“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” Dorothy Thompson
Imagine this: you are sitting on the beach watching the sunset as waves lap the sand as you bask in the glow. A book lies in your lap as you lose yourself in thought of how wonderful you feel at this moment.
Now imagine what the reality is: You’re dreaming of traveling to the beach, sitting on the sand watching the sun set. But instead of taking the steps to go, you feel fear. What if you’re needed at your job, by your family or any of your other obligations? What if the plane crashes? What if you get lost? What would happen if you let down your guard? What if…?
Living in fear, keeps us form taking the risks and chances to go for what we truly desire. It keeps us from finding true happiness.
Happiness isn’t defined by what you have; where you live; where you go; or the people you love. True happiness is a feeling. It’s something you feel deep inside about yourself and believe yourself to be. But to find it you have to face the fears keeping you paralyzed.
When we have fears, we feel unsafe. Facing our fears and getting out of our comfort zone is hard because of how humans naturally expect the worst-case scenario. Our brains naturally send us negative information because it is trying to keep you safe.
So how can you live a life free of fear and be truly happy?
Everyone has fears. It’s normal. It’s how we react to them that makes the difference in how we feel. But you might find yourself weighed down with too much fear that’s preventing you from being truly happy. If that’s the case, it’s time to get familiar with your fears and find ways to work through them.
Here are 4 common fears and ideas to help you deal with them.
- Fear of failure. This is a common fear, often stemming from our childhood. Fear of failing a test, for example. This fear brings on the feeling of being judged or embarrassed. In reality, failing is part of success. Overcome this fear by not worrying about the outcome and only focusing on the process of getting to success.
- Fear of success. This fear stems from many different fears: fear of change, responsibilities, attention, vulnerable and many others. The best way to overcome this fear is to focus on one step at a time while moving forward.
- Fear of rejection. The fear of being rejected is a reaction to our innate need for belonging. It can include fears of being judged, not being liked, or being alone. To overcome this fear put yourself out there, reminding yourself that the right people will respond to you favorably.
- Fear of not being good enough. This fear is rooted in how we feel about ourselves. Our low self-esteem keeps us from not trying because of a lack of confidence. You can overcome this fear by starting small with things you know you can accomplish. Keep doing more steps to build your self-confidence.
We all have fears of some kind. They may seem rational to us but appear irrational to others. To overcome your fears you need to understand why you have them and then work on facing them so you can live a life of true happiness.