It is quite normal that whenever we attempt something new or pursue a big goal, we will experience a certain level of fear.
We can either let our fears stop us from going for what we want, or we can continue moving forward despite feeling afraid. The truth is almost all of our fears are self-created.
In its simplest form, fear is an imagined negative consequence that may or may not occur in the future if we take a particular action. Basically, we scare ourselves by imagining negative outcomes to anything we want to do or experience in life.
Fear can often be disguised as:
- Procrastination – not doing what needs to be done.
- Avoidance – not willing to face a reality in life due to embarrassment, not wanting to be rejected or not knowing what’s ahead.
- Distraction – allowing ourselves to get sidetracked from doing what really matters.
- Perfectionism – not wanting to share what we have done for fear of criticism.
When we confront our fears, most times, we will find that they were totally made them up and things didn’t turn out to be as scary as we thought they would.
In the book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill suggests that, “Every adversity brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.”
If we can start viewing our challenges or fears from a different perspective, then we are bound to learn valuable lessons and grow in the process.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in life is leaving a so-called “secure” corporate career and starting my own business. Operating my own business is a totally different experience to managing someone else’s business and it required me to learn a lot of things quickly.
In my early years in business, I made so many mistakes that had me questioning what I was doing and whether I would get through. I always came back to “why” I started my business in the first place and that always helped me stay committed and inspired me to continue doing what was necessary to overcome the challenges I faced.
While the fear has never gone away, I now know fear is just feedback that I am out of my comfort zone and about to do something I have not done before. That always make it easier to do what’s required to overcome my fears and achieve the outcomes I want.
Here are five life lessons we will learn when we confront our greatest fears, which in turn, will help us deal with future challenges differently and with a lot more confidence.
- You will deal with adversity a lot better. We develop confidence when we successfully overcome an adversity or survive a risk. The more challenges we face and overcome in life, we stronger we will be mentally and emotionally. Our experiences in dealing with adversity will prepare us to face new ones better than if we don’t experience challenges in life.
- You will appreciate the importance of being prepared. All obstacles and challenges are feedback that there are things we weren’t aware of which may have prevented us getting the outcomes we want. When we’re better prepared, we will handle adversity a lot better than if we aren’t prepared. Being prepared may mean having a plan, acquiring new knowledge or gaining new skills.
- You will know why taking risks in life is important. We don’t really know what we are capable of until we find ourselves in a situation where we have no choice but to find an answer. These challenges and risk build our mental muscles and strengthen our ability to face bigger challenges in life.
- You will value taking the right actions. Anything we are confronted with in life, chances are someone else has been through or experienced something similar. We can reduce any unnecessary stress or heartache by asking others how they overcame a similar challenge we are facing. That will help us identify the right actions to take and shorten our learning curve.
- You will learn the power of persistence. How we deal with our fears reveal what we are made of and what we are capable of overcoming. When we attempt something new in life, it will require us to be resilient and develop more persistence in order to continue moving forward. The more persistent we are, the greater our chances of getting what we want in life.
If we can accept that our fears are mostly made up in our minds, then it will be a lot easier to take new risks in life. The more risks we are willing to take, the more we will grow, which will strengthen our ability to deal with bigger challenges. If we also accept that experiencing fear is very normal when we want to do something new, then setting big goals in life will be a lot easier.
Question: What is another valuable life lesson we will learn when we face our greatest fears?
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