There are many things I regret not doing as my younger self, because I let fear get too far in the way.
So many adventures, experiences and friendships I think I missed out on along the way just because I was too scared to speak up, open up, or show up when the opportunities presented themselves.
At many points, I’d just back down. Better to stay comfortable then to have to face judgement, or failure, or any other miserable thing we’re afraid of.
But far more memorable are the times that I DID do exactly the thing I was afraid to do.
I remember the nervous cringe of butterflies in my stomach. Balancing the lurching waves of nausea between the urge to run away. The breathlessness. My heart feeling like it could break thru my chest at any moment, pounding, pounding away.
Yet somehow despite all that- my feet would still carry me. My mouth would still speak. My hands would still play. My voice would still sing… Practice and instinct and adrenaline would take over and suddenly I’d find myself past the point of nerves and just doing the thing.
There always comes a moment, when diving into a fear like that, when I catch myself, almost from an outside perspective, thinking “Hey! You’re doing it! It’s all ok! No worries!”
I finally realized, actually doing the thing that scares you is not the scary part!
It’s the preamble beforehand that’s petrifying- the dramas you’re playing out in your head, the worries you fuel, the different multiple scenarios of failure you imagine could happen. That’s the stage when fear takes hold of us and keeps us down.
But as soon as we can start to move through the fear, actually get into it, instead of just winding it around in our brains and hearts over and over again- that’s when fear becomes not something that can hold us back, but something that can propel us.
I think that often, the thing we fear doing the most, is exactly what we most need to do.
Take baby steps towards what scares you, everyday, little by little. Fear is a friend, not foe. It’s a spotlight on that next step we must take in order to grow.
Our fears are guiding us, showing us paths that will open us up to become who we are really meant to be.
I’ve been trying to follow my fear more and more often, and each time I do, I find it leads me down some awfully fulfilling roads.
Check out Jen’s post asking, what scares you?
Share your thoughts/tips/struggles around facing your fears on your blog too, and we’ll post a link right here for our readers to check out!