Monday Mindset: Finding the Courage to Face Your Fears
“Courage is the first of human virtues because it makes all others possible.” Aristotle
As I mentioned last week, doubt is being unsure and fear is being afraid. Both get you stuck, stop your momentum and keep you from moving forward and living your best life. Fear will steal your joy, peace and happiness.
Fear is very real. There’s fear of the future, failure, success, to love, of being loved, to fly, heights, crowds, and the list goes on. Fear doesn’t go away magically or easily. If you’re waiting for your fear to go away to do the things you want to do, you’re going to miss out on a lot of life. You must find the courage to face your fears.
My wife has been afraid to fly for the last 30 years. She’s flown a few times, but each time it was not a good experience. She was so nervous she was physically sick. Her fear has held her back from doing some things she really wanted to do during that time. If you have a fear of flying, you know what I’m talking about.
Just before the new year we were talking about our goals. She looked at me and said “This year I’m going to face the fears that have held me back for so long.” One of those was flying. The first thing we did was book tickets to San Diego.
She said, “My fear hasn’t gone away, I’m just not going to let it preoccupy me. I’m going to focus on what I want in life.” The other thing she did was sign up for a 5k. Another opportunity to face a fear.
One thing I noticed leading up to our trip was she wasn’t talking about being nervous, worried or afraid. Even getting on the plane she was fine. Never brought it up. It was a great trip, she finished her first event (5k) and we made a great memory with our oldest daughter, my sister and brother-in-law.
How do you find the courage to face your fears?
Acknowledge them, but don’t dwell on them: Fears are real, you can’t ignore them and expect them to go away. Acknowledge them, but don’t dwell on them. Don’t allow them to preoccupy your thinking. What you focus on expands. If you focus on your fears they get worse.
Face them and focus beyond them. What’s on the other side of the fear? For my wife, it was San Diego, beautiful weather, her first 5k, and a memory to last a lifetime. Fear kept me from writing my book for 25 years. What gave me the courage was the hope I believed my book could bring people. What’s on the other side of your fear? Focus on that.
Think positive and shift your mindset: Your mindset determines your beliefs, which determines your decisions, which determines your actions, which determines your results. Your mindset doesn’t change automatically or just because you want it to. You must FILL YOUR MIND with NEW stuff. What are you doing to change your mindset? What are you reading, listening to, watching? Create a plan to change your mindset.
Be determined and take action: My wife said, “I refuse to let fear control me.” From there she made her plans and did it. That’s courage! Make your plans, get it on the calendar, make a reservation, sign up and do it!
What do you want to do, but haven’t because of fear?
Don’t live stuck. Don’t live with regret. Face your fears and live your best life!