The truth is, if we’re genuinely afraid of something, we will do just about anything to avoid admitting to or confronting that fear. That’s just human nature. But it’s so important to our success to get those fear blockers out of the way, that we need to make every effort to identify and confront fear.
As we’ve discussed before, courage means many different things to many different people. The point is not to beat yourself up over feeling inadequate, or to be paralyzed because your courage isn’t as strong as someone else’s, the point is to pick something in your life to be more courageous about and just do it. You will find great satisfaction in confronting your fears and you will be able to do more once you start doing.
So the hard part is usually doing the deep soul searching to acknowledge what fears hold you back from achieving what you want. We don’t like feeling weak or helpless and confronting fear can be really traumatic. But until you are ready to admit, confront and most past fear, you’re limiting yourself.
I like to think of what I want my epitaph to say when I shuffle off this mortal coil…Do I want it to read ‘I would have done it but was too scared’ or ‘I did it their way’? ‘Was too afraid to try so I don’t know what I could have done?’? You get the point. Have the balls to take some risks, don’t give up and don’t let fear stop you from even trying.
When you stop trying you start dying.
Ok, enough preaching, here is a practical exercise that we can do to start thinking about and acting more courageously in our lives. The goal is to tackle one fear and use that powerful feeling to start admitting, and then confronting additional blockers in your life.
- Get out your journal…what? You don’t have a journal? Ok, then just get a sheet of paper and pen. You can get a journal later. There is something powerful about handwriting, so I suggest you commit this to paper and ink.
- Find a quiet time and place. and this is the most important part…. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF! This is just for you and you don’t have to tell anyone yet. Write down the top 5 fears/phobias you have. They don’t need to be in any particular order.
- Next, make a note on how these fears are blocking you from doing something in your life that you wish you could accomplish.
- Now after you’ve written this down in ink, put your note away in a handy place and think about it every day for a week to see if you’ve done your best to identify the biggest fears in your life.
- At the end of one week, pull out your notes and update them based on your reflection.
- Answer the following questions.
Did you add or change any of your top 5 fears?
Did you add or change any of the goals that you determined were being blocked? (You can have one fear that blocks several goals and vice versa.)
Note: Fear of humiliation or embarrassment is usually one of your 5. Is it for you? This is one of the most common and crippling fears that hold you back from trying new things.
Part 2: Time to take action Warrior!
- Select one fear from your list that you think you could tackle with some encouragement and determination.
- Create a plan to confront and tackle your fear. If you have trouble, ask a friend to help.
- Don’t chicken out or procrastinate. Pick a day and time to act on your plan and WRITE IT DOWN!
- Now just do it. Let me know how it felt to confront your fear. Was it a powerful feeling? Did you chicken out? Did you feel like a weight was lifted off of you?
- Write down your feelings in your journal.
Note: There are lots of ideas you can google to help you create a plan to confront a specific fear/phobia you have. While technically, there are only 5 true fears that we humans share, there are over 500 phobias that hold us back. If it helps you to find a friend who will hold you accountable, I strongly suggest you ask them to help you.
If you tried and failed to confront and overcome at least one fear, don’t give up, rinse and repeat this exercise until you make progress. One of the key benefits of going through this challenge is just acknowledging what holds you back in life so that you can recognize the blocker and actively push through.
Bonus points: After you document your fears and how they are blocking your progress, then post them and publicly announce you plan to confront and conquer. Ask someone to join you. Power is in the tribe….
I believe in you!!! You were born to do HARD THINGS and GREAT THINGS!
Founder and CEO 3rdNut Tribe