yourself and the people around you and then sticking to them. The things you commit to can be big or small, but the point is to be consistent. The more you trust yourself to keep your word, the more you will believe that you can achieve your dreams.
12. Brother Hue Chuyen showed us that sometimes, even though you’re afraid, the answer might be to just take a leap of faith and jump into the unknown. Sometimes an answer to your discontent won’t come from just sitting and thinking about it and you just might have to jump before you feel ready and trust that you’ll figure it out along the way.
So there you have it, 12 short lessons, 12 courageous people and food for thought. Do you have any lessons of your own to add? Thanks for reading!