Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Courage2Written by Melissa Kessler, MA, PCC

I just successfully completed the biggest project of my life entirely on my own. I would never have had the guts to take on a project this complex and daunting all by myself a few years ago. It involved conducting 39 sensing sessions for an organization with over 1000 employees, writing a report of findings and recommendations, and presenting these results to the top leader. So what’s different now? I am more confident than I was a few years ago because I continue to go outside of my comfort zone by taking on new and bigger challenges.

Many people believe that someday they will have the courage to do the things they are afraid of. Unfortunately, we don’t magically become braver without taking action. The only way to gain courage is by facing our fears, not running from them. In Susan Jeffers’ book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” she talks about how everyone has fear when doing something new. Courage is being willing to feel the fear and do it anyway, instead of allowing the fear to stop us from trying. By doing something that scares us, we subconsciously send the message to ourselves that we can handle whatever comes our way. Then the next time we are faced with a new situation, we are more confident in our ability to deal with the unfamiliar. However, we also send a subconscious message to ourselves by running from a fearful situation which says that we can’t handle the unknown.

The next time you are afraid to take on a new challenge, try these steps:

  • Tell yourself that fear is normal and everyone experiences it.
  • Make a list of all of the new experiences you have successfully lived through as evidence that trying something new hasn’t killed you yet.
  • Tell yourself that the fear itself is far worse than the experience of actually doing it will be.
  • Tell yourself that pushing through a fear is far less scary than living your life in fear and missing out on all that life has to offer.
  • Just feel the fear and do it anyway!

For more tips, see my newsletter on growing beyond your comfort zone.

 Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.W. Clement Stone

 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.Franklin D. Roosevelt

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