Facing Fear- Taking Actions that Stretch You

Change life, ignite your career, boost business, and enhance relationships by regularly (at least once daily) stretching out of your comfort zone. In the book, Feel the Fear & Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffers says, “The more you expand your comfort zone the more powerful you become.” We have what seems to be an infinite amount of inner strength. We are capable of so much more! We just need to get comfortable being gutsy. Think of how much children grow yearly. They are consistently forced to stretch out of their comfort zone at each level in school, in activities, etc. Kids are elated flying down a zip line after facing a fear of heights, and sparkle with pride after speaking in front of a live audience in a school play. It is only when their own self critic gives into critics that things change. As adults, we are not on a plateau. There is more learning, stretching, and growing to be done that leads to greater opportunities, more fun, success, life experience, etc. So here are 5 essential perceptions to take on as you face fear plus ideas for how to strengthen your courage muscle daily.

Personality Does Not Define the Amount of Courage You Have- We all have access to arguably an infinite amount of inner strength and courage. What can be said for sure is we all have access to more than we currently use.

Courageous Does Not Mean Fearless- Many famous performers admittedly get nervous prior to performing. Heroes often admit they felt ‘scared to death’. Courageous people are not without fear. Writer James Neil Hollingworth defined it well, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

Discomfort is a Natural Part of Growth- Ask yourself if you are experiencing the defense mechanism of fear protecting you from a legitimate dangerous situation or are these growing pains. Will this experience help you gain strength, knowledge, and life experience that could lead to more opportunities, a higher quality of life, more self confidence, etc. no matter what the result? There is reason to be excited when you experience growing pains (butterflies)!

Learn from Failures- “Pay no attention to what critics say. No statue has ever been put up to a critic,” was expressed by composer Jean Sibelius years ago. Resist getting attached to results or what others think. Get feedback and learn but don’t bestow critics the undeserved glory to be repeated over in your mind. Aim to grow from each experience.

Being Gutsy Daily is like Strengthening a Muscle- The more you use inner strength the stronger and more confident you become. Take a deep breath, get support, believe in yourself, and take those risks. Stretch yourself daily and see more and better opportunities roll your way. The best part is how great you feel at the end of the day.

Ideas to Develop the ‘Tapping Inner Strength’ Habit:
When taking risks stay compassionate towards others and authentic to who you are.

~ Call someone you would like to learn from and work on developing that relationship.
~ Contact a prospective client, learn their needs, and how you can help them.
~ Learn the needs of groups and schedule a speaking engagement with one you know you can help.
~ Learn a new skill or activity.
~ Take a class or do something alone and meet new people.
~ Dress or wear your hair differently, or wear purple nail polish (hey guys- you can skip the purple nail polish ~smile~)
~ Have that conversation you’ve been wanting to have with someone you love.
~ Talk to your boss about how you can flourish with the company.
~ Take a conversation deeper (where appropriate).
~ Make a connection that may help you grow your career or business.
~ Lead something.
~ Participate in a cause or group effort.

American author, John A. Shedd, wrote in Salt from my Attic, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” Neither are we, which is why inaction often causes anxiety. Step into each day drawing from inner strength ready to take risks in order to fill the gap to your greatest abilities. KNOW that at the end of the day any failures will add up to greater strength, knowledge, expertise, and success~ abundantly more than if you never bothered to risk at all. Tap into your spring of inner strength and really live … Starting Now!