“Do one thing a day that scares you.”
This is a popular quote that many have heard but few have abided by. So what’s so difficult about pursuing fear? You’ve been conditioned to think of fear as a feeling we should avoid. The word fear has been connected to other terms that have negative connotations: danger, consequence and even intimidation. When you imagine being afraid you probably think pessimistically. You visualize the worst possible outcome no matter how likely it is. You’ve learned to fear fear itself. But fear is nothing more than a feeling – not an actualization of dread, tangible evidence of consequence or anything concrete at all. If you remember that caveat, it’ll help you tackle the issue from the proper perspective. Because fear is an emotional response, a psychological element in the mind, it can be conquered.
For most, daily life is composed of repetition and fulfilled expectations. You wake up, head to work, come home and repeat the steps the following day. Sure, random surprises pop up here and there, but rarely is there a major divergence from the norm. Going about life in this manner is comfortable and keeps your mind at ease, but it lacks excitement because thrill requires fear. Adventure is a process that includes encountering discomfort, facing it and then overcoming it triumphantly. It needs a bit of discomfort in order to celebrate the bravery it takes to succeed. The build up of nervous tension peaks and becomes gratification.
Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
Have you lived life cautiously thus far? Have your negative thoughts prevented you from accomplishing your wildest dreams? Take a minute to think of all the adventures you’d pursue if you dismissed those anxieties. Use that thought as motivation. No matter how afraid you are, remember that fear is not a bad thing; it’s simply a part of the process. Whether swimming with sharks, climbing the highest mountain or speaking publicly, nothing is beyond your reach. And while you may feel apprehensive initially, the feeling will pass.
You are bigger than your fears. Don’t allow missed opportunities to become your life story. Make the decision to always follow your heart, exude confidence and be brave. Get in the habit of maintaining a healthy perspective of the larger picture instead of focusing on just the parts that scare you. Alter your mindstate and start asking yourself, “What if I succeed?”
It’s natural to feel anxious when faced with uncertainty, but you don’t have to let the anxiety rule you. Convert your anxiety to adrenaline and use it to your advantage. Embrace the discomfort and remember that it’s temporary and will be followed with emotional reward. On the other side of fear is accomplishment, pride, inspiration and passion. Adventure awaits!