Welcome back, this is the 4th and final part of our series on Comfort Zones. This week we are talking about 4 common fears we have and how to deal with them. Living in fear keeps us from taking risks to go for what we truly want in life. Not taking those chances keeps us from finding true happiness within ourselves.
If I were to ask you what is happiness? I bet a lot of you would talk about the things you have, where you live, the places you go, or even the people you love. I agree those things would make me happy too, but true happiness isn’t materialistic. It doesn’t even involve other people. It’s about you and your happiness inside. It is the feeling you get deep inside of what you feel about yourself and what you believe yourself to be. Finding that truest form of happiness we must face the fears that keep us from being that person we “wish” we were.
When we have fears, we feel unsafe. We expect the worse outcome of a situation we really don’t know what the outcome could be. Facing those fears and getting out of our comfort zone is stressful and hard. That fear we have sends false information from our hearts to our brains. We keep repeating that negative information until we believe what we are saying is true.
What is on the other side of fear?
Overcoming that fear and negative thoughts we can start to feel good about ourselves. Pushing ourselves past that fear is the only way to get a glimpse of the real happiness that lies on the other side.
Having fear that is crippling to our core means that were not in alignment with our higher selves. We are letting our egos control our thoughts and actions because we all know the ego is made up of nothing but fears. It’s like the Dementor from Harry Potter. If you don’t get my reference I will let Wikibooks explain, they do it perfectly.
“Dementors are dark creatures that consume human happiness, creating an ambiance of coldness, darkness, misery and despair. Because of their power to drain happiness and hope from humans, they have been set the duty of being guards at Azkaban, where they prevent the prisoners from having the will or ability to escape .”
I have mentioned in another post that your comfort zone is a prison. That prison being Azkaban and the dementors are your ego. You can’t escape your prison if you don’t check your ego at the door. Your ego does not like change, it wants to be in control and it definitely wants things to stay the same. If it doesn’t what happens… your ego has a meltdown.
Fear has an ugly way of turning us into perfectionists living in this constant fear of disapproval and that we deserve punishment. knowing this now has changed my perspective on my post on the art of getting shit done, but it has taken me since writing that post to move outside of my comfort zone, outside of fear and perfectionism to see how wrong that is.
Not saying that you shouldn’t be productive, but you should prioritize the things that will serve you much more than busy work. I have since learned that getting done what you need to get done to feel accomplished is the way to go. Since those days I have let go of trying to do everything all in one day. If I didn’t finish saying things I would beat myself up about it.
This constant fear of doing everything pushes you to the edge of being mentally and emotionally exhausted.
Everyone has fears.
I know you must be asking yourself… Michele, how can I live a life free of fear and be truly happy?
It is very simple. We all have fears, it’s normal to have reservations about things. How we react to that fear makes all the difference. However, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and weighed down by your fear. If this sounds like you let’s figure out what your biggest fear is so we can find ways to work through them.
Here are 5 common fears and ideas to help you deal with them.
Fear of failure.
This is probably the most common fear. One that stems from our childhood. The fear of getting in trouble with our parents, teachers, and other family members. Knowing that others may judge or be disappointed in you for not knowing enough causes failure.
Overcome this fear by enjoying the process of how things are done and don’t worry about the outcome. Ask yourself what your definition of failure and success is and then focus solely on your definition of success.
Fear of rejection.
Rejection relates to our need for belonging. In wanting to belong you fear being rejected by being judged, not being liked for who you really are. We fear people won’t like our work or get scared that nothing will work out. In our relationships, we fear the rejection of not being good enough which then leads to emotional pain.
For overachievers this fear reveals itself as perfectionism, constantly being stressed, or developing imposter syndrome. Meaning you have this internal fear of not being good enough and constantly doubting yourself and your abilities. You have this fear in the back of your head that people will eventually expose you to being a fraud.
To overcome the fear of rejection you do need to put yourself out there. Putting yourself out there will take time because you will feel exposed, naked, and vulnerable. In doing that you are waving your “Hey look at me!!! I am freaking awesome and know some shit, come be friends with me” flag and people will respond to you in a good way. I have said it before and I will keep saying it. Your vibe attracts your tribe.
Fear of success.
Success… This comes from many different fears. Fear of change, responsibility, getting attention, being vulnerable as well as many others. With the fear of success, we are afraid of being vulnerable and getting hurt. Which then could lead to not being successful enough. Resulting in the fear of change and not knowing the outcome of situations.
