post written by: Marc Chernoff
5 Ways to Step Forward When You’re Scared to Death
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Fear is the most powerful single factor that deprives you of being able to achieve your full potential. You experience it most often as a result of your own thoughts and emotional visions, rather than actual real world causes. In other words, you become fearful of a fantasy – something that doesn’t exist.
Fear is a cloaked enemy that whispers negative thoughts into your mind, body and soul. It tries to convince you that you will not succeed and that you cannot achieve your full potential. These thoughts are lies.
The road you are traveling may be a bit scary at times, but don’t lose faith. Don’t listen to your fears and the fears of those around you. Don’t let old setbacks work their way into your present thinking. And most of all, don’t give up on what’s important to you.
It’s fine to feel a bit uncomfortable. It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen next, or how much you can handle. As long as you gradually step forward you will learn what you need to know. You will let go of the scary things that ‘might happen’ and start to see all the great realities unfolding around you.
This is your life and it’s an open road. Grab the wheel with both hands and keep steering yourself around all the unnecessary fears and uncertainties as they arise. Here’s how…
1. Envision and declare what you want.
Regardless of fear or actual real world barriers, whenever you want to achieve something, you have to envision it and declare it. You have to keep your eyes open and focused specifically on what you want. It’s simply impossible to hit a target you haven’t declared, or get anywhere worthwhile with your eyes closed and your vision blurred.
The first step is realizing that what you want to achieve is already a big part of who you are. You may be a novice just beginning a great journey, or you may be a veteran who hasn’t yet realized her dream. Either way, the fact that you haven’t attained your desired result yet doesn’t make you any less of a force to be reckoned with.
In other words, if you want to run a marathon, you are a marathon runner. You just need to run. If you want to be a writer, you are a writer. You just need to write. Etc. It’s only ever a matter of training, studying and practicing.
Whatever it is you want to do, envision it and declare it out loud: “I am going to _______.” Read 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.
And then start doing it.
2. Know the consequence staying where you are.
What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
It wouldn’t be. Life is movement. Inaction based on fear not only stops you from achieving, it stops you from living.
Your future depends on what you do today. The fear of failure, or whatever, can be daunting, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the realization of looking back on great opportunities you never took. Don’t be satisfied with telling stories others have lived. Write your own story, your way.
What you believe either weakens you or makes you stronger. If you want to give yourself the best gift you could ever receive, believe in yourself.
The foundation of the success you desire is not based on being in a certain place, at a certain level of achievement, or a combination of external factors; it is simply a mindset. Success is an attitude that comes from powerful beliefs and empowering thoughts. What you think and believe about your life directly determines how you feel, what actions you take, and what you ultimately achieve.
Believing takes practice, but it also makes the impossible possible. Is it worth the effort? Absolutely! Read The Success Principles.
4. Take it slow, but GO!
Yes, take a step, and another. Keep going! Achievement involves lots of doing. What you achieve is based on what you believe AND what you act upon, not just what you believe. You’ve got to take your beliefs and put persistent effort into them.
There is no progress without action. What is not started today is never finished by tomorrow. Some of the greatest ideas and dreams die young. Why? Because the genius behind the idea or dream fails to GO forward with it – they think about it, but never DO anything about it.
Just remember, no action always results in a 100% failure rate. So get into action now and begin moving in the right direction. After you get started every step thereafter gets easier and easier, until what once had seemed light years away is suddenly standing right in front of you. Read The Power of Habit.
5. Accept that failure is possible and necessary.
As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Failure is necessary. On the path toward success you may encounter many failures, but YOU are NOT a failure. Failures are simply stepping stones that slowly uncover the correct path forward, one slippery step at a time. You can’t get anywhere without these steps.
So don’t wake up at eighty years of age sighing over what you should have tried but didn’t because you were scared to fail. Just do it and be willing to fail and learn along the way. Very few people get it right on the first shot. In fact, most people fail to get it right on the first twenty shots. If what you did today didn’t turn out as you had hoped, tomorrow is a new opportunity to try again and build upon what you’ve learned.
And remember, in the end the greatest thing about your journey is not so much where you stand at any given time, as it is about what direction you’re moving…
Don’t be afraid of facing your fears. They’re not as scary as you think, and they’re not here to stop you. They’re here to let you know that what you want is worth fighting for.
What has fear stopped you from doing? What’s one fear that you know is holding you back? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.
Photo by: Alessandro Pautasso