On Day 20, we started from zero and decided what our ideal lifestyle would be like. Then on Day 21, we defined our fears which prevent us from taking the steps necessary to make that ideal lifestyle possible.
Today, we will conquer those fears.
As you may already know, the emotion of fear serves a valuable purpose from an evolutionary standpoint.
It is fear that prevents us from doing many of the dangerous things that could get us killed or seriously injured. It’s important to understand this, because it shows that what we fear is not necessarily our enemy.
If something doesn’t pose a real danger to us, then we should not be afraid of it!
Therefore, it is the emotion of fear, rather than the object of our fears, that we must work on.
Since we have already defined our fears and we see that they are not as dangerous as we thought, it is time to conquer the fear itself.
The emotion of fear is what causes all our related anxieties about doing what it is we need to do, so any strategies to work around this fear would be very beneficial to us.
There is a great quote from the movie Three Kings along the lines of, “It’s not as though the fear goes away and then you do the thing you are afraid of. You must do the thing you are afraid of, and then the fear goes away.”
I butchered the quote, but the point is clear: in order to conquer your fears, you must do the things you are afraid of.
There is simply no “easy” way out.
Then again, this is great news! There is absolutely nothing complicated about overcoming your fears.
The solution is very simple: just do what it is you are afraid of.
Don’t get me wrong, this is of course easier said than done.
I get that.
But courage is just like a muscle. Even if it starts out small, if you work at it, it will get progressively bigger and bigger.
When lifting weights, you must start with a weight you are comfortable with, and gradually increase it. Similarly, when you are afraid of something, you must do small amounts of it, and then progressively increase it as your comfort level expands.
As you flex your courage muscle, your fears begin to shrink and your self-confidence expands.
Conversely, if you allow your courage muscle to atrophy, your fears will increase and your self-esteem diminishes. This is why you must get in the habit of doing things outside of your comfort zone on a daily basis.
The objective analysis of your fears that you did yesterday is an important first step. But all the theorizing in the world will not eliminate your fears.
Only action can do that.
The first type of courage you must develop is courage to take the first step.
You must be able to get out of your head and just take the plunge into something…even if that plunge is just a baby step.
In fact, toddlers are a great motivator for this.
Just imagine how ridiculous it would be if children just learning to walk were afraid.
“Oh no, the last time I tried standing up and taking a step I fell over immediately! I’ll never get this right!”
It’s absurd! Of course the child will just try again, despite what would be a totally rational fear of falling.
In order to develop this courage, it can help to gather more information.
Learn what it takes to accomplish your goals. You have already done this to some degree in the starting from zero technique.
Knowledge of what it will take turns an unknown into a known, and makes it easier to take that first step.
But then you just have to do it.
The next type of courage to develop is perseverance.
This means that once you have taken that first step, you must be able to persist, even if the feedback you get is worse than you expected.
Even in the face of unexpected setbacks you must endure and continue along with your plan. This is not easy, but again, you just have to do it.
Take the first step towards your goals. Stay on that path even if it’s hard.
Practice the habit of courage. If something scares you, do it.
In fact, the things that you fear are usually the things most important for you to do.
And even if for nothing else, you should do what you fear just to practice stepping out of your comfort zone.
As long as you let things scare you into inaction, you will not be as happy as you should be.
For more information on conquering you fears, check out this article over at Positivity Blog.
Continue to Day 23: Fake It Til You Make It.