I know one thing we all have in common. We all wish that we could live our lives without fear—ever. From the moment we are born, our parents—while doing their best to encourage us to live independently—are also constantly reminding us of the dangers around us. “Be careful!” they say as we hop on a bicycle for the first time. “Don’t talk to strangers!” they announce as we walk to school. “Drive safe!” they yell as we slip behind the wheel with a new driver’s license in hand. “Lock the door!” they say when they leave us at home alone while they go out for dinner.
As we mature into adulthood, we understand all the reasons why we need to be safe behind the wheel. We know why we need to be wary of strangers. We know why we need to lock our doors. But do we really know how to face the everyday fears that often prevent us from stepping outside our comfort zones and living the life we know we deserve?
Following the three easy steps below can help us move through fear and become the best version of ourselves:
Acknowledge fear. It may sound strange, but it is therapeutic to welcome fear when it knocks on your door. Greet it and invite it in. Close your eyes. Feel your heart racing. Feel your palms sweating. Then begin to breathe deeply. While breathing in, silently count to three. Then exhale through your mouth while counting to ten. When you feel calmer, you are ready to begin the second step.
Take action. Fear grows best in an environment cultivated by paralysis. It is your job to overcome the paralysis by taking action steps that lead you in the direction you want to go. Find a piece of paper and begin by answering this question: “What is the best thing that will happen if I conquer this fear?” Once you have written down your answer, log three action steps underneath the answer. What can you do today that will take you one step closer to conquering this fear? Remember, these actions do not have to be overwhelming. Baby steps will also get you to the same destination.
Focus on your long-term goals. On the same piece of paper, write down this statement and fill in the blank: “In five years, I want to be ____. Be as descriptive and lengthy as you want. Close your eyes again, but this time, picture the future. Really see yourself. What are you doing? Are you happy? Who is around you? Open your eyes and write down three specific goals that will lead you to what you just described in the statement above. Now welcome confidence as it knocks on your door. Greet it and invite it in. Feel the pride and excitement that comes with knowing your journey from this point forward will be fueled with confidence not fear.
By transforming fear into action steps, we become freer to pursue our goals and dreams. You are not perfect. None of us are. Fear is a natural emotion we all feel at one time or another. The good news is that you hold the key to conquering it.
“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises,
is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”
Vicky DeCoster is a Certified Life Coach who specializes in helping her clients move past obstacles, create a plan for happiness, and cross the bridge of transition to find a new and fulfilling direction in life. To read more about her and her practice, visit her at crossthebridgecoaching.com.