Face your fears
It can be easy, especially in a chaotic world like this, to seek out and create safe spaces that provide a sense of stability and control. That’s not particularly surprising. Finally, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs places one’s security needs, such as a physically and emotionally safe place near the base of the pyramid, right above things like food, water, and air. It’s almost impossible to navigate the world in a healthy way if you don’t have a stable base to return to.
However, staying there all the time and constantly choosing the known over the unknown can sometimes lead to negative effects. Just as people need a safe place to return to, they also need to find their way and explore new horizons from time to time. This can include overcoming social, emotional, and even physical challenges. It’s important to keep your balance and resist wanting to stay in your comfort zone.
“‘Run to meet the roar,’ the old used to say to the young. When you face great danger and when people panic and seek a false sense of security, run towards the roar and go where you fear. Because only when you face your fears can you find security and a way. When the world trembles and the end seems near, meet the roar.”
– Michael Mead
Challenge yourself to face the roar today and for this entire week. When faced with fear, take the harder route. Squeeze and see what comes out of it. You will be surprised what you will learn about yourself.
“We help others with their challenges, we face our own. Please continue to help anyway.”
– Richie Norton
Don’t let a feeling of fear or an overwhelming situation stop you from being kind. If you’ve been using your own stress levels as an excuse to detach yourself from the world and people around you, challenge your own perspective and try to help others.
“Avoiding hazards is no safer in the long run than direct exposure. The fearful get caught just as often as the brave.”
– Helen Keller
Staying in your personal safety zone can feel good. This can instill a sense of control, but the truth is there will always be many things in life that are just plain uncontrollable. Things can still go wrong even when you have planned every detail. Because, as rapper Andre 3000 said, “You can wrap up a pretty picture, but you can’t predict the weather.” Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a risk and see what happens.
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we withdraw from life. When we are in love, we open ourselves with passion, excitement and acceptance to all that life has to offer… Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
Love makes you brave, and that doesn’t just apply to romantic love. You can choose to greet the day with a sense of passion and wonder at what it has to offer. Take some time today and find something to love and let that encourage you.
“Promise yourself that you will choose growth over security and dreams over fear.”
– Brittany Burgundy
Even if you don’t do it every time, promise yourself that you will go beyond what you are doing now. Swear to try, challenge yourself. Do one thing every day that scares you, even if it’s small, just to get a taste of it and see how it goes.
“Create success from mistakes. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
– Dale Carnegie
If you find yourself stepping out of your comfort zone and you don’t like what you found, use this as a learning experience. Try to remind yourself that things are always in flux. They are constantly changing and evolving. You have the power to do things differently, to change the way you interact with the world around you to achieve a different outcome.
“I have learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave is not the one who is not afraid, but the one who conquers that fear.”
– Nelson Mandela
The goal is not to conquer your fears and push them into the ground. Rather, the goal should be to get to know your fears—to shed light on them and see them for what they really are, so they don’t seem so frightening. This is about integrating your fears and giving them a little space so you can hopefully move forward.
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