The best way to overcome this fear is to focus on one step at a time while moving forward. We need to focus on what is important by unblocking our minds and body. Working on one step at a time occupies our minds and helps us push past our old crippling habits and into the path of possibilities.
Fear of not being good enough.
You see I have mentioned this a lot in this post because the fear of not being good enough is engrained in our heads. This represents the way we feel about ourselves. Our low self-esteem pushes who we really are and makes us constantly lack confidence in ourselves and our abilities.
Overcome the fear of not being good enough by doing things you know you will succeed at. Small tangible goals to build your confidence. Once you have that self-confidence you can move on to bigger and better goals to build that confidence back up.
Fears fuel each other.
All of these fears fuel each other and plant the seed of self-doubt in everything you do. Feeling that you are not good enough to reach your goals and dreams makes you become fearful of success.
If you are not good enough to reach your goals and dreams of success you come to fear rejection, when fearing rejection you don’t want to fail. If you are rejected and fear failure you must be an imposter for thinking you could ever be more than you thought.
Which came first the fear or the thought?
Wrong… All of them can be traced to a fear of the unknown, which is a perfectly normal response. Although, you can’t let all that fear keep you in Azkaban. Those Dementors will come for you until one day you wake up and ask yourself “how did I even get here?”
Fear drives us.
Waking up with that question looming over your head fills your mind with negative regrets leading us down a path of playing the “what if” game with ourselves. What if I just did_______? What if I took that job? I wonder what would have happened if I ______?
We all have something we want to start. The sad part is a lot of us don’t actually follow through with it. Not taking the risk could have potentially changed your life for the better because of a thought. If you don’t take the risk it makes it easier to lie to yourself and justify why your life is the way it is.
We justify not doing certain things because we fear we won’t be able to provide for our family, there are too many things on my plate right now. I don’t have enough money or the biggest freaking lie we tell ourselves ALL THE DAMN TIME. Can you guess what it is?
I am waiting for the right moment.
What is the right moment?
Is the right time when your kids are grown, when you have more free time when money falls off of trees and the life we want to live falls into our laps?
There is never a right time to do what is right for you. We all have fears of some kind, but its for us to decide how we are going to react to them.
To overcome any fear you need to understand them and why they make you fearful. You work every day to work through them because no one is going to show you a road to go around them. You have to bulldoze through that mountain of fear. So you can have a life full of happiness, no regrets, no what-ifs.
That my friend is true happiness.
Knowing that you did whatever you could to make the one life you have more memorable than any movie a Hollywood producer could make. Being happy doesn’t mean being in a good mood and exploding with joy 24/7. Happiness is knowing you did everything you could by accepting defeat when it is necessary, by feeling sadness when something doesn’t go your way.
It means knowing where you are right now is not your final destination. If life is still having its ups and downs. Hold on baby because you are still on the rollercoaster. Happiness is surrounded by traps and temptations. You must make a few mistakes to find out how those work and use your own judgment on what will help you towards your goals and what will set you back.
What I have learned about stepping out of my comfort zone
Most of my achievements were driven by my fear. I have all the fears. I am not smart enough I am not pretty enough, I am not a Pinterest mom, and I have had my fair share of shitty years. In the last year and a half changing my mindset and the way I think. Challenging all my negative thoughts… so many opportunities has happened for my family.
I have a free worksheet on how to challenge your negative thoughts on the Freebies tab or click here to be taken to it.
Now am I still neurotic and overly worried all the time. Of course! But that is what makes me push past my comfort zone. I know in the midst of chaos I thrive, but that is no way to live. Pushing myself to do the things I fear is only making me a better person.
Forget everyone else
I said fuck it to everyone else’s expectations of me and what they thought of me. I worked on these fears so much that I figured out what I want in life and what I don’t want. Working on my fears I pushed myself to quit my job because it was affecting my health and well-being. It is probably the best thing I have ever done in my life. Well right under starting this blog. I found my niche in self-improvement and helping everyone I can see that just because you have these fears doesn’t mean you have to stay in the life you are living.
Once you work on your fears it doesn’t mean they automatically go away. It just means you became smarter about how to deal with them, which is an extraordinary feeling.
Don’t forget to check the other posts in this series of comfort zones.
We will be focusing on:
– Finding who you truly are in the unknown
– Is your comfort zone preventing you from achieving your goals?
– If staying in your comfort zone could be holding you back.
– If fear is standing in your way of getting the life you deserve. (You are here)
Until next time, Have a great day!