I remember a time when I lived paralyzed by fear, and nearly allowed it to convince me my life wasn’t worth living. To be honest, fear is something I struggle with day to day, but this time I’m specifically remembering lasted for awhile and turned into one of the most pivotal moments of my life.
When I finally walked out of it, I felt a level of fearlessness. I don’t mean I no longer had fear. What I mean is I finally realized the risks associated with facing my fears were better than living trapped by those fears.
It’s been a few years since that moment happened, and as I’ve spent time processing the whole thing, I’ve come up with the 3 main factors that helped me embrace fearlessness in that moment. These are my definition of “fearlessness”.
Coming to terms with the fact that we have weaknesses (yes, more than one!) is a whole topic on its own, but it’s also a huge part of embracing fearlessness. Fearlessness is not self-confidence to the point of self-destruction. It’s a delicate balance of owning who you are, and realizing it does not hold you back.
The idea that an overblown self-confidence is going to render you fearless is a misconception…Self-delusion is not going to protect you from discouragement, depression, or anxiety. Individuals become fearless only when they accept their own weaknesses, and as a result, learn to deal calmly with stressful situations. They become fearless because they are willing to give up the pretension of invulnerability, while at the same time, they are committed to remaining effective and alert. – John Vespasian
What are your weaknesses? I can give you some examples of mine if you’re having a tough time at coming up with a list on your own:
When you’re aware of your weaknesses, it’s very easy to succumb to them and tell yourself that even with your tactics at disarming them, you’ll still never really succeed.
This is where hope comes in.
We don’t give up because we encounter challenges. We give up when we lose hope that we can overcome them. Hope, more than perseverance, is the linchpin of success. – Stephen Palmer
When we underpin the determination to face and disarm our weaknesses with the power of hope, we catapult ourselves that much further to living out fearlessness and actually achieving what we’ve set out to do.
How do you keep a hand on hope, though? Here are three quick ideas:
This is something I continually have to remind myself (and maybe you feel the same way): I am in control of my own thoughts.
But there is that internal voice that often creeps in and says things like – “people are going to laugh at you!” or “everyone is thinking you’re going to fail at this.” or “why are you bothering to try another thing? You never finish anything you start.”
Realizing you have the power to take control of that internal monologue, though, can be life changing. You don’t have to listen to your inner mean girl.
How do you tell her to take a seat?
Last, I want to emphasize that sometimes your inner voice can be rooted in fact – sometimes it can be our conscience or intuition warning us about a situation. In those cases, though, the language it’s using is probably not mean. There’s a difference between “you are totally going to fail at this business venture because you stink at planning!” and “Remember when you decided it wasn’t the right time to quit your job and start this business because you didn’t have enough saved up?” Distinguish between these, and focus on quieting the mean voice.
I still work on cultivating fearlessness, because when you walk out of one situation, you’re certain to walk into another at some point in time that causes you to be afraid, or nervous, or anxious. The hope, though, is that when that happens, you’re better equipped to choose fearlessness instead of fearfulness.
Start by identifying your weaknesses and how you can disarm them, then underpin those tactics with hope, and, finally, tell your inner mean girl to chill out. The key is to repeat this sequence until it becomes second nature. You have the power to change your narrative from one of fear, to one of fearlessness. I believe in you, and I hope you believe in you, too.
Originally published at myfearlessheart.com