What are you afraid of?
Have you ever made a list of your greatest fears?
CNBC published an article in 2017 about Adam Smith’s book, The Bravest You. It highlights ten of the most common fears in society:
- Fear of inadequacy
- Fear of uncertainty
- Fear of failure
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of missing out (FOMO)
- Fear of change
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of being judged
- Fear of something bad happening
- Fear of getting hurt
Many of us can recognize what we are afraid of. We know that acknowledging our fears is the first step to overcome them, but we struggle with facing them.
Fear limits our abilities. It leaves us hiding from who we are while holding back our ideas and goals. Fear holds me back constantly, whether I want it to or not. I’m afraid of messing up, I’m afraid of not being good enough, and I’m afraid of rejection. I have felt every fear on the list above, but there is comfort in knowing I will fail. I will be inadequate, uncertain, and judged.
You’re going to fall short and you’re going to mess up, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying.
Will Smith has an incredible perspective on fear while skydiving if you want to watch it hear:
“At the point of maximum danger is the point of minimum fear. Why are you scared the night before? There is no reason to be scared, it just ruins your day. God placed the best things in life on the other side of terror.”
Fear tells us that our challenges are huge. Fear shows us the worst-case scenario. We run through everything bad in our mind to the point where we believe that is the only thing that will happen. How often do you recognize the best-case scenario?
If you are afraid of a presentation, do you imagine what would happen if you kill it or just what would happen if you forget everything to say? If you are afraid of asking a guy/girl out, do you imagine what it would look like for that person to say yes, or just an unrealistic alternative where that person ignores you for the rest of your life? You need to know that fear only shows you what can go wrong because your mind wants you to be comfortable.
There is a reason you’re afraid. If it weren’t scary, everyone would do it. If it were easy, everyone would do it. “God placed the best things in life on the other side of terror.”
Attack your fears. The more you attack them, the less fear will hold you back. You won’t notice a difference immediately, but you will notice a difference years down the road. I was terrified of conflict for a long time. I didn’t want to say anything that would offend anyone because I care about what others think of me. Now, I handle conflict totally different than I did three years ago. I became aware of my fear and started fighting against it. Instead of cowering away from difficult conversations, I try to invite them. I’m more willing to say things that need to be said because I found more disappointment from regret than I did from speaking up in the moment. I’m still growing, but I’m becoming more inviting of fear.
What are you afraid of today? What have you been putting to the side because you are scared? Hesitation only increases fear, so jump.
Make fear your friend. Invite its company. Face it. The greatest things in life are on the other side of fear.
I appreciate you.