I was told to push my limits ever since I was a kid. When skiing as a child, my grandfather would tell me that I would never get over being afraid of sharp drops into other ski runs unless I got as close to the ledges as possible.
So, each time we did a run like that, I got a little bit closer and closer to the edge.
At the end of the day, the scary drops weren’t as scary anymore, and they continued to not scare me because of it.
I didn’t know at the time, but my grandfather was teaching me an invaluable lesson: do the things that terrify you.
There are’t enough people who do things that scare them. Too many people come into a workplace too afraid to do something for the first time out of fear of failure, so they never learn.
Why does this matter?
Doing the things you fear pushes you to not be afraid of it anymore. It forces you to learn something new, understand a perspective or solidify your own. In some cases, it can force you to think on the fly.
Fear stops you from being the best person you can be. Don’t let it.
Rihanna doesn’t let her fear of the stage stop her from performing and you shouldn’t either. In fact, there have been countless celebrities who were broke before their first big break. They didn’t let their fear of failing stop them from succeeding in their career.
How do you face your fears?
Start small. You can’t just get over your fear of heights by waking up and deciding to go sky diving one day. You’ll traumatize yourself.
You need to see how far you can climb something before wimping out. Then push yourself to go a little higher every day. You need to go up to the peak of a mountain or on the top of a large building and be able to look down without puking. Fly in a plane without panicking. Then you can consider sky diving.
Fear of public speaking? Start by reciting your speeches to yourself in your bathroom, then move to a small audience of friends, then to a slightly bigger one until you can talk in front of everyone.
I used to have a fear of needles. I tackled it by facing my vaccinations head on, instead of avoiding them. I got blood drawn for tests even though it scared me. When I took a pathology class, I stuck my own finger with a lancet to test my blood. Soon, I pushed myself to willingly donate blood. Now, after a few years, I’m getting ready to do acupuncture for the first time.
The world opens up when you start taking small steps to face and overcome your fears.
So, take that next baby step. Do the thing that scares you. You won’t regret it.