Does fear hold you back from action?

Have you ever thought about doing something that could be considered out of your comfort zone and as the time fordecision draws near suddenly, fear reaches out with both hands and takes hold of you?

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I know how I feel when those moments arrive but I want to know how you feel...what’s your reaction?

Does Fear cause you to run for cover and want to hide under a blanket? Or in the light of self-improvement do you shine into the darkness and face your fears?

As with trying anything new, fear is sometimes a factor, even adrenalin junkies feel fear only they know how to push through it until they have done it enough times they no longer feel the same intensity of fear doing it.

Close Your Eyes and imagine

Imagine parachuting from a plane for the first time. Go on...close your eyes and imagine it. All sorts of fears may arise in your mind’s eye but the biggest one is most likely to be your fear of falling helplessly to your death in a web of tangled nylon lines and unfinished life.

Yes death is serious stuff I know, so how about we tryfor something a little less threatening?

Think about sitting down to write a blog post, how does that make you feel? Are you afraid youwont have the words to put on the blank page before you? Do you worry that the words may have no relevance to anyone but you?

Did you know that the great American author John Steinbeck (Of Mice & Men) always panicked after he’d signed a contract to write another book?

He would place a blank sheet of paper in the typewriter and commence to pace back and forth in his cabin wondering what he was going to do now because he was afraid he didn’t have a book inside him.

His fear told him he couldn’t write 300 pages, he wasn’t that good. After a few days ofthis however, Steinbeck would eventually sit down and think, “I may not be able to write 300 pages but I know I can write one page.” And he would write a page and then think, “now that person could be interesting or have a story to tell.” And would write one page at a time until the book was written

Discomfort Zone

Here’s another discomfort zone exercise. Try visualising going onto the dance floor with the music playing and no one else is dancing. How do you feel about that? As the only one out there are you afraid that everyone is looking at you, are you self-conscious? Do you feel this is something you could do?

Dancing alone on a large empty dance floor for over half an hour is something I have literally done and I was not even drunk! Yep, I know I am crazy but once I got over my initial fear, I actually enjoyed having the space to dance wherever I liked. We should dance through life like that.

We all fear different things and to varying scales depending on the activity or situation.

I have always wanted to try parachuting and know one day I will get motivated enough (and save enough) to actually do it. Yes, there will be fear involved but I feel confident I could work through it. I don’t want to put my fear in front of my dreams.

And you now know I will dance on an empty dance floor.

Would you believe that writing a blog post holds the most fear for me? Yet, here I am writing a post.

How did I do it you may ask?

Something I have learnt recently is that for me, fear is just the chatter that goes on in my head and is not really based in reality. When I face a fear now, first I sit with the fear then I ask myself, am I in danger or is there a potential threat of death?

Fear Quote

Taking action

What will happen if I actually do what I am afraid of? What are the potential outcomes if I do what I am afraid of? Making a list of pros & cons is helpful.

And how might I feel afterwards...brave, stupid, perhaps proud?

After taking a few moments to go through this process, I then sat down and started writing and here is the result.

I know in two weeks time when I sit down to write my next blog post I will face the same fear again, but as they say, experience is ten times more powerful than opinion (even my own opinion in my head).

So with this logic, each time I actually achieve writing a postof my experiences in life, I will eventually outweigh my fear andwriting a blog will become easier.

What do you fear? How do you deal with it?

Why don’t you use the exercise above and apply it to something that you feardoing. I know you can do it and remember that each time you face your fears your experience will tell you that you can do it again the next time.

This year I intend to face some more of my own fears, how about you?

If you would like to share a fear you face you can do so here on my FB page.