Confront Your Fears to Improve Your Life
In order to be successful in life as well as your career, you must be willing to place yourself in uncomfortable situations. This is a hard thing for most people, because we tend to choose the safest, most reliable paths. However, to truly reach your potential, you must be willing to take some risks. As Mark Twain said, “Why not put yourself out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”
It’s such a simple concept, yet when most people are presented with a frightening situation, the tendency is to flee rather than take action. Yet it’s the confrontation of this fear that eliminates the anxiety surrounding the situation and allows you to flourish.
Contemplate Your Own Fears
We all fear different things in life. Some are terrified to speak in front of a group, while others may be paralyzed by fear simply by asking for directions. Regardless of how trivial or meaningless the fear seems, your life will be greatly improved by addressing it.
There are two types of fears: actual physical risks that put us in danger (such as skydiving or bungee jumping), and mental challenges that block our progression. The latter is the type of fears we must work on overcoming to be successful in our lives.
Recognize Your Comfort Zone
People are generally affected by anxiety and fear when they step into unknown territory. They have left their “comfort zone” – situations they are familiar with, which make them feel safe. Nervous thoughts begin to flood their mind. Can I endure it? Will people make fun of me? What will my family and friends say?
Think about situations that come in up in your career and relationships, and decide which ones make you nervous, and which ones you feel safe with. The ones that instigate anxiety are the things holding you back from reaching your full potential.
Understand Common Fears
Many of the fears we deal with daily are universal, and they affect all of us. Regardless of where people live, how much money they make, or what gender they are, the fears are pretty similar.
The most common fears are:
- Having ideas shut down or being told “no”
- Public speaking or presentations
- Giving “negative news” to superiors
- Starting a new job
- Talking to upper management
Most people will experience some (or all) of these fears at some point in their life. The good news is, they can be overcome! If you did not see your fear listed above, don’t worry – you are stronger than any fear and have the power to beat it.
Fight or Flight?
The problem is – fleeing from an anxiety-producing situation really does avoid the discomfort you would have experienced otherwise. But unfortunately, that’s all fleeing does: provides a momentary avoidance. Take a minute to consider any other benefits that may arise from avoiding an uncomfortable situation. Did you come up with any? Most likely not, because there are none! In fact, failing to confront our fears generally leaves us with lower self-esteem and feelings of frustration and helplessness.
Is this a good tradeoff for temporarily avoiding slight discomfort from a situation? The answer is no. Flight is never the best solution for growth and improvement. It hinders you from developing your skills and talents to the fullest.
Develop a Positive Attitude
The key is to recognize that hiding from our fears will not take us anywhere in life. We must strive to cultivate a “can-do” attitude. If we truly believe we can do something, we will have the courage to press onward despite our fear.
Unfortunately, fear and anxiety will never be taken out of situations in life. There’s no magic potion to make everything “safe”. Because of this, it is necessary that we restructure our perspective. When thoughts like “I will do a bad job and others will laugh at me” enter your mind, push them aside! The best weapon against fear is practice and preparation. The more experience you have, the less anxious you will feel. Arm yourself with a positive outlook and try not to focus on the result. The real result is that you pushed yourself and you tried, and at the end of the day, no matter what happens – you won.
Fear is an essential part of life; it warns us when things are dangerous. Yet sometimes our minds take unnecessary liberties. It is up to you to control your thoughts and tell yourself “I can do that.” By stepping out on that limb, you’ll inch your way closer and closer to the fruit you’ve always dreamed of.
About The Author
Elli likes to blog about family and work life, home security and safety, and general home improvement tips. She works in content marketing for YourLocalSecurity.com (read more about them here). To learn more about Elli, follow her on Google+ .
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