‘I’ve always longed for adventure, to do the things I’ve never dared. Now here I am facing adventure; then way am I so scared.’
These are the lines from the famous song ‘I have confidence’ from The Sound of Music.
I sang this song when I was a young girl and yet it’s only when I became older that I really thought about the lyrics.
How often have you felt scared when facing something new? Perhaps so scared that you didn’t do it. You turned around and took the easy familiar route. Don’t feel bad about it. It’s very common. It’s why so many of us aren’t living the life that we could be.
I bet that you quite like the excitement of going on holiday to somewhere new, or trying out a ride at a theme park that will get you screaming. Some of us are confident to test out a short-term thrill.
When it comes to travelling into unknown territory and choosing something that could have a more lasting effect on us, we’re less confident. So why is that?
Because fear takes precedent. It lives in us and a lot of the time it’s taking up way too much space.
Now of course we need to have a safety mechanism or we’d do really dangerous things. Imagine if we never gave anything a second thought. We just jumped into the vehicle with ‘destiny unknown’ on the sat nav and put our foot to the floor.
The trouble is, that the more we let fear be our decision maker, the more afraid we become and the less we learn. The less we learn, the less we grow. So we end up not having any adventures or at the very least, our adventures are limited.
In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Big Magic’ she provides the analogy of her and Creativity going on a road trip. She writes ‘I understand that you (fear) will be joining us, because you always do..’ she acknowledges that ‘fear’ will be doing its job, but that ‘creativity’ will be also i.e. ‘remain stimulating and inspiring’. While ‘fear’ is allowed to come on the road trip it needs to understand that ‘Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way’.
The key thing with fear is to accept its presence. It’s there to do a job. However, we mustn’t allow it to make decisions for us. We can listen to what it has to say and then we can make our own choice and say ‘thank you for caring. But I’m going to give this a try.’
We need to make sure that ‘fear’ is always in the back seat. Never let it get into the driving seat. Don’t let it give directions and don’t let it suggest detours. Every time that you confront your fear, you will be that much braver. Every time that you tell fear that you’ve heard what it has to say, but you’re going to do it how you want, you become stronger and more resilient.
I help women overcome their fear. Check out my Stride into your Strength Sisters Circle and see if it’s something that will help you live the life you want. Not what anyone else’s expectation of you wants or what fear wants. Just what you want.