5 Things Being Afraid Teaches You
Fear drives a lot of us, knowingly or otherwise. People stay in the same jobs, the same relationships, eat the same food and live the same lives out of fear. It shapes our world, in several subtle and complex ways.
But here's the thing – You need not run away from fear (you can't).
Fear is an amazing teacher. Fear is a guide, a signpost on a desolate road pointing to your destination.
I know, you're skeptical. You've heard a lot about “don't think negative thoughts”, “don't think about losing” and several variants of this school of thought.
You know as well as I do – you think about bad things anyway. Even if you try your best to shun away fearful thoughts from your mind, the very act of trying brings these issues front and center in your awareness.
I'm willing to guess that right now, as you're reading this, you have a very unhealthy relationship with fear. But that can change.
Let's talk about the great benefits of fear.
1. Fear shows you the way.
Take a piece of paper, right now, and write down the 3 things you're most afraid of. You might be scared of going broke if you quit your job or maybe there's a conversation that you're avoiding at all costs.
Now, pay close attention to the things you've written down. Try to understand them in more detail.
What is your fear of being poor actually about? Are you afraid that if you start your own business, no one will buy your product, leading to you being poor and homeless and alone?
What is the conversation you won't have actually telling you? Do you subconsciously realize that having this conversation will change your life for the better, but it might mean letting go of a relationship that you're currently holding on to?
The obstacle is the way.
2. It allows you to deconstruct your problems.
Do this exercise the next time you come up against something that you're afraid of. Try to figure out if there's a less complex or expansive version of this scenario that you aren't afraid of.
For example – You might be afraid to cold-call 100 prospective clients. But what if you only had to call 20? Or 10? How about 1? Are you afraid to pick up the phone and call one new person?
Probably not. Once you've achieved this understanding, you can repeat and scale up this process to overcome larger fears.
3. It allows you to become an action-taker.
A lot of times, you're afraid to do something because it feels like something bad might happen once you finish doing it. More often than not, even based on your own past experience, these bad things never come to pass. And even if bad things do happen, they're generally not as debilitating as you imagined them to be.
Everyone is afraid. But the people who make it are the ones who learn to accept this fear and run to it. The next time you feel that familiar tightness in your stomach, embrace it as a sign that you're about to do something awesome. And then go out and take action.
4. It shows you that there's never a perfect time to do anything.
Repeat after me – Great people do things before they're ready.
Every successful venture, every outstanding feat of achievement you've read about or taken inspiration from happened during a time where there were several things that could've gone wrong. The men and women in these situations didn't have everything they needed.
It's never the perfect time to launch a business or take that trip. It just never is. Don't wait for the stars to align. There's never going to be a perfect morning where you wake up without fear because all of the internal and external circumstances surrounding a decision have magically resolved themselves.
Give yourself permission to chase your dreams.
5. It shows you that you're tougher than you think you are.
If you're reading this article right now, congratulations. You made it. You made it out alive through the hundreds of situations in your life when you felt afraid.
Stop and consider that for a moment.
Fear, and overcoming it, is a vehicle for self-development. It is the fire that forges you into the amazing person you are capable of being. Embrace your fears. Each and every one of them.
If you feel like there's a lot of things you are capable of doing if only you weren't so afraid, change the way you're thinking about fear. Go through the list above and write down examples of each of the teachings that are applicable to your own life. Use your fears to forge your dreams.
To your success,
Dubsado, The Ultimate Productivity Tool