Dealing With Fears: Do It Anyway
Is it fear?
Fear, along with its cousins anxiety, caution, and timidity, can hold us back from doing what we’re truly called to do. We’re scared of failure, of ridicule, of change, of taking a risk. Being scared is a natural thing, common to all of us – but letting it stop you isn’t necessary.
Lately I’ve been hanging out with some amazing successful women entrepreneurs. One of the things that I was surprised to hear is that, even though they are living their dreams, or well on the way, they still get scared. Regularly.
The thing that they do differently is that they acknowledge their fears, and then move forward despite them.
It reminds me of a song I love, written by a relatively obscure band from New York, Ceili Rain. I’m not sure where I first heard it, but the song, called “Do It Anyway,” speaks to letting the heartfelt urge to act be stronger than the fears that arise. You can listen to it on YouTube.
“You’re scared that that next peak is too high for you to climb
Do it anyway
Afraid that they will laugh if you start to cry
Do it anyway
“You’re scared to tell the world what you’re doin’ here
Do it anyway
You’re scared to say ‘I love you’ right in my ear
Do it anyway, do it anyway, do it anyway”
– Ceili Rain
The courage to pursue your dreams doesn’t mean that one day you’ll wake up and no longer be afraid. It simply means that you go for your dreams despite your fears.
If you’re overwhelmed by that big mountain in front of you, break your dream or goal down into smaller chunks. Keep breaking them down until you get to the point where there is something you can accomplish in less than an hour. Then get started, no matter how scary it might seem. Make that phone call, do the research, sit in front of the blank page or canvas and begin.
A really helpful trick shared by productivity guru Darren Hardy is to do the hardest task of your day first thing in the morning. Whatever scares you the most, or tempts you to procrastinate by surfing Facebook or cleaning the bathroom, start there. Feel your fear, release it with a few deep breaths, and do that scary or challenging thing.
Chances are you’ll discover that it wasn’t as hard as you thought it would be. Even if it is, you’ve done it! Now you have that feeling of grand accomplishment, and you can get on with the rest of your day. You’ll be even more productive, because now you’re empowered by your success, and the other tasks on your list are easier than that.
The secret that no one talks about is that we all feel fear. Everyone does. You’re not alone.
The way that successful people (and by successful, I mean people who are happy and fulfilled because they are following their heart’s callings) do what they do is by not letting fear stop them. They don’t stuff their fears down, either. They openly acknowledge them.
Then they do it anyway.
This doesn’t require superpowers, or arcane knowledge. These are regular people, like you and I. They just made the decision not to let their fears hold them back. They listened to their heart’s deepest desires, and realized they had to follow that call. They are still scared, but they decided to do it anyway.
You can, too.