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Act in Spite of Your Fear

by Beth on October 22nd, 2012

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

All of us can think of something we’d like to change about our life. What about you? Would you like to be in better shape physically, emotionally, mentally, or financially? Then what’s stopping you from making changes to improve your life? What’s holding you back?

It’s fear! Our brain is wired to keep us safe. Our tendency to always assume there is a tiger crouching in the bushes is what kept our ancestors alive. And, although today’s world is much safer, our brains are still wired the same way keeping us constantly on the alert for potential danger.

Our minds use fear to encourage us to stay safe by not taking action. Common fears include:

  • Fear of failure – what if you can’t do it? What does that say about you? It’s important to recognize that failure is the only way to succeed. Each time something doesn’t work out the way you planned, you have an opportunity to learn. If your actions lead to the desired results, great! But if they don’t, figure out what you can learn from the situation in order to try something different. Either way you are moving forward.
  • Fear of rejection – one of our strongest needs is the need to be accepted by others. Often when you change it impacts people close to you, so you worry about their reactions. Some may be threatened by the change or jealous of your new and improved life. When you start to worry about what other people will think, it is important to remember the saying, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
  • Fear of success – it sounds strange, but sometimes what you are really afraid of is success itself. Maybe someone in your past said you weren’t good enough and you have internalized that message. So deep down you feel like you don’t deserve success. Not true! We all deserve a better life! Keep telling yourself this. Or maybe you feel guilty succeeding because you have friends, family or colleagues who haven’t been successful. Again, if they really care about you they will be happy for you. So go for it!

It can be helpful to understand what specific fears might be holding you back, but that won’t make your fear disappear. The key is to act in spite of your fear. It’s the only way to move forward and create a better life. Each small step builds momentum, which can eventually lead to huge change.

Don’t let fear hold you back. Start taking positive action today! Putting things off provides time for fear to grow stronger. Decide what steps you need to take to reach your goal and take the first step right now!

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