How to Stop Letting Fear Hold You Back: A Guide to Gaining Clarity + Getting Closer to Your Dreams
Have you ever felt paralyzed?
Really think about it. Have you ever put off the dreams and desires living and breathing on the inside of you? Have you ever felt anxious about taking the leap of faith? Have you ever said “Tomorrow is the day” only to get there and still put it off? Have you ever felt so scatter-brained about who you are, where you are going, and what you want to do with your life? Good news: you’re not alone.
As a recovering perfectionist, I know ALL the things about fear and procrastination. I used to have the awful habit of never moving forward (in life, relationships, business, you name it) because I wanted everything to be perfect beforehand. Although I didn’t know it at the time, all of my perfectionism and procrastination was rooted in that awful four letter word: fear. I was letting fear run the show constantly. I was afraid of looking like an amateur, I was afraid of what people would think of me, and ultimately I was afraid of failure.
Here’s a little truth bomb for you: We need to stop running away from failure & start running towards it.
Failure means that you took action, and action FOREVER trumps sitting around waiting and wishing for things to happen for you. Failure means you took a risk, and risk-taking is what leads to growth, up-leveling, and success. Failure means you had faith; You were ready and willing to step out on the ledge and learn something new. THAT is extraordinary. THAT is what results in growth. THAT is how you start making your dreams become your reality.
The truth is that fear is simply a part of the process. If you are taking huge risk, getting outside of your comfort zone, and making big things happen, fear will accompany you on that journey. It’s just the way that it is. The important thing is not running away from the fear but deciding what you do when it shows up… because the last thing you need to do is waste your precious time being paralyzed by fear. Girl, you’ve got WAY too much magic inside of you for that. Here’s some ways you can respond to fear, so that you are able to continue moving forward.
5 Ways to Stop Letting Fear Hold You Back:
1| Decide who is in charge in this relationship. (HINT: it should be you).
Like I said previously, fear cannot be avoided entirely if you are going to live an ambitious, daring, exciting life (AKA go after your dreams). When you are showing up in new ways, it will feel scary, and that is totally okay. The truth is that YOU get to decide who is in charge here. Is it going to be you or your fear? It’s important to go ahead and decide who is in charge, create those boundaries, and take the driving wheel in this relationship. You don’t have the TIME to go on a joy-ride with fear at the steering wheel, my dear!
2| Stop reacting and start responding.
Instead of experiencing fear, getting frazzled, and reacting from an anxious, stressed out state, try to calmly respond to your fear. YOU get to create this dialogue because YOU are in charge in this relationship. Tell fear, “You have space here, and I appreciate your input, but I’ve got it from here.” When you start implementing this practice, fear will lose its power and you will be able to move forward towards bigger and better things!
3| Take a deep breath and take some huge action.
THIS is the moment that matters. THIS is the moment where it all can change. THIS is YOUR moment to shine. You’ve got to start taking action. You’ve got to start pressing into new places that feel uncomfortable. Keep taking consistent action even in your fear. It’s better to be moving and afraid than paralyzed and afraid. Consistent action will not only make your fear seem smaller over time, but it will eventually trump it entirely. Just keep moving.
4| Ask yourself, “What’s the WORST that could happen?”
It’s so easy to let our fears get completely out of control in our mind. So, we need to put things into perspective. Sit down and really think hard. Ask yourself, “What is the worst possible case scenario here? What could happen?” Nine times out of ten, the worst case scenario actually isn't that bad. It generally is NOT life-threatening. At most, it may be embarrassing. And I don’t know about you, but I can handle a little bit of embarrassment if it means I grow, learn, and ultimately get closer to my dream.
5| Mindset Shift! Create a new relationship with failure.
Generally, most fear stems from being afraid of failure. For me, this couldn’t be more true. But like I mentioned earlier, we have got to create a new relationship with failure. Failure is NOT the end of the story, nor does it define you as a person. Failure is proof of effort and risk. Failure is simply a lesson to be learned along the way. It should be embraced with open arms, not avoided at all costs. So, start re-wiring your brain to think about failure in a different light - it can actually serve you along your dream pursuit journey in such a beautiful way. Failure is truly the greatest teacher.
Are you ready to exit your comfort zone and start pursuing your biggest passion? Are you ready to ditch the self-doubt, fear, and insecurity in order to claim your truth? Download the ‘Dare to Take Risk’ workbook for FREE & start taking action towards your biggest dream today!
Ashton is the founder of The Authentic Woman, a platform that empowers women to live authentically as themselves. She firmly believes that women have the power to shift culture, eradicate unjust standards and ultimately change the world. When she's not working with her husband, she is most likely sipping on a cup of local coffee, swooning over pottery or adding to her succulent collection.
Connect with Ashton over on her Instagram!