Is Fear Preventing You from Taking the Next Step?

It was early evening and I was standing in the middle of our living room. It was the first time we were going to take my dual shoulder slings off. 

Earlier in the day we were told by my ortho surgeon’s assistant that I needed to start completing pendulum swings a couple times per day. As we stood there I realized that I was petrified of being out of my slings. They had become my security blanket.

While they had been taken off while at the doctor’s office earlier that day and I trusted my wife and mother-in-law to help, I felt a sense of security being in my slings. However, I knew that in order to take the next step in my recovery, I needed to become comfortable with taking the slings off. That night I faced my fear, took off my slings and performed the pendulum swings. 

As I was scrolling Facebook this morning I came across a blog post from my friend, Jason SurfrApp, where he is taking his readers behind-the-scenes of building a new business. In that blog post he talks about a fear he had with digging into GitHub for the first time:

"I’d heard of Github, never used it. I’ll admit I was afraid it would be too technical for me. However, I wanted to make Gerlando happy so I jumped in and messed around. Fear is a funny thing huh? I almost asked not to use it before even trying it. After 3 minutes I had the hang of Github and was already responding to and submitting “issues” related to our project.”

Fear is a common feeling. One that not only Jason and I have felt recently. I have talked to friends and family members that have experienced fear that is holding them back as well.

Tips for Facing Your Fears

How can you face your fears before they negatively impact you? This is the thought process that I work through each time:

  1. Acknowledge that you’re scared. In order to face your fear, you have to acknowledge that you’re actually scared. It’s ok. We all have fears. 
  2. Visualize the next steps. I visualized what my arms coming out of each sling would look and feel like. That after they came out of the slings, they would slowly be lowered by my side and then I would slowly perform the pendulum swings. For you, it may be visualizing logging into the website or making that phone call. It usually is not as bad as it seems.
  3. Realize how facing your fear will help you. By facing my fear, I was taking the first proactive step in my shoulder recovery. I couldn’t put it off. Sure, I could have hid from it for the night if I wanted. But, not forever.
  4. Communicate your fear(s). I communicated to Laura that I was scared of taking off my slings. That helped her to understand and support me appropriately. She was able to provide additional encouragement and support. Even if your fear does’t include someone else, communicate your fear to a loved one or friend. Ask them for assistance.
  5. Slowly face your fear. In Jason’s case, the worse that could have happened was that he logged in to GitHub, didn’t understand it, logged back out and emailed his business partner. The best case scenario is that he logged in, took time to understand the website and was able to contribute in a meaningful way. 

Is there something in your life that you are scared of but it would help you take the next step in achieving your goals? I bet there is.

Your Challenge

Your challenge is to face one fear. It doesn’t matter how big or small. It could be using a power tool or cooking a specific dish for the first time. Or it could be something harder such as mending a broken relationship, scheduling a mammogram or something else that could alter your life.

Whatever it is, face one fear. If you want the Built Unstoppable community’s support, feel free to post your fear in the comments below. You can also email me directly.

Image Credit: Alyssa L. Miller