Realistically Pursuing Your Passion Series: Fear

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Can I give you a few inspiring quotes about fear? I hope you said ‘yes,’ because here it goes:

Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” -Paulo Coelho

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

I’m guessing that you’ve read many other sentiments like the ones listed above. Through childhood, our teenage years, and our adult lives, the notion that fear is a bad thing is impressed upon us from many wise sources. No sincerely intelligent person has ever made the argument that living in fear is a positive, healthy way to live. While temporary moments of fear have their place in keeping us safe, fear isn’t meant to be a long-term emotion. Being afraid of what others think about us, or worrying if we are going to succeed at something, are natural thoughts to have because we are imperfect human beings. We are all going to have these thoughts from time to time, and that is perfectly natural. With that being said, when you do experience this negative, limiting emotion, it’s essential to stop it in its tracks.

Fear keeps us from being our best self. It limits what we can achieve, and keeps us from being brave. It is one of the only emotions we experience that can actually lie to us. It tells us we aren’t good enough, skilled enough, and experienced enough. While giving in to these lies may initially feel good (a.k.a. staying inside your comfort zone), taking this course of action is ultimately crushing. We don’t use our gifts and talents to the fullest, and stay in situations that we shouldn’t for too long. Time goes by far too quickly, and we become saddened by the missed opportunities fear convinced us we weren’t good enough to pursue.

If you are serious about going for that promotion, applying for your dream job, starting a business, or making any other amazing (but anxiety-provoking) changes, you first have to get your response to fear under control. It’s not easy, and you won’t be an expert right away, but it is totally worth it. The larger the change you’re making, the more anxious moments you’ll experience. After making several major life changes in the past few years myself (moving 1,000 miles away from home with no job lined up, and just recently becoming a writer + entrepreneur), I’ve experienced all of those fearful thoughts. I’ve questioned myself multiple times about whether I had made the right decisions, wondered if I’d fail miserably, and so on. I’ve relied heavily on my faith to get me through the fear, and to keep me going when I couldn’t on my own.

By now, I think I’ve made my point: if you let fear control your actions, you’ll never go where you’ve dreamed of going. Your comfort zone may initially feel like a good place to be, but you limit yourself greatly in never bravely venturing outside of it. I promise you this — beautiful and wonderful things you once thought impossible live well outside of your comfort zone.

If fear regularly holds you back, let’s get you moving forward. You are good enough, smart enough, and talented enough to start realistically pursuing your passion. To get you going, I have some homework for you. By the next post in this series (Thursday, December 8th), do the following: write a list of 3-5 fears you have about pursuing your passion. Be brutally honest, and don’t hold back. You need to better understand the specific fears that are holding you back. In the next post, we’re going to analyze your list and help you break past each worry. After moving past those fears, we’ll talk about the next step!

Have a beautiful start to your week!
-Valerie