“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”– Judy Blume
This is a topic that as a personal development coach I love to talk about. I have also found that as a coach, writing or teaching about this topic helps to remind myself of the importance of facing your fears.
To begin it is worth noting that we are actually only born with two fears – the fear of falling or the fear of loud noises.
Other fears have been acquired throughout our lives and can be caused by certain events or situations that have marked your mind and emotions in a way that make you feel scared, which is where our body reacts with the ‘fight or flight’ response.
A certain element of fear is needed because it is trying to protect us. To keep us on alert. However, more often than not our fears can hold us back in our tracks for self-improvement.
So in this instance I am not talking about facing your fear or spiders, but instead some of your everyday fears which may be holding you back.
- Your fear of failure
- Fear of rejection / not being good enough
- Your fear of the opinions of others
- Your fear to explore the unknown / step out of your comfort zone
As you can see though…all of the above “fears” are actually a construct of your imagination. They have not yet happened or you will never know the truth behind what others actually think of you. As such we can actually label FEAR as the following…
Even as founders of Semester and people who have on many occasions faced their fears, we are still faced with this element in our lives on occasions. We don’t face all challenges with zero fear. We are human beings and we can experience feelings such as self-doubt like anybody else. Again, it is that element in you that wants to protect you.
“Do not try that, if it fails you may look stupid”
However, the same fears and doubts could also seriously inhibit you. The reason is they may stop you from ever trying something new. The presentation you know you want to deliver but you cannot face public speaking, the business you wanted to try.
Your biggest fears may actually come true. That idea might actually fail. However, what is worse? The fear coming true or the regret of never trying?
Les Brown one of my favourite motivational coaches talks about the graveyard being the one place where so many hopes, ideas, dreams and not dared intentions are left. You do not want this to be you. Whenever I am reminded of this point it seems to spur something in me that thinks ‘just go for it’, the truth is we cannot predict the outcome with full guarantee. We cannot influence how other people respond. The only thing we can guarantee in life is that we will die at some point, yes this is slightly morbid, but when faced with that reality I would expect that it makes you think slightly differently.
Also remember that should you fail, there are lessons to be learned. So many successful people have experienced failures in their journey. Failure is also actually a very good thing as the more you fail and quicker that you fail…the shorter the duration will be until you reach your final goal and achieve more success. Holding yourself back from doing the things that will help you grow is a sure fire way to not achieve what you want in your studies and personal life.
For example twelve publishing scripts rejected JK Rowlings Harry Potter manuscript before Bloomsbury finally took her on. Thomas Edison made one thousand attempts at creating the lightbulb before mastering the final piece. Both these faced rejection and failure and still achieved their desired outcome. So the message here is…go out and fail…and fail a lot. It could just be that one step in the (perceived) wrong direction that actually takes you to your greatest successes.
Our job is to inspire you. We want to make you not only become an excellent student in your studies but take skills forward with you in life. This is why creating a mindset where you have the phycological safety of failing is integral to the Semester Student Planner (For more information on this you can click the link at the bottom of this blog to find out more).
In order to face our fears we must begin to address them, so I want to end by giving you the following questions to work through to face your fears. Next time you find yourself in a situation where self-doubt is creeping in or you are unsure whether to pursue forward ask yourself:
What is it I am actually afraid of?
What is the worst thing that can actually happen? Am I ok in dealing with this?
Am I scared to make a mistake? Am I allowed to make mistakes?
Am I pressuring myself to much to succeed on the first attempt?
When was the last time I faced this fear? Will I be able to handle the situation differently to last time I faced this specific fear?
These are just some of the questions and we could list many more. However, should you sit with these questions and answer them honestly you should be able to get some clarity.
One really good way that you can implement this within your every day life is to create a reminder somewhere that you can instantly look at. This could either be a Reminder Card or even the Background of your Phone Screen. Keep these empowering questions to hand so that when you feel fear creep in you can ask yourself any of the above questions and instantly take the power away from your fearful thought.
As with all self-development it leads to a growth in self-awareness and as a result of that you are able to recognise such patterns in behaviour and hopefully tackle them with a solution based mindset (see previous blog post).
As always we are on hand for further support so please reach out to us if you require further support. Also do not forget to share your personal growth journey with us so we can help establish a community of likeminded folk. You can do this either by contacting us through our website or visiting our social pages where we welcome messages from the Semester Cohort.