Facing Fears or Letting Fears Limit You?

Over the past few weeks, I have had a lot of time for self-reflection! Our busy schedule completely stopped, and our world turned into a stay-at-home adventure of work-at-home, homeschooling--with a lot of sudden, dedicated family time. We struggled as we initially navigated our new normal. Now that we are a few weeks into this new lifestyle--we have all had some time to re-evaluate the things that were 0h-so-Important before. We have also had a lot of time to self-reflect on what we may want from our lives and take a more in-depth look at what we have been doing to achieve those goals and dreams! At least I know I have! I know that I have held myself back from reaching my potential (and my goals and dreams) over the years. I have been afraid. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Self-doubt. All of these things have created an invisible fence that has held me into my safe little box just as firmly as iron bars could have. 

Dark image of trees and a sidewalk

 But why? Why have I given FEAR so much control over my life?

Today, I want to share some thoughts about fear--and share some of my own reflections on the importance of overcoming fears and self-doubt before it is too late! I am sharing this post as my submission for the letter F in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge
F is for fear -- or...maybe overcoming FEAR!

"Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world."  -Ralph Waldo Emerson 

 pinnable image with a quote about fear
What if it doesn't work?  
What if I fail? 
What if I don't like it after I do it?
 What if XY or Z happens (or doesn't happen)? 

All of these questions seem to bombard us when we face trying/doing/achieving/being something new to us. All of these questions represent fears (rational and irrational ones) that gnaw away at our creativity and drive and dreams.

My doubts and fears have defeated me at times--sometimes before I even try something that scares me! It is very, very difficult to battle past those fear-filled thoughts and voices--but, what could we accomplish if we face those fears? If we stand up to those doubts?  

What if we just try that thing that scares us even if it is scary?


"Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will." - W. Clement Stone

Pinnable image of water and a mountain with a quote about fear

We have all also worried and questioned and wondered and pondered and doubted. We have stood on the edge of the cliff, terrified of the outcome of this new thing before us. We think of all of the possible reasons we shouldn't leap into this new adventure. We think ourselves into fear paralysis to keep ourselves "safe." 

We have all been brave at some point. We've closed our eyes, taken that terrifying leap--and discovered that absolutely nothing awful happened! We leaped, we landed on our feet, and there was a fantastic sense of relief. The weight of all of that fear was gone because once you face the concern--it doesn't have the force and power that it did before! 

What if we just try that thing that scares us even if it is scary?
"Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the 'someday I'll' philosophy."  -Denis Waitley
 Pinnable image of a forest path with a quote about fear of success

While it is easy to say that we remain inactive because of a fear of failure--it is also likely that many of us hold back because of a fear of success! 

What if this works? THEN WHAT? How will I know what to do next?

I have watched someone very close to me sabotage his success every single time he gets close to breaking out and above his comfort zone. Every. Single. Time. I have even started to note his pattern. He comes up with a great idea. He battles through fears, doubts, and overthinking to implement it. IT WORKS. He begins to see results. He begins to doubt that he has what it takes to follow the path forward. He stops doing the things that made his great idea work. Fear of success limits him right back into his safe box. Every. Single. Time. 

What if we just try that thing that scares us even if it is scary?
"Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears." -Les Brown

pinnable image with water and mountain and quote about living in fear

We all have dreams. We all have goals. We have things that we want in life. 
Why aren't we working toward our dreams?

Because, like my friend, we have given so many pieces of our lives over to fear. 
Fear has more power than optimism and confidence for so many of us!

What if we just try that thing that scares us even if it is scary?
"Everything you want is on the other side of fear."  -Jack Canfield
pinnable image with dark forest path and quote about overcoming fear
I had a broken treadmill living in the corner of my daughter's bedroom for 15 years. It was a giant, heavy, beast of a thing that was going to require four people to heft up the stairs and out the door in our split level house! We have talked about moving it for years--but my husband talked about fixing it. We talked about rearranging the garage and moving it out there.  

We thought and thought and didn't take any action. FOR 15 Years.

This treadmill was big!  
It was in the way of my daughter's ability to decorate her room and enjoy her space.   
(Kind of like big fears standing between us and our dreams!)

One day, she brought in some hand tools and began to take the treadmill apart. Realistically, we weren't going to fix it (we hadn't used it in 15 years). We weren't going to move it. (We hadn't touched it in 15 years.) It was too big for us to move without help unless it was made smaller.
(Kind of like breaking our goals into smaller, less scary mountains to conquer!)  

Piece by piece, this massive, 25-year-old beast made its way to the garbage. 
It's gone now. We don't miss it.
Nothing bad happened. My daughter is finally happy with her room!

Just like the room of her dreams was on the other side of this beast of a treadmill--everything we want in life gets (unnecessarily) shadowed and blocked by fear sometimes!   

Once we stop overthinking, stop talking about doing it--and just do it. Once we break it into smaller pieces, that big thing is done before we know it--and it stopped blocking the path so we could move forward to what we want in life.

What if we just try that thing that scares us even if it is scary?
"He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life."  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

pinnable image with water and mountain and quote about conquering fears

Piece by piece. Little by little. Task by task. Goal by goal.

Chipping away at that big ball of scary accomplishment at a time.

If we each do one thing that scares us every day--no matter how big or small--what could we accomplish over time?  

This weekend, I took some time and broke down a couple of big projects that scare me.  

Today, I am tackling the first goal steps of each one.

Each. Scary. Step.

It is time to have faith and start heading up those steps.  
Even if I can't see the top.  
Even if I don't know what is on the next floor! 

It is time to face my fears and doubts. No more limitations!

What do I have to lose?

What if we just try that thing that scares us even if it is scary?

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  1. I found your blog through the A to Z Challenge. Your post resonated with me because fear can be so immobilizing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Enjoy the rest of the blogathon. I hope to be back!



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