Yesterday, I posted an Instagram photo with a caption that I had been thinking about for a while. It’s been at the back of my mind and I have been wanting to write about how to overcome your fears for a while now, but couldn’t get over the anxiety and stress that came with reliving these situations and feelings. Over the past month, I had been reflecting on my life and I wasn’t happy with where I was. I had to learn how to stop living in fear. It’s kind of sad for me to even read what I’m typing, but it’s true. (It also probably doesn’t help that I’m currently listening to some 80’s angst-ridden songs…) In terms of my personal life, I might go more in detail in the future, but let’s just say that I had lost my creative spark and was working for someone that didn’t believe in my professional abilities.
To recap what I wanted to get across via my Instagram caption: I realized that I had been living my life in fear.
I really was.
Rewind few years ago, I was actually on a television show hosted by Louise Roe and MTV International called Plain Jane. It was really nice to meet such an amazing woman and she helped me so much in terms of facing my fears and putting myself out there. Unfortunately when I got back home after the taping, I didn’t have a cheerleader or friends that understood what I was going through to help me along the way; some of them even didn’t talk to me anymore because “I changed”.
The truth of the matter is, people change.
It’s a fact.
And quite honestly, if you’re the same person as you were from just a few years ago… you’re doing it wrong. People are meant to evolve and grow to appreciate different things, have a different outlook or mindset. Yes, I’ve changed. But haven’t we all?
I wanted to relive that life high and so I went to check out Louise’s blog. To my relief, I found that although things have changed, she is still as helpful as ever. I found a recent post of her’s called 5 Practical Ways To Deal With Anxiety which can help when times are tough. Whether you’re dealing with the fear of putting yourself out there, doing public speaking or even making the first step toward your passion, anxiety can often follow.
I have been trying to revive my blog and really want to make it a great resource for both beauty and science to collide, but I couldn’t do it. I was the one stopping myself from writing, I was the one who didn’t think my posts and ideas were good enough, I was the one that didn’t think I knew much about anything, so why should I be a blogger? Somewhere along the way at the crossroads of self-doubt and self-hate, I remembered one of Louise Roe’s catchphrases: Why not?
Then it hit me.
Sure I might not be the most knowledgeable about science or beauty, but I have a passion for both. So why not? Why not write about it? Why shouldn’t I be able to write my own opinion or views on either? Then I realized that in order to know how to overcome your fears, you have to be willing to take chances and change what you’re currently doing. If you don’t change and you’re just sitting around, waiting for perfection, you’ll wait forever. You have to be willing to be messy, start, and just keep going. You have to be willing to put work out there that isn’t perfect because you have to start somewhere.
How to Overcome Your Fears
Every single step of the way, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and honestly speaking, it’s not that you won’t ever stop having the fear. Learning how to overcome your fears means that you may still have the fear, but you do it anyway. Back in university, one of my psychology classes talked about exposure therapy where patients would slowly expose themselves to the stimuli that they’re afraid of (e.g. public speaking, dogs, spiders, etc.) so that they can improve the way that they relate to their fears1.
When you’re willing to be uncomfortable, when you’re willing to go for it you learn far more from the doing than you would thinking about it. You deprive yourself from finding something you might love by standing on the sidelines. If you don’t try, you won’t know what your next steps are going to be or grow as a person. Unfortunately there is no manual for life. You just need to take the first steps to overcome your fears and give yourself the permission to move forward. A great way to overcome your fears is to actually start working out. By exercising, you’re releasing endorphins which helps boost your mood2.
It’s all scary, but if you listen carefully… you’re internalizing all of the negativity. You’ve done harder things than this! Don’t allow yourself to settle. Get up, and face your fears. Whether is fear, shame or guilt that’s stopping you..
Are you scared of doing something because you’re afraid? If you’re scared of something, that’s your call to action. I challenge you to see how resourceful and smart you are. In the 7 million people in the world, not everyone will like you.
If it means that you can’t be yourself, then is it worth it?
If you focus on all of the losses, you’re not looking at the right point. What do you have to gain? What might happen? Would you make new friends? Find a new purpose?
Get in the trenches and battle your inner demons.
How to Overcome Your Fears Recap:
- Exposure therapy – By exposing yourself little by little to the very thing that you’re afraid of, it can improve the way you relate to your fears.
- Work out – By exercising, you release endorphins which can boost your mood, immune system and increase body temperature.
You’re braver, and stronger than you think. Sculpt yourself into the person you want to be.