The common misconception is that you shouldn’t be afraid when it comes to taking action.
Especially with something that takes you outside of your comfort zone.
When you mention to someone that you want to do something. But you’re scared about doing it. They’ll give you some well intentioned, but terrible advice, like;
‘Don’t be afraid’ or ‘There’s nothing to be scared of’.
Because most people work on the assumption that you can turn fear off. And high achieving people have no fear because they’ve turned it off.
This is why fear is one of our most misunderstood emotions.
Which is a shame, because it holds so many people back from achieving their goals.
So I would like to help you understand fear.
You need to understand that the Palaeolithic software that our minds are running, is skewed towards fear.
Back in the day (hunter gatherer) fear was a more valuable emotion.
The cavemen that were fearful of the large shadow is the long grass. Lasted a lot longer than those caveman who weren’t that fussed.
The fearful would avoid the situation their ‘spidy senses’ alerted them to.
Whereas those that were fearless became the lunch of some prehistoric beast. And their genes would be unapologetically weeded out out of existence.
Which meant our ancestors survived, procreated and passed on their fear driven operating system.
Which means that fear will never go away.
It waits in the bushes for you!
And as soon as you try something outside of your comfort zone fear pops up. The red light that sees you jump on the brakes. And you stop yourself.
It feels like an automatic reaction. Like something you have no control over.
And after enough times of experiencing this, you form the belief of ‘I can’t do it because I’m afraid’.
Or ‘if I’m afraid, something’s not right and I shouldn’t do it’.
Here’s where I’m going to ask you to address what you currently understand about fear.
So you can get over it and start taking action!
When you’re about to do something outside of your comfort zone. It’s completely normal that fear pounces!
In fact it would be weird if you didn’t experience fear in that scenario. The absence of it means you likely have some abnormality.
(Or your ancestors where one of those Laissez–faire cavemen who luckily made it through).
I used to give into the fear a lot.
Over the years I missed out on countless opportunities from capitulating to this archaic software.
I’d find myself stuck. Wanting to take action, but too afraid.
Until someone helped me think about it differently.
Which changed everything!
And with this mindset I began doing things that fear had previously stopped me from doing.
Then as I became more confident with my updated software I started testing myself. Doing things to evoke the fear and see how easy I could push past it.
I took on the fear of being in front of a crowd of people wearing only my underwear (that all too familiar nightmare). Through doing a bodybuilding competition. Which saw me in shorts on stage in front of hundreds of people.
I got over my fear of swimming in the sea or any open water (probably from watching Jaws too young). Through open water swimming.
My fear of a getting in a fight through Boxing and Judo.
My fear of speaking in front of people through public speaking arrangements.
I was terrified before all of those events, but then I took that first step.
On to the stage,
into the lake,
into the ring
and soon onto the mountains (to take on my fear of heights).
Because as I’ve come to learn. As soon as you to take action…
And thanks to this new mindset I recognise that fear doesn’t mean I have to stop.
Because it’s not a red light…
…it’s an amber light!
And you have a choice to make when it appears.
You can stop which means the light goes red.
Or you can give yourself a green light and start doing the things you want to do!