What would you do if fear wasn’t holding you back?

by on February 28, 2019

Stop for a second and ask yourself what your Soul longs for. What do you dream of doing? What do you put on your vision board? Now, ask yourself what’s holding you back from doing these things. This seems to be a hot topic these days, and definitely a hot topic in my mind. For most people, the answer if ‘FEAR’: fear of failure, fear of succeeding and things not being as dreamy as we had hoped for, or fear of the ‘then what’? Or course there are several logistical limitations, but once we get around all of that, what it comes down to is fear of the unknown, as it feels safer to live with the discomfort we know then to face change, even if it’s a positive change. Furthermore, I’ve noticed in myself and others, that the longer we live a certain way, the harder it gets to make change. Fears grow and we get increasingly comfortable in our routines and habits, even if they don’t bring us joy.

‘What would you do if fear wasn’t holding you back?’

“What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I used to look at people doing the things I wish I could do with such admiration and think that they had something special. Now, I still admire them, but I realize that what they are just humans like you and I, and that what is special about them is their determination. They went for what they wanted, despite any fears they may have had.

Fear stops us from:

  • Reaching out.
  • Healing.
  • Following our dreams.
  • Leaving a difficult situation.
  • Sharing our true opinions.
  • Speaking up for what we believe is right.
  • Sharing our message with the world.
  • Having fun.
  • Etc.

So how do you work through these fears and do things anyways? How do you step out of our comfort zone?

First, acknowledge your fears. Just sit with them and observe them. What stories are on autoplay in your head? Are they true? Simply doing this can be tremendously freeing. Make a list of things you would like to do.

Next, acknowledge what have you done despite fear. I can think of many things I have done in the past that I wouldn’t have done if I had spent too much time thinking about them letting fear creep in. These are often the things that I think are a great idea at the time and then seriously question what I was thinking when the time comes to actually do them! They are also some of the greatest experiences I have had and the ones that shaped me as a person. Remembering these moments of courage is tremendously empowering and proof that you are able to do things despite fear.

For me, some of these things are:

  • Going to Naturopathic Medicine school.
  • Going to spend 4 months in West Africa to a country I had never even heard of.
  • Having a child.
  • Supervising a group of medical students in a community clinic.
  • Doing a Facebook live interview.

There are many more things I can think of that terrified me at the time, but that I am proud of myself for doing. You can probably think of a few things you’ve done without giving it too much thought. When you think back on them, they may be some of the most meaningful things you’ve done, but that you wouldn’t have done if you waited long enough to let fear get in the way. Or some things terrified you, but once you did them, you realized they weren’t so scary after all.

Start by doing the smaller, less scary things. Once you do them, celebrate, share your accomplishments with pride! And keep working at your list.

Some of the most incredible transformations I’ve seen actually started with a dietary change. For more than one person, taking out processed foods and switching to whole foods diet let to feeling better, increased confidence and a thirst for life. In these cases, it all started with facing one fear every single day: the fear of changing their diet, and being successful at it led to more and more confidence and desire to make more changes. The snowball effect was incredible to witness!

Why is this all of this important? Why should be push ourselves to do things that scare us? I think the answer is simply because on the other side of fear lies growth, empowerment, happiness, health and healing. On the other side of fear lies the answer to the ‘what if’s, and on the other side of fear lie endless possibilities.

Please note that this article isn’t meant do disregard fear due to trauma or anxiety. In many cases, working with a qualified practitioner is tremendously helpful. If this is the case for you, I invite you to seek the support you need.

*Cover photo from www.rockblok.com/