I’m afraid of a lot of things. I’m afraid of mice, my dog slipping her harness and running down the highway, and tornados. I’m also afraid of failure and rejection, but who isn’t? We are all afraid of something, but we all have the ability to conquer our fears.
Taking risks and conquering our fears, large or small, is an important part of living a joyful, fulfilled life. You shouldn’t live your life in constant fear, just waiting for something to go wrong. Embrace the world around you. Don’t let your fears hold you back.
I’m trying not to view fear as fear, rather as a challenge. If I treat fear like I treat filing my taxes by hand, then fear becomes something that can be broken down. For example, my fear of seeing my dog run down the highway left me walking my dog on a very short leash as far away from the road as possible. I’m working on beating my fear by giving the leash more slack when I walk my dog. I know that she isn’t trying to escape, she is just excited to see the world around her. After living in a cage before I adopted her, she wants to explore and have some doggy fun- even if that means slipping her harness to chase our chickens and turkeys. I still get anxious with my dog by the road ( if she gets loose, she will never come home), but I can’t let my fears keep her on a tight leash forever. I have to trust my dog and myself, rather than letting fear take over.
My fear of failure and rejection is something more common, but it seems harder to address. It is less tangible than seeing my dog run down the street. That makes it harder to view as a challenge, but I can’t live my life in fear forever. I am taking little steps. I took a big risk for me and applied for graduate school in a foreign country. There is a fair chance that I may be rejected, but I can’t let that stop me. I also have a huge fear that I get in and when I get oversees, find the language too hard to learn and end up stuck with the other American ex-pats rather than getting to enjoy authentic experiences.
I am not letting fear stop me, and neither should you. Live the life you have always dreamed of. Don’t give fear the power to hold you back. Take small manageable steps and build upon your success. Don’t let failure stop you from trying again. We are all afraid of something and we all fail sometimes. Use that failure to motivate yourself to try again. The power to overcome fear is within all of us.
Are you ready to overcome your challenge?