Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be terrifying.
Crossing that bold red imaginary line that separates comfort from the unknown can be really frightening. It’s not in our nature to face our fears, it’s in our essence to fight or take flight. The fight-or-flight response is ingrained in our DNA. It’s a great response to have when facing immediate danger, but when that “danger” is not a threat but a choice, this natural response can hold us back.
Facing your fears can be scary, but does avoiding them make it worse?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but my biggest fear and obstacle has been receiving lousy criticism. The internet can be an unforgiving place, and having your work displayed for everyone to see can be intimidating; but here I am, ready to cross that bold red line.
Everyone’s fears are unique, and so is everyone’s journey in trying to overcome them. I may not have all my doubts in check, but here are six reasons that you, and I, should do the things that scare us.
1. You’ll Always Have “What Ifs”:
Regret is horrible. Spending your days daydreaming about a different outcome is even worse. We can’t change the past, but focusing on the now helps to guide us forward; the same can be said about facing your fears. In my mind, fear only has two outcomes – good or sorta-good. You never know whether facing your fears are an excellent opportunity to fail, learn and grow, or whether something magical is waiting on the other side of that line. It’s up to you.
2. It’s A Liberating Experience:
Doing what scares you can be liberating, but it’s scary as hell. I’d always wanted to study French in France, but the thought of leaving my comfort zone scared me. It wasn’t until my friend, the biggest scaredy-cat, decided she wanted to au pair in Europe. If she could do it, why couldn’t I? Sometimes we need that extra push to take the necessary step into the unknown. If I hadn’t faced my fear of living in a foreign country I would never have made so many great memories; it wasn’t always easy, but I’m grateful for the experience. Those experiences have shaped me into the person I am today. Sometimes the things we fear the most, aren’t as scary as we make them out to be.
3. There’s No Success Without Failure:
I’ve heard people say this countless times, but I never truly understood it until I reached my late 20’s. Here’s where I turn to Will Smith for inspiration – “Fail early. Fail often. Fail forward.” It’s only until we become comfortable with failure that we truly begin to see the value in it. Failure allows us to learn and grow and to use the wisdom from this experience to better ourselves and our ideas. Failure is always going to happen, but you can’t have success without it. “Failure helps you to recognise the areas where you need to evolve.”
4. Practice Makes Perfect:
Fear is only as powerful as you make it. The more you do the things that you’re afraid of, the more comfortable they become, and gradually, you’ll become less fearful of them. Doing anything for the first time can be scary, but once you step into the unknown, it loses its power, and you become more comfortable with it. Eventually, you won’t remember what it feels like to be scared of that thing that was holding you back.
5. Shine Bright:
Fear can make us feel unworthy. It sometimes convinces us that we don’t deserve that dream trip or that comfortable home, but once you open yourself up to new opportunities, you’ll find that the world is filled with possibility. Don’t let fear stop you from being the best version of you, and from allowing the world to experience your greatness – no matter how small.
6. Find Your Bliss:
On the other side of fear is utter bliss. I remember diving into the blue waters of Lembongan from a 13-metre cliff. If I think about it now, that’s insane, but the feeling was indescribable. For a split second, I freaked out – “what did I just do?”, But after that, I felt like I was flying. For the next few days, I felt like I had achieved something amazing. I walked a little taller, and I had an extra pep in my step. It was great. Imagine feeling like that all the time? I had gained self-confidence by just facing the big cliff and allowing my heart to guide me, quieting the voice in the back of my head in the process. But that’s what facing your fears does, it will enable you to become more confident in yourself and your ability.
For More: 8 Tips To Cope With Travel Anxiety