Imagine What Can Happen When You Face Your Fears?
Believe in yourself, take measured risks, ignore the peanut gallery, and you’ll do fine.
Conventional wisdom says you needn’t do something if it makes you uncomfortable. Most people choose safety over uncertainty. But do safe choices always bring you happiness in life?
I’m here to tell you that fear is not your friend.
Fear never climbed a mountain or ran a marathon. Fear never walked on stage or gave a speech. Fear never spoke up at meetings or asked for a promotion. Fear never overcame challenges. Fear never asked anyone out on a date.
When fear is in control you stay as you are.
It can be daunting to try new things. But if something scares you, you should do it because it scares you. Trust me, you are far more capable than you realize.
For instance, I’ve spent much of my career in public relations. Working behind scenes, I cultivated the “voice” of global organizations. But along the way, my own voice got buried and forgotten.
Last year I began a process of self-actualization in the form of blogging. It has taken me a long time to find my voice — to break away from the safety and relative anonymity of ghostwriting.
Now that I have a voice I am not going to be quiet.
I have things I want to say.
How I danced with fear
Six years ago I took a long, hard look at my life. I thought about where I was, where I wanted to be, and how I was going to get there. It was like a switch had flipped and my ability to overcome self doubt supercharged.
Since then, I have trained to run full marathons and climb rugged peaks. I have studied acting and performed on stage. I have completed a postgraduate degree and changed my job. I ended a long-term relationship and started dating again.
It’s not all smooth sailing, but life is never dull!
My only regret is that I didn’t do much of this sooner.
Applying your skills is when the magic happens.
The number one trait I admire in others is putting yourself out there. We often spend too much time preparing. No matter what your goal, your skills will amplify once you put them into active use.
I know this for a fact. I have studied several foreign languages, but the only one I am fluent in is Japanese. I am fluent because I seek out opportunities to speak in Japanese everyday. Not everyone learns the lingo which limits his or her experience of this incredible country.
Reinvention is always an option
When you choose to evolve as a person you start to live a more successful life. Reinvention is a skill that comes with maturity. It has less to do with creating new personas as with discarding ones that don’t fit.
For today’s upcoming generation expectations are more fluid. Everything is changing and there are no templates for how to live anymore. Even failure is a learning opportunity.
When people ask for advice I tell them this — believe in yourself, take measured risks, ignore the peanut gallery, and you’ll do fine. This may not be the answer they expect, but life is ambiguous at the best of times!
The last word
You don’t need a roadmap to find your way in life. Sometimes you need to let go, trust and see what happens. The key is to adapt your outlook and behavior. A year from now I guarantee you will wish you had started today.