How to Stop Fear From Holding You Back

I am a huge fan of doing things that scare you. I’m not talking about stupid things like running in front of a moving car. I’m talking about your dreams and the things you REALLY want to do, but you’re scared that it won’t work out, that you won’t be good enough, that people won’t like you… The simple answer to “how to stop fear from holding you back” is to just go do the thing! Only then will you realize it’s not a scary as you thought.

In the past month, I have done several things that scared me – and guess what? I’m more confident than I was before I did those things, and I’ve grown a lot. I was scared to visit a college – what would the people be like? What would the situation be? But I did it, and an entire new world was opened to me. I was scared to drive my 1998 RAV4 200 miles west and back, for fear the car might not make it. But I did it, and a 4-hour drive in my car isn’t nearly as scary anymore. (Shout-out to my friend for going with me!) I was scared to go to prom. I am one year post-graduate, and possibly the oldest person that attended high school prom – and I had never been before. I didn’t know how to act or what to expect. But I did it, and had so much fun! (Thanks to my best friend for taking me to the college and prom with her – I would never have done those things otherwise!) I was scared to start horseback riding again. To be honest, I’m not in the best shape of my life, and I was afraid I wasn’t fit enough to ride (I learned anyone can ride, it doesn’t matter what shape you’re in. You can only get better!). I was afraid to apply for and interview for a one-step-closer-to-my-dream job, but I did it, and got accepted! I was afraid to do these things, but I did them anyways. The more I do the things I am afraid of, the more I gain belief in my ability to do them and God’s ability to help me do them. Even if things aren’t perfect, even if I am afraid… I can still do it.

I have more dreams, more things that I’m scared to do. And when I’m scared to do something, I tend to procrastinate on it. But that’s no longer going to happen. If I want to do something, I’m going to do it – no matter how scary it is. What are some of those things?? I want to post on my blog daily – but I’m scared that people won’t like what I post, that it won’t be good enough. Guess what?? I’m going to post anyways. I’m going to post the best content I can, and I will only get better at it. If it helps ONE PERSON, it will be worth it. For about the last year or two I’ve wanted to join a crossfit gym. I’ve been scared that I won’t be good enough, won’t be strong enough. And that might be true. But I’m not going to get better until I join. I’ve wanted to work at a veterinarian’s office for about four years, but I’ve never done it, because I was intimidated by the idea that I’d have to work with other people, for other people. I was also scared that I wouldn’t have the skills I need for the job. But I know that I won’t get any better at any of those things unless I do it! I also have the dream of remodeling either a bus or van into a tiny house and travelling the US to every single state either with a friend or two, or solo. But I’m afraid that I don’t have the skills for such a big project….I have to be okay with that. I have to accept the fact that I’ll have to research, learn, and ask for help. I have to realize I’ll fail at some things, but that’s the only way I will learn! I want to become a part-time paid writer, but I’m scared that my articles won’t be accepted for publication, so I haven’t even submitted another article or spent much time writing. The only way I’m going to become a better writer is to WRITE and SUBMIT. If it gets rejected, oh well. I’ll try again. Failure isn’t bad. It’s a good teacher. I have other dreams, too. But the point here is that even if you are scared, you can still do it! Realize that fear is a natural response, and it’s not something that should stop you.

Pursue your dreams no matter what. At some point, you have to stop caring what other people think – let them judge you. Go be you. It’s okay if you fail. It’s okay if things aren’t perfect. What’s not okay is not trying. If you don’t try, you’ll live your life doing what you’ve always done. Not because you like it or because that’s what you want to do, but because that’s the only thing you know and the only thing you’ve been told to do. Think for yourself. Do the things that scare you. You’ll learn, and become a more confident, better person.

What are some things you are afraid to do? What’s the worst-case scenario if you do them anyways? Chances are you won’t die from doing them anyways. Go chase your dreams. Don’t be afraid of failure, learn from it. You’ve got this.

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