If you can't beat fear, just do it scared!
How many times have you let fear stop you doing something you really want to do? You could be scared of failing, scared of looking stupid, scared of disapproval...the list is endless and individual to each of us. The point is, sometimes our fear is based on assumptions or negative predictions which we cannot prove wrong until we give it a go – and do you really want to deny yourself something due to fear? You may have tried something in the past which did not go quite as you would have liked, and this could lead to you fearing the same thing happening again. You cannot guarantee that, just because it was not great before, it can’t be great if you try again.
Fear can feel debilitating, or too big to surmount, but much of it is of our own making. If you let fear win you deny yourself the opportunity to do something wonderful, or to prove to yourself that you can do it. Things may go wrong along the way, or might be difficult, but these moments are chances to learn, to do it differently, and to grow and develop who you are.
Each time you find yourself backing out due to fear, ask yourself what you need to be able to do it. Ask for support, do the research, talk to others for guidance. Give yourself the chance to see if you really can.
Overcoming fear is not about never feeling fear. It is about not letting the fear make decisions for you. Fear is a natural feeling which has a purpose, that purpose is NOT to stop you living your life or doing things you want to do. Fear can be used as an indicator that you need to put something in place to help you get something done. Or it can be used as a tool to challenge yourself with, and become stronger as a result of trying, and not giving in to it.
You cannot totally eradicate fear; it is unrealistic to hope that you will go through life never feeling scared. What you can learn to do is to feel the fear and do it regardless. Seek help, if needed, to find out where the fear came from and to see if it is still relevant. You might find you have out-grown it, or it no longer applies to you. Counselling can help you soothe old feelings, develop a sense which suits you now, and how to apply this is other areas of life. Your confidence can grow feel stronger for rising to the challenge, and your belief in yourself can strengthen as you learn to test your comfort zone and do new things.
So, if you can’t beat fear, just do it scared!
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About Julie Terry-Jenner
I'm Julie and I work in private practice as a therapist after years of working within mental health. I use an Integrative approach and use a variety of techniques. I work with many issues and enjoy a flexible approach to my work. I recognise the most important element of the work is building a safe, accepting relationship.