Take a moment to think about all of the good things in your life – your friends, your family, your favorite foods, drinks, and activities. Does thinking about these things fill you up with joy? Of course! You’re probably even thinking of calling up your friends to see if they want to do some of your favorite activities or if they want to go eat at your favorite restaurant together.
Now think about some of the things that scare you, some of your greatest fears. How do you feel thinking about these things? Anxious, right? It’s natural to feel fear when it comes to the things that scare us the most, whether it’s heights, snakes, public speaking, or any other thing under the sun. It’s also natural to want to stop thinking about these things as well, to retreat and seek shelter.
Oddly enough, however, when it comes to overcoming your fears, the safest place for you to be is closest to the things that scare you!
Equate facing your fear with paddling out to the middle of one of the Great Lakes or an ocean. When you start at the shoreline, the waves undulate and do their best to force you back. It takes quite a bit of force, patience, determination, and courage to keep pushing past the waves and currents and out to open water. Once you get there, though, you’ll find that the deep waters are calm.
Getting over our fears is very similar to the scenario above. It’s very hard work, and the waves (your fears) will work to push you back into submissiveness. Of course, you can let them, but it will only cause your victory over your fears to be delayed and harder to obtain each time you let the fear win. Moving toward the roar (your fear) won’t come naturally – after all, you’re essentially retraining the fight or flight response within yourself. Trust me when I say that it is absolutely worth the battle!
Look your fear directly in the eye and don’t back down, no matter what. No matter how afraid or tired you feel, choose to go forward and face it. I promise, your fears will shrink if you race toward them. Sure, the task of provoking your symptoms requires courage, but you’re much stronger than you think. Even if you’re afraid, it’s okay – be afraid and keep running toward your fear anyway. Choose to do the work now and the benefits of freedom are soon to follow.
Remember, the deepest part of the waters – the closest you are to your fears – is the scariest place, but it really is the calmest. Be brave and move into the deep waters. See what happens. You won’t be disappointed.