Ah, fear. It has the power to stop us instantly in our tracks, filling us with self-doubt and urging us to retreat. It can strike at any time and can render us incapable of making even the simplest of decisions. Staying on guard is important but better still is refraining from doing any of the following activities completely: Leaving your hometown, getting into a moving vehicle, making commitments, visiting anywhere you haven’t been before, talking to strangers, creating anything new, speaking to more than two people at once or doing anything else that might be considered risky. This is only a small selection of fears, so please use your own fears as a guide to what you should or should not do in future.
Of course, all of those suggestions are completely ridiculous but if we’re honest, how many of us have let fear stop us from doing what we really wanted? We hold ourselves back for fear of what other people think, we stay in jobs we hate because change terrifies us, we don’t leave dysfunctional relationships because we can’t bear the thought of ending up on our own, we follow the pack from school, to university, to the secure a job because we’re afraid of taking a risk, we keep quiet and don’t speak up for the things we believe in because we’re afraid of being rejected by those closest to us, we stay paralysed in situations that don’t serve us because we’re so afraid of making even the smallest change.
But what if we looked at fear in another way? What if instead of keeping us stuck, we used fear as a traffic light or a signal that means go forward instead of stop. What if instead of being something that we need to beat or overcome, we saw fear as a sign that we’re growing. There’s a quote that says “comfort zones are great but nothing grows there”. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is one of the biggest breakthroughs we can have because when we take action from a place of fear we really are unstoppable. Taking our power back gives us permission to do the things we really want without fear having a say and by stepping confidently out of our comfort zones and recognising that fear will always be with us, we can start living the life we actually want to live.
So book that life changing trip, hand in your notice, make your art, leave the relationship, sell the house, start the business and have an uncomfortable life because with discomfort comes growth. Don’t wake up one day and realise that you didn’t live the life you wanted because fear held you back, because that’s the one thing we really do need to be afraid of.
BY Sinead Van Kampen