I thought of all of the experiences that I missed out on because I felt afraid. I recalled times when I didn’t speak my mind because of fear of judgement. I thought of how I avoided performing on stage because I felt afraid of criticism, even though I played instruments my entire life. I remember running from someone I cared about because I felt terrified of rejection.
When it comes to music, I have performed in the past, but I get very intense stage fright that has held me back from pursuing this passion fully. The fear of making a mistake in front of people or that others would criticize me has kept me from performing. Perhaps, I missed out on a big part of my life because fear held me back from doing something that I really love.
Through the years, after experiencing rejection and disappointment in people, I sometimes keep to myself or cling to my friends in order to feel safe. Sometimes it seems easier to withdraw and push people away than to face even the possibility of rejection. Yet, If I had opened up, who knows the people who I would have met that may have changed my life.
Fear is an obstacle for all of us. It prevents us from taking risks out of fear of failure, rejection, criticism, or judgment. Staying in my comfort zone, I won’t progress as a person or open myself to the experiences that life has to offer. These things seem so terrifying, but by not taking those risks, I may have missed out on great moments in my life. Still, I can’t dwell over not knowing what could have been, but I can learn to embrace the power of fear.
You can’t live a life led by fear. You need to step outside of your comfort zone in order to make your life something great. This year I did a few things differently. I went on stage for the first time in years even though I felt completely nervous at first. I opened up in my writing even though I shared some very vulnerable, embarrassing experiences. I quit my full-time job to pursue my passion in writing. All of those things terrified me, but I did it anyway.
Even small changes can lead to big rewards. In taking those risks, I built stronger self-confidence, became more content, and learned some valuable life lessons.
Fear tells us when something is important.
If you are afraid of something, it means that it is important to you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t care. You can use fear to gauge the significance of someone or something in your life. In that case, it is especially important to have courage and pursue what matters to you.
Allow fear to drive you.
The fact that you feel scared means that it’s a challenge. It means that you will to learn something so you should go for it. That is the mindset. It should motivate you rather than disable you.
Keep your fears in perspective.
When you feel afraid of something, remember there is always a future. Whether you do not pass an exam, succeed in a relationship, lose a job, and so on, these are just steps in your life. Don’t let that baggage hold you back. You have to keep going. You have to step back in certain situations, and look at it from an external, objective point of view. It de-dramatizes many situations, and you realize that you can move forward.
Fear is false evidence appearing real.
How much of your fear come from a false scenario that you have created in your own mind? Predicting a negative outcome can create anxiety over expecting the worst possible outcomes. Many times, we exaggerate and create this false narrative in our heads, which holds us back over something that isn’t even real.
Rather than run, embrace your fears.
Taking risks, even when we feel afraid, makes us appreciate successes and build confidence. Honestly, do we ever really want the things that come to us too easily? The struggle makes us appreciate our achievements even more and feel confident when we succeed in the face of adversity. Then, we will carry this confidence with us through life and meet future challenges with greater confidence in ourselves. Believe in yourself. All you have to do is try.
So go after the things that scare you.
Facing your fears will let you live the best life you can possibly live. You cannot let fear stop you from doing something great. You cannot succeed without this risk of failure. You cannot have a voice without the risk of criticism. You cannot love without the risk of loss. In doing so, you will achieve more than you could have imagined, build confidence in yourself, and live a life full of rich experiences. Do what scares you and pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Be willing to fail, start over, and keep going. Trust you voice, and don’t let fear stop you.
About Allie Michelle
American born, but a citizen of the world, with a commitment to life experience, Allie is a lover of language, travel, music, fashion, and cooking. Above all, she is an optimist. She has practiced yoga and studied eastern philosophy for over 12 years. Currently, she works as a writer for various projects. For more of her writing please visit her blog: http://olivevintage.net