Sure, there are real situations and people to be afraid of.
If someone can cause you bodily harm, that is something to fear. Unfortunately, we also have emotional fear, money fear, and fear of not being good enough. We fear speaking, death, taxes, and the unknown.
The problem is not so much that you have fear, but more about how you handle your fear.
Some do nothing; they keep their lives ordered, compact, and ordinary. Others take the bull by the horns, feel the fear, and push ahead. Which one are you? Do your hands sweat even thinking about doing something different? Or are you one who forges ahead, fear be damned?
Most things that we fear are not rooted in reality. Much of what we fear resides only in our heads. We fear what we don’t understand. When I was 43 and learning to ski (don’t ask), my husband and I ended up at the top of a blue hill (again, don’t ask how we got there). I thought “What the hell am I going to do now?”
Then I thought, “This is a metaphor for my life.”
When something would scare me, I would turn around and try to forget the thing that I feared. At that point, I let loose and skied down the hill. I didn’t die or break anything. What I learned is that fear needed to be damned in my life. Of course, I still get scared and am filled with fear on many occasions. But, I am now able to look fear in the eye and go for it anyway.
What we truly want is on the other side of our fear. The worse thing to hear in the world is, “I always wanted to do that.”
Yeah, it's really sad when you think about all the things that you “wanted to do,” but isn't it better to think about all the things you have done? Screw it, you may have lost money or things didn’t work out the way you wanted, but at least you did it.
When you do what you want, within reason, or allow yourself to dream, it is then that you are really living.
Three quick tips to handle fear:
1. Embrace the fear - Admit that you are afraid and allow yourself to fear it. Fear is normal and doesn’t have to overwhelm you.
2. Feel the fear. . . and then go for it - Action takes care of fear. Don’t think about it - just do it.
3. Gratitude - Be grateful for the fear. The fear is there to keep you safe. However, it is important that it doesn’t keep you so safe that it imprisons you.
Begin to fill you life with love and curiosity. The more that you begin to approach life as an adventure, the less likely you will live in fear. The question isn’t, “What will people say if I fail?” The better question is, “Will I feel like a failure if I don’t do this?”