“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown
The world we have built contains a lot of dangers, and we should have a healthy fear of certain things. In a sense, fear keeps us alive. If we walked through the world in a fearless state and didn’t have awareness of our surroundings, we wouldn’t last very long. However, this fear shouldn’t overtake your life. When it interferes with your daily life, that’s when the fear becomes a problem.
In life, you’ve just got to take the bull by the horns and stare fear down in order to overcome it. Many things that we fear won’t ever actually happen, so it’s important to discern real danger from the fabricated fears in our minds. If you’ve been wanting to live more fearlessly this year, then the tips below will help you do just that.
Here are 5 ways to make this your fearless year:
1. Do the things you fear.
It might seem counterintuitive to run straight toward fear instead of hiding from it, but how can we ever conquer the beast in our mind if we don’t face him? Actually, doing what you fear has a lot of basis in psychology – in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a psychologist calls this “exposure therapy.” Exposure therapy means taking small steps to conquer your fears, and when you start feeling more comfortable, doing the thing that you fear the most.
People fear many different things, and oftentimes, exposing ourselves to our greatest fears will put them to rest because we see that our minds blew that fear out of proportion. Ruminating over what we’re afraid of makes fear far worse than it really is, so action is the key to “unlocking” those anxious thoughts and becoming more fearless..
2. Believe in yourself.
Many of us fear failure, and because of this, we avoid trying to accomplish things. We don’t want to disappoint ourselves and others, so we let our dreams die before we even start to chase them. Courage is the enemy of fear, and it all starts with the thoughts you choose to pay attention to everyday.
If you want to get rid of fear, you have to start up positive conversations with yourself, and learn to master your mind. Of course, this is no easy feat, but it begins with just becoming aware of your thoughts. Once you identify negative thinking patterns, you can start transforming them so that fear takes a backseat in your life rather than steering the wheel.
3. Think of the journey, not the destination.
Time will pass anyway, so why not make each day one worth living? If you think about it, most of us are gambling with our lives each day, thinking that one day when we have enough money or retire, we’ll be able to live our dreams. What if that day never comes, though? Sure, it might be a morbid thought, but it’s one we have to consider. The fact that all of us have an expiration date on our lives should propel us into action, but too many sit idly by just waiting for life to happen.
We focus on getting to the future, rather than enjoying the present moment. This means that most of us are never really living, but rather, waiting to live. One way to stop fear in its tracks is to immerse yourself in the now, and enjoy the ride. You have to get off at some point, so you may as well make the most of your experiences.
4. Remind yourself how good it will feel to overcome your fears.
Instead of thinking of all the negatives that fear brings, try to keep the positives in mind. Fear gives us an opportunity to build character and inner strength. Focus on how you will feel after facing your fears rather than how you feel thinking about facing them. If you keep in mind how you want to feel rather than how you currently feel about running toward your fears, it will make it that much easier to face them.
5. Build from the basics.
Anxiety and fear help to keep us alive, but at some point, they become counterproductive. We tend to spend a lot of time focusing on things out of our control, but not enough on the things we can control. A few things you can control are your diet, exercise, and sleep regimen. These three things can make or break your mental health, because our mind and body work in tandem. Research continues to show a strong link between sleep deprivation and mental disorders, and many studies have correlated poor diets to higher anxiety and stress due to an imbalance of gut bacteria. A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression, not to mention, poor overall health.
One great way to become more fearless is to prioritize good sleep, a healthy diet, and a regular workout routine. Without these three working together, anxiety can build up in your body, which will only exacerbate your fears.
To make this your fearless year, try to focus on the areas of your life that you can control, and getting your health in order. Then, start chipping away at your fears one day at a time, and before you know it, you’ll forget what you were even afraid of in the first place. We believe in you!