3 Uncommon Ways to Face Your Fears
What are you afraid of? Maybe spiders, snakes, or heights? Maybe clowns or tight spaces? For me, I have a genuine fear of being overrun by beetles like in the movie The Mummy (don’t judge me). While physical fears may be, well, scary, I’ve found that they often have nothing on the emotional fears you carry inside your mind.
Am I enough?
What if I’m not perfect?
Am I a burden to my friends and family?
What will they think?
What if I die with a million and one regrets?
And worse…What if I try and fail?
You know…those fears….the ones that make your heart feel like it’s being squeezed through a juice press every time you make a mistake, have to try something new, or have to face the opinions of others. The ones that make you question whether or not to answer certain phone calls from family for fear of saying the wrong thing or disappointing someone.
We see quotes all the time like, “Do something everyday that scares you” or “never let your fear decide your fate” and my personal LEAST favorite “Be fearless”, but let’s get real…the only thing those do it remind you of how afraid you really are!
In fact, it’s one thing to bungee jump off of a bridge and another to go against the grain of family expectations or societal norms and face upsetting them or ostracizing yourself. (Why are moms and dads SO MUCH SCARIER than a 200 ft bridge?!)
All that to say, it’s really hard to look your perfectionism, “am I enough?”, or “what if I fail?” demons in the face and choose to brave the storm… But that’s exactly what you need to do.
I’d argue that the phrase “do something everyday that scares you” mentality is toxic to your personal growth because you’re giving power to your fear. It’s also way easier to associate fear with the physical world, so you’re more likely to accidentally overlook the fears that really need to be dealt with.
Like the hard conversation you need to have with your boss. Or speaking up against someone who is putting you down. (You catch my drift.) Instead of doing something everyday that scares you, I have a challenge.
Do something everyday that makes you brave.
Before you have a mild panic attack that I’m asking you to dredge up those deep, dark grievances you’ve kept at bay since childhood or walk outside with no makeup and a crop top, take a deep breath. Being brave means slowly brick by brick building up confidence around those emotional fears so that when the day comes where you’re challenged to put yourself out there, make a hard decision, or (just maybe) have that difficult conversation, you’re prepared to take that big brave leap.
And if you’re looking for some outside-of-the-box practices to really hone home your bravery muscles and deal with your emotional fears, here are three of my personal favorites:
I don’t know about you, but art projects are both the most enjoyable AND most frustrating activities on the planet. It’s all fun and games until someone takes away my template, asks me to share my art with the class, or tells me to simply “be creative” with no additional instructions. As soon as I’m thrown off my game, thoughts of “what if it sucks?”, “am I doing this right?”, and “ughhhh this looks so DUMB!” attack my confidence. Art, especially art you consider yourself “bad” at, is a great way to deal with those fears you have. Try heading to the craft store and browsing the aisles until a project catches your eye. Make this project outside your comfort zone (so if you naturally are a painter, try something else) and open ended (so no painting and drinking wine classes). This way you have to tap into your natural creativity. Bonus points if you share on social media when you’re done!
It’s so easy to stay in the box and only explore activities within your comfort zone. What if you tried something you knew you wouldn’t be good at? What if you were with strangers? What if *GASP* you failed at something? I’m not saying you have to go try free climbing with the pros, but try going on Groupon and finding a class or activity that is totally outside of your comfort zone. Set yourself up to fail, make a mistake, or be imperfect but go in with the intention of having fun. If you can get comfortable being uncomfortable, bravery in difficult situations becomes easier!
THE ONE-TAKE RULE
“Can you take a picture of us?” is such a loaded question these days. Gone are the times when we could snap a candid shot, hand the camera back over, and go on our merry ways. Now it’s about finding the perfect lighting, checking your phone to make sure your arm didn’t look weird, deleting the photo, asking “can you take another one?”, and repeating the process until the perfect photo is captured. Madness. The One-Take Rule is another way I exercise bravery and win the battle against my “what if I’m not good enough” feelings. The rule is easy…you only get ONE take for a photo…and you have to post it. I can’t tell you how many times my hands shook like I was performing a major heart surgery when my thumb was hovering over that Share button. If that’s you, this is a sign you need to take this activity to heart!
How else can you face your fear in a unique way? Let me know in the comments and, as always, if you need a reminder to be brave, check out our shop!
To Being Brave,