Let’s be honest, life can be a little crazy, and sometimes scary at times. It can be tough to overcome legitimate fears. When was the last time you were afraid to do something, say something, or go somewhere? I can bet you that the last time you felt fearful wasn’t too long ago, but that’s all about to change. I promise if you make this one single tweak, you’ll come out FEARLESS every time!
Let me first start by telling you my journey to overcoming fear. I personally spent the majority of my life with a self-image that was, to be honest, completely off from reality. From the outside looking in, I seemed confident, brave, fearless, and ready to conquer anything the world threw my way. The truth is, I lived my life bound by fear.
Fear turned into anxiety and doubt. I was afraid of others’ opinions. Afraid of getting things wrong. I was insecure not only about my body, but I doubted my abilities. I grew anxious anytime all eyes were on me. I was afraid of making mistakes. Afraid of looking like a fool.
Despite everything I had going for myself, I needed “support” from other people to feel comfortable doing the simplest things. I had to consistently ask others’ opinion about everything from whether or not I would go to an event, to what they thought about my work, to what they thought about my actions, and even down to what I wore. Why? I needed to be affirmed. Why did I need to be affirmed? I needed to get enough confidence to be me.
Wait, whet?! How does that sound? I needed confidence to be me?! Ludicrous. Like, seriously?
A better question is: why did I even care so much about what people thought about me? The truthful answer is because, at the core of it all, others’ opinions shaped my view of myself. Why on earth would you let someone else’s opinions shape your self-view? I know why! It’s because you’ve been doing it all your life, and it has become the norm!
I spent so much time worried about what others thought, that it shaped my self-view. I needed validation because I did not fully understand my identity, yet. I needed acceptance from others because I had not fully accepted myself.
You are probably wondering why I’m talking so much about my identity and accepting myself, when I promised you that we were talking about overcoming fear. But that’s the key: identity and self-acceptance.
Fear crept into my life so often simply because I had not accepted myself as I am. I had not allowed myself room to make mistakes. I had not allowed myself enough grace to be who I am and to get things wrong sometimes.
I had not separated my identity from the opinions of others.
Have you ever wondered why fear is able to stop you dead in your tracks? It’s because fear is completely mental, girlfriend. This means that your ability to be fearless all starts in your head. It starts with what you believe about yourself. It starts with what you believe you can accomplish.
Letting go of fear starts with understanding your identity, accepting yourself fully, and allowing yourself room to make mistakes.
You have to first get a good understanding of your identity. Understanding your identity includes knowing who you are and who you are NOT. If you do not understand who you are, how do you expect to present yourself to the world? Take some time to really think about what makes you who you are, regardless of your titles, job, accolades, or even external appearance. This will be your first step in the right direction.
You have to make the first decision to accept yourself as you are. Your identity unfolds over time, but you will always be you, regardless… Which is why you should be the first person to accept you for who you are. This does not mean that you are perfect in any way, but it means that you are perfectly YOU. You have to remain decided that, no matter what, you accept yourself 100%, flaws and all.
You have to realize that your identity remains the same regardless of others’ opinions. Accepting yourself means that you have to stop rejecting yourself because of the opinions of others. It means that you have to free yourself from societal norms that make you feel unfit or out of place. It means that you have to understand your identity and accept yourself for who you are, even if other people do not. It is expected that some people will reject you, but you have to be so confident with your identity that others’ opinions of you truly leave you unbothered.
So what’s the one switch you need to make to overcome fear?
You have to choose to love yourself to the point where fear can no longer exist. Loving yourself completely will chase away all your fears about yourself, your mistakes, your future, your reputation, and the list goes on. Fear cannot remain where there is perfect love. Until you learn to love yourself fully and completely, you will never be able to overcome fear.
Fear has the ability to creep in and stunt your growth at any point in life, but only if you let it.
It wasn’t until I began to see myself in a whole new light that I was able to break free from fear. It wasn’t until that point where I was able to truly live a life where I was truly able to be undefeated. Love was the factor that allowed me to see myself with a clear-eyed view. When love comes in and overwhelms you, then you will know that no mistake you make, no matter how many times you feel that you have disgraced your name, you are still worth living and dying for. Love is, and has always been, the answer.
I challenge you to take other people out of the equation and just be you. Even if you’re rejected, who cares? If your self-image is stronger than the opinions of others, you’ll truly have nothing to fear. Shift your perspective!
Now take some time to reflect on who you are. Take a moment to write down the things you love about yourself, and keep that close as a reminder in the future. Fear will not hinder you from fulfilling your life’s purpose! Go be great! It’s time that you overcome your fears!