The number one thing that holds us back from achieving our goals and dreams and being happier and healthier is fear.
Fear may show up in many ways such as overeating, procrastination, and self-sabotage. It’s important to remember that no matter how old we are, we all face (or bury) fears on a regular basis. You are not alone!
A man named Jia Jiang decided he no longer wanted to fear rejection and set out to ask 100 strangers outrageous requests fully expecting them to decline, so as to be able to get used to rejection and learn to no longer fear it. These requests included things such as if the first guy in line at Best Buy on Thanksgiving would give him his spot for free, and if he could trim his hair at PetsMart. The surprising result was that many of his 100 requests were actually accepted!
While you don’t necessarily have to follow in Jiang’s footsteps to overcome your fears, there are many things you can do to chip away at your fears and take the world by storm.
#1. Identify your fears
You likely have several fears. An easy way to identify them is to make a list of your dreams and goals and ask yourself “What is holding me back from achieving these dreams and goals?” The answers will likely be variations of fear of failure, fear of not having enough money, fear of it not being the right time, fear of being laughed at, etc.
#2. Ask yourself “what is the worst that could happen?”
Now that you’ve identified your list of fears, go through each one and ask yourself, “What is the worst that could happen if this fear came true?” Let’s say you aspire to sing on stage, but you have a fear of being booed off the stage. Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that would happen if you were booed off stage?
You would likely feel embarrassed and rejected. Your self-esteem would take a blow, and you might have a harder time getting back up on stage. Okay, those are all reasonable fears. But what is worse, trying and failing or never trying at all? Will the world really end if you get booed off stage? What are the odds that you would actually be booed off stage? Oftentimes are fears are much bigger in our minds than they are in reality.
#3. Have a conversation with your fear
Your fears are trying to protect you. They don’t want you to feel hurt or rejected, and figure that if you avoid things that could potentially cause those emotions you will be better off. But fear itself is not a good emotion. And no one ever got anywhere by letting fear rule their life, because it is fear that keeps us stuck in cycles that don’t serve us.
By acknowledging your fears and literally saying to your fear, “I appreciate that you are trying to keep me from getting hurt, but I need to do this,” it allows your fear to take a backseat while you grab the wheel of life.
#4. Feel the fear and do it anyway
While you may not be able to release the fear completely, you can still feel the fear and do whatever the fear is trying to keep you from doing anyway. It may not be easy at first so you may want to try tackling small fears first, but once you get the hang of it you are training your mind to overcome your fears even if you can’t rid yourself of them completely.
Now is the time to break free of your fears so that you can move forward and embrace all that the universe has in store for you, whether it’s a slimmer figure or a dream job or relationship or achievement. Don’t let fear continue to hold you back from the greatest version of you!