Fear Holding You Back

Fear can hold us back, and sometimes we don't always know how to move out of it. For example, I wrote this blog a month ago but am just now posting it. Fear will never go away, but this is a reminder (to you and me) on small ways to overcome it.

"Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is." 
-  German Proverb

When I was in kindergarten; I lived next door to a ferocious dog. He was tied up in the neighbor's backyard and would growl and pull at his chains to get to me as I was walking to school. I would freeze in fear, and my brother would have to begrudgingly grab my arm and tug me along.  

My brother wasn't afraid of the dog or anything else. I was afraid of everything. It annoyed him that I was so timid. But looking back now, I can see that I had more imagination than my brother did. I could imagine that the dog attacking me was going to hurt, or that the judgments of others were going to make me feel embarrassed, or that the project that I waited until the last minute to do would never get done.  

I've let that fear hold me back more times than it should have. 

But not always, because I've come to realize that the fear (or thought) of doing something is sometimes greater than actually doing it.  

If that happens to you, do one of the following:

Just start:
Stop thinking about how much you have to do.  Break it down, write out simple steps, and begin.  The momentum will keep you going.

Reframe your thoughts: 
I didn’t always have the courage to raise my hand in class, and a test would make my nose run. Then one day, I realized that the test was a great way to express to the professor exactly how much I knew that I couldn't communicate verbally.  Voila, no more fear of tests.

Find a new solution:
How about choosing a different path to take to school instead of one that goes past the dog?  (I always suggested that but my 8-year old brother thought he knew more than his 5-year old sister)!

Do it anyway:
I would visibly shake in my high school speech class. But I did it anyway, and at the end of the year, I won two nominations from my classmates for the funniest and most moving speeches.

Don't let fear hold you back and if it does, IMAGINE your success instead of your failure.
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Written by: Rhonda Haan

Photo by: Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash