A few weeks ago, I told you a story about fear. About laying on the floor and crying, full of indecision. About changing my major anyway, following my dreams, and learning to trust myself.
Today, I thought I’d revisit the topic of fear. Because it’s a question I hear a lot. How do you get past it?
In case you’re struggling with some fears of your own, here’s what I’ve learned about kicking them right on out of your life:
1. Trust yourself.
I know it’s really hard at first. Especially if the people who are nay-saying at you are older and you respect them. But sometimes people are just wrong or just scared. The most important opinion is yours. Make a commitment to make the best choices for you and trust yourself to do it.
2. Be honest about both the worst case scenario and its likelihood.
Don’t dwell on the negative, but do think things through and do prepare. If you’re starting a business, it’s wise to have some money in the bank just in case it takes a while to become profitable. If you want to travel, it’s wise to look into what vaccines you’ll need, what visa requirements are in your destination, what kinds of medications you’ll want to have on hand. Etc.
Be honest with yourself about bad-case or worst-case scenarios. But also realize that a lot of those scenarios (getting mugged, kidnapped, eaten by a bear) are very, very unlikely (unless, of course, you cover yourself in hot dogs and go searching for grizzlies). Whenever those unreasonable scenarios come to mind, remind yourself to be safe and move on. Dwelling on the worst-case scenario only exacerbates fear.
3. Love yourself.
Think about the person you love most in the world, the person you want great things for, whose every dream you wish would come true. Now, however you would treat that person, that’s how you should treat you.
Love is, after all, the enemy of fear.
Think about a time when you were afraid and someone—maybe a parent, a friend, a stranger even—told you that you mattered, that it was going to be okay, that they loved you, that you were strong. It helps, right?
Well, sometimes there’s no one to do that for us, so we have to do it for ourselves. We have to look ourselves in the eye and say “I absolutely love you. I trust you. I know you’re going to be fine.”
And if all else fails, imagine me saying it to you. Because if I were there, we’d pop some champagne, we’d talk about your dream, and I would say just that.
I know you’re going to be fine.