Fear is a natural part of being a human and it is easy to let it run our lives. But when we hand over the reins to fear in order to stay “safe” or “comfortable” we often (by means or accident) prevent ourselves from great opportunities and amazing experiences. While fear is a huge component to every human life and a base emotion to a lot of what we can experience, like anger, there are ways to work past it to achieve what you truly desire.
Understanding A Fear Based Reaction
Part of working past and conquering fear is to meet it head on. To begin to do that it is important to understand where the emotion comes from, especially related to when we attempt to go after something new. There is an inherent part of us as humans that feels the need to stay safe. This is passed down through evolution from a time when humans were in danger consistently. This instinct is no longer necessary in the lifestyles we lead today.
Despite not needing as much protection as we did in the past, our survival instinct has evolved to make us want to stay with what we know well, with what makes us feel safe, and comfortable. This can happen and hinder us in all areas of our lives. At times we stay in relationships we know aren’t health because it’s what’s comfortable. We can fear moving or change even if we know where we are at in our lives no longer serves us. And we especially fear going outside our comfort zones.
My Personal Struggle With Fear
I use to be a highly anxious person, always staying in my shell never trying new things.
In the past I was always someone who dreamt big but believed my dreams were unattainable. It was through truly getting to know myself, practicing self love, and leaving my comfort zone consistently that I realized that I was completely capable of handling whatever came my way.
This self-confidence made it easier and easier to jump into the unknown and trying new things. It helped shift my mindset to know that I could achieve what I wanted if I was willing to take chances. And since then I’ve become someone who achieves dreams consistently, crossing at least 10 dreams off my bucket list a year.
I've come to learn that the absolute best things come from being outside our comfort zone. While trying new things and going after new opportunities opens us up to be vulnerable it also opens us up to a new world of amazing possibilities. Jumping into the unknown can be terrifying but when you trust your instincts they can lead you to some unbelievable places.
But it was more than just my personal experiences that helped me to learn how to conquer my fear and go after some amazing job opportunities. I also did a lot of research on happiness, health, and life in general. From that research and implementing life changes within my mindset I built a life for myself where I thrive.
By taking that leap and going for opportunities Istarted to learn about and realised specific areas that really bothered me and that I was really passionate on making a difference within. I did this through doing volunteer work, going to community events, listening to local indigenous peoples, and doing research. I learned more about issues happening locally but also bigger planetary wide issues. From this I narrowed into areas I was passionate about and felt I could make a difference in, which has lead me to do the work I do today.
I've moved continents alone, I’ve lived in countries where I didn’t know the language, I’ve gone after big opportunities and hung everything on the line and through it all there wasn’t one time I wasn’t scared. But I knew that feeling was because I was taking a chance on something amazing. I was making a choice for a different life and every single time it has given me more than I could have ever imagined (even if it wasn’t always easy). I’ve done this enough times that every time that feeling of terror and excitement comes I know it’s a good feeling and not a bad one, I know it means I am going in the right direction.
Where you can do some more digging
There are a few experts who’s studies and research stand out most in this area. Brene Brown’s TED Talk “The Power Of Vulnerability” discovers in over 10 years of research that the people who are happiest in their lives are those who are open to being vulnerable. Kelly McGonigal through her career came to discover that not all stress is bad stress. The tests she found came to prove that stress is only detrimental on our health if we believe it is. And Malcolm Gladwell compiles a whole book worth of case studies that proves our gut instinct is right 99% of the time (except in love).
Caitlin Mellor defines herself a traveller, adventurer, and wild woman. She’s a nomad and independent business owner working as a photographer, writer, fitness/wellness coach and public speaker. While also doing remote work in the environmental field. You can read more or learn how to connect with her through her website.