Quit letting fear make your decisions
Sometimes I can’t get over what people will think of me if I fail. It begins to take over my mind and transform my own desires, and it even influences my actions toward those desires. Sometimes I let it dictate whether or not I decide to “go for it”. It’s part of the reason that I started writing a couple years after I actually wanted to start writing.
The fear of failure may be our biggest downfall. I think we pause sometimes because we‘re actually scared of being afraid.
Here’s what I mean:
When we think of failure, we might have an initial fear of trying. That fear is paralyzing. We hate it. It stops us from attempting anything before we even get a chance to fail. If we don’t give ourselves a chance to fail, we allow fear to dictate the outcome.
Allowing fear to paralyze us is detrimental to our quality of life…
We’re saying, “I’m comfortable where I’m at, I can’t handle the criticism so I’m just going to stay right here and be okay with that”.
If this behavior remains consistent, it conditions us to respond this way almost every time we’re hit with adversity. Instead of building resilience and endurance, we give in to the failure message — it’s acceptable to stay put if we’re afraid. It’s acceptable to let fear make the decision for us. Only, It’s not.
Allowing fear to paralyze us is detrimental to our quality of life, and can sometimes stop us from pursuing our life-giving desires. It can subtly become a part of our routine and prevent true growth in our character.
Challenge yourself to do things afraid.
The other day I was out for breakfast with my friend and mentor, Marco. Fear was something that we talked about. Long story short, Marco is planting a church in the town in which I reside. Pursuing this comes with a lot of risk-taking and a lot of fear and potential doubts.
Marco said something that resonated with me. He said that he’s been really embracing the fear that has come along with pursuing this dream. Essentially he is in the practice of “doing things afraid”, as he put it.
See, it’s alright to be afraid to do something. It’s really our next action that’s the important part. We can allow that fear to make our decisions, or we can embrace the fear, take the next step, and just do it afraid.
Doing things afraid will no doubt unleash some potential that’s been locked inside of you by fear itself. You may gain confidence after doing something afraid and this can carry you past another decision or action that may be weighing you down.
Don’t let fear stop you. Embrace it, and keep doing things afraid.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”