For so many years, I let my fears dictate how I live my life. It became so comforting that I used it to stop myself from trying anything new, even when I know it’ll make me happy. What I learned over the years is that fear is just our bad management of our own mental faculties and learning to be fearless in my life is not bad as I once made it to be.
We were all born fearless, do you remember the time when you were a child climbing trees, trying new things and curious about anything and everything?
Sadly, as we get older, we collect fears along the way. Fear of failure, fear of being alone, fear of rejection, fear of sickness, fear of aging and so on. Some of us learn how to be that fearless child again and without them, the world would have no trailblazers and visionaries; there would be no dreamers in our midst, and no artists to make our dreams come true.
Thankfully, some of us learn how to be that fearless child again and without them, the world would have no trailblazers and visionaries; there would be no dreamers in our midst, and no artists to make our dreams come true.
Without any courage in love, work, and life, you would never have tasted the first kiss, received your first applause, or learned how to swim in the ocean.
How dull and depressing such a world would be! It’s in that name that we today talk about learning to be fearless in the face of this mad, frightening world.Everything you want is on the other side of fear. - Jack Canfield Click To Tweet
How Fear Limits Us
The best things in life might be free, but they certainly come served with a portion of fear on the side. Think about Halloween, or Ferris wheels, or anything else that is just as scary and just as fun. All that is worth experiencing asks for some courage – that’s simply how the world works.
But, it’s also the little things that a lot of us dread. Our everyday lives are filled with challenges and decisions that are frightening for so many reasons – a girlfriend asking you to make a commitment, a business meeting with a heavyweight, a Thanksgiving at your parent’s house.
For those who are trying to seize every day and live life to the fullest, fear is a major obstacle. Despite all of their efforts, they often refrain from opening themselves up to new ideas, meeting new people or trying new things. It’s a crippling paradox that troubles us all, the one you’re probably familiar with, too.
Fear limits our thoughts, feelings, and potentials. In face of a challenge, it makes us imagine the worst case scenario, thus blurring our lines between what’s rational and what’s not. Instead of giving our best, we panic and retreat, choosing not to pursue our dreams and tackle our demons after all.
To live in fear is to have a little regard for what we’re capable of. That’s why a lack of courage usually goes hand in hand with low self-esteem: by giving in and allowing dread to cloud our judgment, we’re showing no appreciation for our abilities, instincts, and worth.
And, it’s really the worst thing one can do. Block by block, fear builds a cage around us, entrapping us within. Scared of what may happen if we choose to break out, we start telling ourselves that we’re weak and incapable whatever we do until we finally settle for a life of limitations.
Because fear implies a lack of movement. It makes all obstacles impossible to pass, freezes us on the wrong side of the wall, and leads us to believe that there’s no way around. The longer our minds brim with negative thoughts, the longer we delay our pursuit of happiness.
The Gift of Fear
When fear taps me on the shoulder, I know I'm moving toward the right path. Click To Tweet
Though traditionally triggered by danger and deemed as a survival instinct, modern-day fear is somewhat different. It’s often irrational and distracting, but not necessarily destructive. Fear has its place in the grand scheme of things and is something that needs to be controlled, not avoided.
It’s exactly what learning to be fearless means – figuring out where irrational anxiety ends and real danger begins, then overcoming the first in order to be able to deal with the second. Being fearless is never about showing no fear in the face of trouble; it’s about knowing how to use it to your advantage.
How do you wonder? Only by looking very deep into yourself. Whether you call it self-analysis, introspection, or pondering, this returning mechanism is the only thing that allows you to discern which of your fears are crippling and pointless, and which are motivating and productive.
That’s why fearlessness always comes with a dash of fear, and why you should never be immune to danger. In fact, the only thing you have to do is to get rid of your negative thoughts and fruitless emotions,y our deeply rooted frustrations, and confidence-sapping insecurities.
Simply said, it’s knowing when to resist and when to heed that makes you true masters of life.
Fearless in Love
Overwhelmed by fear, we often seek security and comfort in people we love and cherish the most. It’s only natural that relationships should be our safe haven and a place to shelter us from everything that’s bad with the world, but it sometimes happens that they become the very cause of our irrational fears.
