Have you noticed that whenever you want to pursue a new journey fear gets in the way, and you’re not sure what to do? There’s many tricks you can use to suppress your negative emotions temporarily, but if you follow these four key tips, you will be able to be truly fearless.
1. Do it anyway
Fear, just like anxiety, is a natural emotion — one we should be grateful for. When we perceive something as a threat, our fight or flight response gets activated, and we can experience symptoms such as increased heart rate, increased alertness, or cold extremities.
Although what we are afraid of is rarely dangerous, at least in terms of our physical health, the emotions we feel are still a natural reaction. You can learn to control some of them, so that fear isn’t overwhelming, but ultimately, it’s impossible to be 100 percent detached simply because these emotions are part of who we are.
With that in mind, whenever you want or need to do something, but you feel fear — do it anyway. Embrace your feelings, even if they are uncomfortable, and don’t try to be smooth. Regardless of what your mind tells you, fear does not prevent you from doing anything, and there’s nothing that you can’t do.
Plus, the more you face your fears, the more it will become a habit, the easier it will be. Just like anything else in life, really. Keep training and building your courage muscles, and after a while you’ll notice some pretty amazing changes in your attitude: you will be more determined, and more courageous.
2. Develop a new identity
Is it really fear that’s stopping you from doing the things you need to do? Or is it your identity? The truth is that once we choose to identify ourselves with a certain version of ourselves (for instance, who we were in the past rather than who we want to be in the future) we subconsciously avoid anything that doesn’t align with that identity.
In other words, as long as we see ourselves as the kind of person who isn’t able to face their fears, we will not face them. This is why it’s vital that, from this day forward, you decide to be the more courageous version of yourself — the one that takes action even when they’re afraid.
You also need to understand that your past has nothing to do with you, and does not define you in any way. Yes, we are who we are today because of everything we have experienced in the past, but it doesn’t mean we should base our identity, or even our self-image, on who we used to be.
So forget the past, and focus all your energy on the kind of person you need to become to be fearless (or at least to be more determined to achieve your goals and dreams). To paraphrase Carl Jung: I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become.
3. Be clear on your values
Whether you realize it or not, your values shape your whole existence. So if you don’t have any, it’s time to get clear on your principles, what you want, and what’s truly important for you.
We all experience negative thoughts and feelings from time to time, but if our values are strong enough, we will ignore those thoughts and feelings in order to do what’s right. Once we are clear on our purpose, we’re unstoppable, regardless of our current level of motivation.
If you’re the kind of person who believes they should or shouldn’t do certain things, it’s time to become someone who must or must not do certain things, without exception. Perhaps the only thing you need to do to be fearless is to have a goal that’s big enough; ideally, bigger than you.
4. Surround yourself with the right people
The fourth and last thing to keep in mind if you want to be fearless is that all human beings, including you, are influenced by their environment. You may think that you are independent enough to control your behavior regardless of where you are, but the truth is that you can’t.
Who are you surrounded by on a daily basis? Is it people who encourage you to become the best version of yourself, take action, and go after your dreams no matter what? Is it people who accept your flaws and insecurities, and genuinely appreciate you?
Or is it naysayers who can’t wait to belittle anything you do, so they can feel a little bit better about their empty life? I don’t care how determined or emotionally detached you are — these people will drain your energy in one way or another, and you must stay away from them. Don’t be afraid to put yourself first because your energy is always a priority.
Once you are in the right environment, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to face your fears, big or small. Plus, when you are surrounded by those who love you, making mistakes isn’t as terrifying; you have a lot more freedom, and a lot less anxiety.