Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

I love the simplicity of it. In the book which is now over 25 years old, Susan Jeffers outlines some really basic approaches to managing your response to fear. The crux of her message is beautiful in it's simplicity:

1. Allow room for fear

Acknowledge and accept the presence of fear that arises in all of us at one time or another. By acknowledging and allowing fear it enables us to give up the futile attempt to eradicate it before we are prepared to take action. Let's just acknowledge that it's there and that's kinda ok because fear is a survival mechanism after all.

2. Know that you have the potential to survive fear

Recognise that it is possible to feel the sensation of fear and still take action anyway. Know that whatever happens, you will handle it. Understand that many people rise above fear and in some cases not only survive it, but thrive as a result of moving beyond it.

Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness, regret or shame.

That might sound overly simplistic to some of you but perhaps the solution is simpler than we like to think. Perhaps we don't need to wait until we feel confident or wait until the nervousness subsides. Maybe we can just feel the fear and do it anyway? Isn't that liberating? Terrifying yes, but liberating too? I think so.

Confidence comes through exposure and experience. So feel the fear, do it anyway and inoculate yourself against the fear.

(Jia Jiang - What I Learned from 100 Days of Rejection)

Be willing to allow yourself to experience discomfort. It makes a difference. Firstly, you will see that you not only survive, but in real cliche fashion, you do grow. Then develop strategies to learn to tolerate the feelings of discomfort, recognise that they're just feelings, they're transient, they're not permanent.

Just because something scares you doesn't mean you can't do it.

So go on, feel the fear and do it anyway.