Relationship dread has many different faces – for some, it is a fear of commitment, while for others, it is a fear of rejection. Either way, it shapes and shifts love into something less pure and more complicated. Instead of feeling liberated and secure, we’re feeling imprisoned and anxious.
This is when we believe that experiencing love is a weakness, and that showing trust is dangerous. Here’s how to stop it and learning to be fearless.
1. Love Your Body and Respect it Fully
Though nobody’s ever completely free of insecurities, it is people with low self-esteem who usually dread rejection the most. If you can’t make love without turning off the lights and all curtains close because you’re too conscious about your body and how it moves, then you’re infected by it too.
Low self-esteem is too detrimental to avoid, even when it comes to being insecure about your physical appearance. More often than not, shame leads to distance, and such distance cannot be overcome. Besides, you cannot hate everything about yourself and expect your partner to love you for who you are. Words of assurance come only temporarily but if you don’t love and respect your body first, then it doesn’t matter how much assurance you get from your partner, they will one day stop because you exhaust their positivities toward yourself.
Love is too precious to be tarnished by a problem that can be solved. Instead of allowing your irrational fear of rejection to end a perfect relationship, start working on it.
In any other case, just let it go. Beauty has nothing to do with looks anyway – it’s purely internal and highly subjective. After all, if you ask your partner what it is that they love about you the most, you’ll find that it’s exactly all those freckles and blemishes that make you charming and attractive. What I learned with my husband is that the things that I dislike the most about my body are the actually the things that he loves the most about me.
2. Embrace the Singlehood
Jumping from one relationship to another won’t fix your frustrations, nor relieve you from fear. In fact, it will do exactly the opposite. Not only is fear of singlehood deeply irrational as well, but it’s also very damaging to your personal growth.
I’ve always told my girlfriends to embrace their singlehood, take the time to get to yourself better, jot down what you want as in a partner, be specific and what are the things that you will not compromise in the relationship. Fulfillment comes from within – it’s only after you learn to enjoy your own company that you can start building a healthy and meaningful relationship.
Without some me-time now and then, you can easily lose a sense of your true self, thus suppressing the fear even further. After all, it is a perfect opportunity to dive beneath the surface, face your deepest fears and discover the root of your frustrations.
3. Don’t Look for “Mr. Right”, He Doesn’t Exist
I know, I sound hush but it’s the truth. Having grown with our heads full of fairy tales and their false promises of the eternal love, a great number of us still believes that there’s a Mr. Right waiting around the corner.
Just think about how it would feel to be in a relationship with such a person. The infatuation will eventually cease, as it always does, and you’ll be stuck with too much pressure and expectations so high that being spontaneous and passionate would simply be impossible.
Looking for Mr. Right is nothing more than another manifestation of a fear of singlehood. It may also be a fear of commitment, in which case your pursuit for idealism is just a way to sabotage the relationship you fear to have and emotions you dread to develop.
Instead, look for someone who’s real. Nobody can bring you closer to who you are and who you want to be than a person who has doubts, insecurities, and fears of their own. That’s what partnership is, after all – a genuine connection between two people who are figuring out the intricacies of life together.
Fearless at Work
Nowhere are our limiting fears more obvious than in work environment. The office is a safety bubble only for a few lucky people, while the rest of us can rarely catch a break. In between being relentlessly competitive and insanely fast-paced, the business world takes a toll on us all, driving our insecurities to the open and allowing our fears to overwhelm us.
And the worst thing about it is that those fears stand in our way to success – by holding us down to our comfort zones, they keep us from reaching our full potential. Meanwhile, professional progress asks for a lot of courage, which is exactly why learning to be fearless at work is so immensely important. Here’s how.
1. Give Yourself Permission to Succeed
Here’s a scenario you might have experienced before: you’re already overworked, but there’s a challenging project that you don’t believe any of your colleagues is good enough to handle, so you assign it to yourself anyway. It’s more than you can chew, but you’re a person with high standards and some truly grand expectations to live up to.
So you presume you can do it all. Before you know it, another deadline is missed and you’re once again falling behind your own schedule. Sounds familiar? It’s the fear of failure that makes you sabotage your chances for success. That’s also where your perfectionism comes from, and where your inner critic is born, nurtured and grown.
Nip in the bud! High expectations are nothing but an attempt to cure your insecurities, whereas there’s little to be insecure about. Start giving yourself permission to succeed, and you’ll realize that failure is not so terrifying after all.
