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What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?

{ By Bethany Braun-Silva }

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the things that hold us back: Why don’t we chase those big dreams? Why don’t we show up authentically in every situation? Why don’t we speak up? Why do we stay in uncomfortable situations?

The only thing I can really identify as the reason why is fear. But what if fear wasn’t in the picture. If fear was removed, would that make it possible to chase those big dreams, show up authentically, speak up, and leave?

Many experts agree that the fear I’m talking about here is a fear of failure, and it shows up in different forms like the fear of being judged, of not fitting in, of sounding stupid– this is what keeps us from doing the things we want to do. But what’s the alternative?

For me, living in fear means a life unfulfilled. It means walking on eggshells, never realizing my full potential, of being unhappy. And that’s one alternative I simply can not accept. So here are a few things I do to conquer my fear and go for what I want. And please, I encourage you to do the same! What’s the worst that can happen?

  • Imagine the worst: Yep, as I said above, what’s the worst that can happen? No, seriously? Go ahead and let your mind travel down the rabbit hole of horrible occurrences. Will you lose friends if you speak up? Will you get rejected if you go for that amazing job? If the answers are “yes,” guess what? Those aren’t actually that bad! Friends that abandon you for speaking up were never your friends, to begin with, and you can definitely reframe that rejection as protecting you from something that wasn’t meant for you and guiding you toward something that is!
  • Breathe through it: Chances are if you give yourself a beat or two just to breathe, you will find your body starts to calm down, and your brain starts to think more rationally. After a few deep breaths, you can see the fear for what it really is–a call to action!
  • Talk to yourself: Having a conversation with yourself as if you were talking to a friend or loved one is a great way to gain a bit of perspective. Go through the pros and cons of your scary choice, try to rationalize with yourself, and talk to yourself as if you were advising your BFF. You may be surprised to come up with an answer sooner than you thought!

Reframe the fear: What if you changed the fear to excitement? Think about the last time you were afraid to do something and did it anyway. Did you feel a rush or maybe even a thrill? Fear is there to keep us safe, but it can also be a way to energize us and propel us to action. Think about that the next time you are hindered by fear.