We all come into this world oozing greatness. Every single one of us. The people who alter the course of history are mere mortals just like us. You know them. Those luminary men and women hailed for their mind-blowing achievements. The likes of Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Henry Ford, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Wangari Maathai, Oprah Winfrey, Mahatma Gandhi, the Wright Brothers, and many more.
The aforementioned icons had one thing in common. They all had dreams of changing the world. Some of their dreams may have appeared insurmountable. They may have been horror-struck at the thought of failing. But they nonetheless grabbed their fears by the horns, shoved them aside and took the plunge. You too can conquer the fears that paralyze you. Here are seven ways to trump your fears and go after your dreams.
Immerse Yourself in Motivation
There is a host of self-help and motivational information that you can tap into to help keep your head high. We are products of the information we consume. Cultivate a habit of reading, watching or listening to inspirational messages every day. Before long, the positive vibes will rub off on you. Your fears will gradually dissipate and be replaced by an unquenchable quest for greatness.
Take Baby Steps
Eleanor Roosevelt put it beautifully. “Do one thing that scares you daily.” Wean yourself into doing tasks that feel uncomfortable by doing one thing at a time. It is okay to start small. If you for instance desire to be the world’s greatest public speaker, start by volunteering to speak in small groups as you build your confidence and speaking prowess. The old adage holds true that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Choose the Lesser Evil
The truth is that pursuing your dreams takes a lot of hard work and a mountain of courage. On the other hand, not following your dreams will find you writhing in regret, misery and even depression. Thoughts about what you would have achieved if you gave your dreams a shot could haunt you to your grave. The wise thing to do is to choose the lesser evil which is going after your dreams. Yes, you will have to contend with your fears. Yes, people may dismiss you. But you will never have regret and guilt looming over your head.
Do Your Homework
When it comes to pursuing your dreams, you can never be over prepared. You need to do your due diligence and have all the ammunition you need to slay the giants that creep up on your path to greatness. Let’s say you dream of starting your own sassy TV show. You may need to do plenty of research, take public speaking classes, hire a coach, seek partnerships and do rigorous marketing. Do not leave any stone unturned. Prepare and prepare some more.
Redirect Your Fears
There is a cocktail of fears that will plague you as you stretch out to pursue your dreams. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of change, fear of being judged, among others. Realize that fear is energy. You can redirect this energy and use it to propel your dreams. Fire-fighters grapple with the fear of the unknown every single time they are called to duty. There is no telling how ferocious the fire will be. But once they step into the fire, they are literary crushing their fears and converting the negative energy to positive energy. You too can harness your fears to propel your dreams.
Realize You Are Not Alone
It will enthuse you to realize that almost everyone who went ahead and became great had to grapple with certain fears. Abraham Lincoln was scared of crowds alright but he went ahead and became president. Mahatma Gandhi suffered acute panic attacks while speaking in public but he liberated his country from colonial rule. Despite a very successful career as screenwriter and producer, Shonda Rhimes realized she could achieve much more and committed to saying yes to all the things that scared her for a year. Are you scared stiff in your quest to achieve your dreams? You are in good company. Great icons too grappled with a myriad of fears. But they beat those fears. And so can you.
Seek a Mentor
A mentor is someone who has successfully walked the path you desire to trend and is willing to be your coach. Having a mentor allows you to shrink your learning curve by avoiding various pitfalls. Mentors will give you genuine feedback without holding back. You will also tap into their expertise and knowledge. What more, a good mentor will allow you to tap into their networks.