“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” –Marianne Williamson, Spiritual Activist.
Why do we fear? We fear the unknown not because of what it may bring, but because we doubt we are capable of what the unknown may bring. Fear tends to prevent us from taking perfectly healthy and natural risks and if we let that fear win, we could be missing out on a memorable life-changing experience. The unknown is simply that – unknown, so why do we fret?
Whether it’s a fear of an upcoming work assignment, a big trip, or relationship commitment, as spiritual and ambitious women, we’ve all experienced this fear. When you’re a go-getter, there’s a whole lot of go-getting in your lifestyle and that pressure can certainly bring on the doubts. Some of us get the jitters or butterflies, and some experience intense fear. But regardless of what we feel, it’s important to recognize that the only person standing in your way – is yourself. When you realize fear is only an emotion and that you are capable of more than you allow yourself, anything is possible.
Oprah Winfrey tells us, “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” That mindset is the making of a reassuring purpose (as if we need another reason to worship Oprah). Below we explore ten simple steps to break up with fear and truly embrace the unknown. We all deserve to live the life of our dreams and fulfill our utmost desires, so we’ve chatted with nearly a dozen “passionistas” about how they get over fear and here’s what we’ve learned:
Acknowledge the fear.
They always say that the first step in solving a problem is admitting and acknowledging that you have a problem. The same goes with fear. When you feel it, own up to it and accept it as only an emotion, “Fear is an emotion and it actually has NO power. The only power fear has is the power that you choose to give it. So the moment that you stop feeding your fears, you will no longer have fears.” -Stephanie Nickolich, CEO Success Society, 30, Miami, FL.
Rationalize the fear.
Most people automatically assume the worst – we’re all guilty of catastrophizing in certain situations. Take a moment to stop and ask yourself, ‘is this fear even rational or am I just beating myself up?’ You’re probably making the situation worse than what it is, which leads us to….
Change your perspective.
For one, let’s stop directing our energy to the negative outcome of an event and try switching the gears and focusing on the positives in a situation. Have you ever thought of what can go right? Think about it. If in every new or out-of-the-box experience we wrote a list of the immense positive possibilities that could occur, we might end the fear.
Build your confidence.
You know that voice in your head that’s constantly beating you up? ‘I’m not strong enough. I’m not healthy enough. I’m not pretty enough. Sometimes, you need to tell that voice to flip off. The way I see it, you can be your own worst enemy or your own best friend. When we replace those negative thoughts with positivity, we can start believing in our own capabilities and gain the confidence we need to take those risks.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
I’m not going to promise you that you will never feel fear again; because I’d be lying. You’re ambitious and your life is the result of ambition, so naturally, fear will arise. In those situations when you can’t shake it – accept it, own it, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” You know that feeling you get after you accomplish something you thought you couldn’t do? It’s irreplaceable; there may be no better feeling. So take that fear to your next big chapter, and show it who is boss.
I can’t stress the important of utter mindfulness enough. When you are fully present and observant in each and every moment, you aren’t fearing the future, you aren’t thinking about what could be, you’re focused on the NOW. Find your now. Now is all we have. This practice not only decreases anxieties but trains you to fully embrace life little by little. “When walking, walk. When eating, eat,” –Zen Proverb
Not literally speaking of course. Learn to let go. Understand that we probably don’t have control anyway. Not to say that human beings don’t have the power to direct each of our lives, but sometimes the outcome is spoken for. We can prevent and predict all we want but usually, what’s going to happen will happen.
Find your faith.
Whatever that may be. Christianity. Buddhism. Hinduism. The Universal Law of Attraction. Scientology. Or in my case, a bit of it all. This is your world. Exploring spirituality brings a sense of security and stability into life, in my opinion. It’s a comforting feeling to know that you may very well be guided by someone or something much higher than yourself.
Sometimes the very best way to knock your fears to the side is to simply do what terrifies you. Why? Because when you’ve done it, you can’t fear it anymore. You can look at the experience proudly and know that you have conquered a fear. Keep exposing yourself. Keep challenging yourself. “If it’s both terrifying and amazing, then you should definitely pursue it,” –Erada
There is almost nothing more exhilarating than stepping out of your comfort zone, taking a risk and something new from the world. When you constantly expose yourself to new experiences, you’re also providing consistent reassurance that the world is much bigger than you. Plus, there’s nothing like making your way in a new location to give you a boost of energy and confidence.
Only when you learn to break up with the insecurities, fears and doubts can you begin to truly embrace life and the unknown. There is such a magnificent beauty in the unknown – if you allow it to be a positive experience. “I don’t find the unknown scary, I find it rather exciting actually. If you don’t know what’s coming next then you have the power to choose your direction,” Lauren Anzaldua, Entrepreneur. Embrace the unknown and let your passion be your compass.
By: Charissa Lauren