2. Get Perspective
Change your perspective. Being fearless at work can make you a leader in your business in no time, but only after you start being comfortable with testing new grounds and exploring new options. Professional sphere requires plenty of flexibility, which you cannot master if you’re still frozen by fear.
Rather than staying preoccupied with irrational fears, open your mind to unlock new achievements. It’s that open-mindedness and curiosity that paves a path to success, but not only that. Once liberated from fear, you’ll be able to experiment with what you’re capable of, discover what fulfills you professionally, and finally make your dreams come true.
3. Clean Up Your Insecurities
It sure sounds simple enough, but it’s one of those things that are easier said than done. It took me years to clear out all my emotional garbage, I mean who needs them? I found my courage to let go of all my insecurities when I decided to take the job where I have 3 months to produce 22 budgets, convince the client to sign a two years deal and restructure the whole Accounting department. The funny thing was, even my boss at the time thought that I wouldn’t complete it but I did.
I found my courage to let go of all my insecurities when I decided to take the job where I have 3 months to produce 22 budgets, convince the client to sign a two years deal and restructure the whole Accounting department. The funny thing was, even my boss at the time thought that I wouldn’t complete it but I did.
If you feel fear, my friend it means that you are at the right path and you need to march on!
I hope you will take the time to find the courage to accept and embrace your imperfections. The sooner you make peace with your flaws, the more you’ll be able to improve and progress.
Here’s a useful hack: enlist all of your achievements and strengths, regardless of how insignificant you think they are. If it helps, write them down on a piece of paper and read them out loud every morning. Celebrate every little victory and never forget to remind yourself of how much you’ve already accomplished.
Fearless in Life
Fate loves the fearless. - James Russell Lowell Click To Tweet
Once you let go of your fears, the potentials you have will be limitless. Since there’ll be nothing to stand in your way to personal growth, you’ll finally be able to discover who you truly are and become that better version of yourself that you’ve been so terrified of for the most of your life.
And, wouldn’t that be great? Learning to be fearless in every aspect of life is the first of many steps toward mindfulness, that peaceful moment of clarity in which the world is no longer scary, but exciting. Begin with these simple attitude changes, and you’ll be there sooner than you expect.
1. Make Fear Your Best Friend
However terrifying this may sound, try to stop being so afraid of being afraid. Fear is not only a natural reaction but a useful one as well. When rational, it tells you that it’s time to take a pause, think about what’s happening, and find a way to prevent a negative outcome.
So listen to your gut. Fear is an ancient fight or flight response, which is why making it your best friend is very important. Instead of trying to avoid or suppress what scares you the most, befriend your demons. Not only will you be able to control them, but you’ll also be in a position to use them as a powerful ally against everything that’s truly intimidating with the world.
2. Take Care of Your Body
Like I always tell my friends, we only have one body and we live in it every day, then why don’t we take care of it because once it’s gone you can’t have it back.
Learning to be fearless will enable you to re-connect with your inner self, thus freeing your mind from obsessive thoughts about your past frustrations, current insecurities, and future failures.
Especially if you’re still haunted by insecurities, you need to take care of your body as well. Find peace in yoga classes and nurture your organism with wholesome foods – it’s the least you can do for looking your best self and feeling just the same.
3. Pursue Your Passion No Matter How Busy Your Life Gets
I always tell people who complain about not having enough time, if you want something bad enough, you’ll make time for it and yes, I truly believe that. I apply this concept to my life daily and religiously.
I mean we’re all given 24 hours every day like everyone else. Then why some are able to achieve more than others?
Petty problems and meaningless fears have a nasty habit of wearing us down and making us forget who we are and what we’re able to be. Stay focused on your goals, keep pursuing your passions, and always look at the brighter side of life.
Only then will you be able to reach that mindfulness that all of us strive towards. It’s a place of confidence, contentment, and courage, the one in which you can love without insecurities, work without frustration, and live without fear.
Be Fearless in Your Life
In love, work, and life, fear is the enemy only if you allow it to overwhelm you. It’s okay that you can never beat it completely, so don’t worry about it. Being fearless means being terrified and moving forward anyway – it’s a trait of heroes, visionaries, and artists, and it will soon be what defines you too.