How to face the fear of doing the things you want

"What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do."
~ Tim Ferriss

"He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
 

I've learned a lot about conquering fear these past few days. In preschool, I was a "tough" little girl, not afraid of spiders or bugs or even snakes, because I was just cool like that (or that's what I told myself). But the thing I've always been afraid of is speaking. When I was younger, all the way up to ninth grade I was selectively mute. I hated speaking to strangers, so I didn't. 

Shyness is a part of me, and I've accepted it in later years. I'm okay with who I am shyness now and have learned to talk when I need to. But I remember what a huge issue it used to be for both me and the people around me. There was so much pressure for me to be normal and get many friends, and I secretly dreamed of being the popular girl. Despite enjoying my own company, sometimes I wanted to talk to somebody, but was too afraid of what they might have thought of me. I missed out on many friendships and am still socially awkward and have never developed any small talk skills whatsoever.

Social situations are still incredibly scary. I fear performing, being in front of a camera and usually making posts to instagram makes me worry if I sound stupid or if my words even make any sense. Some days it gets so bad that I get paralyzed by it, letting my fear of putting myself out there overwhelm me and control my life.

I don't want that. Not for myself. Not for anyone.

A thing I've wanted to do for ages is starting a youtube channel. It's been on my mind even before I started instagram. But it all comes back to that one fear and insecurity I've had for my entire life: talking. Even if it's in my bedroom with a camera or microphone, I can't do it. I start shaking. Not as much as I would in front of a class or a big crowd, but still. And it makes me feel so ridiculous and dumb. This one fear creates a domino effect of self consciousness and doubt that seems to never end. 

I don't think I'm alone. We all have fears. Some have many. Some have few. But our fears always try to hold us back somehow. They hold us back from doing the things that'd bring us joy. And every time we give into it, we're sabotaging our own happiness.

I recently heard a story about a bee called Bertha. Here's an inspiring, thought-provoking video about self-discipline that will tell you that we as humans have so much power over our own fears: 


(Watch it! Seriously!)

We're programmed to be afraid of certain things. As humans, we fear change. I fear talking to people, and that means that social things are outside my comfort zone. Taking chances and overcoming challenges takes courage, work and forces us to step outside those comfort zones. We are by nature lazy creatures. If we never change, we'll stay alive, and that's what has kept humankind from extinction for millions of years. But we're not bees. We can change that programming and choose how to react to situations and how to live our life.

Just think about how much power you have.

Fear has helped us in the past, but in this day and age, fear keeps us from being happy. We all need to actively seek opportunities to be in control of our own lives. We are afraid of things so that we can know what we most need to do. Fear isn't something we have to run from or get rid of. It's completely natural and normal. Instead we can use it as a guide, or a compass, to help us find the things we need to do and where we should go. Listen to yourself and learn all of your fears. Make decisions that make you happy because you're challenging yourself, not because it makes things easier for you.
 
 
I'm comfortable where I am right now. My life's amazing, and pretty easy. I do the things I love and love the things I do. But there's one thing missing. Growth.

We can't grow or learn if we don't move and face obstacles. We can't allow fears to control us. But we shouldn't ignore those fears either, because we have them for a reason.

What we're afraid of is what we should do.

Let's face our fears today. What are you afraid of? How will you face that fear?

Yesterday I filmed my first ever youtube video. It was horrifying, but I felt so fulfilled and accomplished. You can do whatever you set your mind out to do. Let your fears inspire you, not control you.

Love,
Em.

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