What are you afraid of? I have several fears: heights, bees, and certain types of reptiles! These fears are easy to manage: I don’t step too close to the edge of anything that is way up in the sky; I know not to wear perfume in the summer, and I hardly ever have to deal with reptiles! Fear can be managed, especially the type of fears I mentioned above. I have learned to adapt my lifestyle so that these obstacles are hardly ever on my mind.
There is another type of fear that may be a little trickier to manage. It’s the kind that is a little more insidious. It keeps us from everyday activities, or trying something new. It can hold us back, even when we know it may be in our best interest to try something new, meet new people, speak up, shut up, or show up. Fear that is combined with doubt messes with our confidence. We can find ourselves with competing voices, one cheering us on, while the other is sabotaging our courage.
I have learned that when I listen to the cheerleader I become more confident. The voice that is telling me to “go for it” has rarely been wrong. Sure, I’ve been premature in some of my fearlessness, but in the long run, I’ve realized that the naysayer, who lurks in the shadow of doubt and defeat, becomes quieter with every decision I make to face my fears. Lately, that voice of doubt has become a whisper!
Fearlessness takes practice. I have found that taking some small, brave steps creates the building blocks we need to become braver. Like a toddler who is learning to walk, I’ve held on to a steadying force, while wobbling through this thing called fear. Sometimes I fell anyway. But I found out that I could get back up and face the fear again and take a few more steps towards the courage I was seeking. Those steps have ultimately led to leaps of faith, the ones that feel scary, but also exhilarating!
Listen to your cheerleader, you know who she is. She is the one saying “You got this!” And you do!!