We all have them, whether it is the fear of failure, highs or spiders, there is our number one hold-back when it comes to taking risks. Unfortunately, not only the risks are avoided but also living life to the fullest. So what can we do when our fears stand between us and our happiness?
I know so many people who love to travel but are afraid of flying, it doesn’t matter if it’s the safest mean of transport, or that you can choose to go with a safe company, they just cannot do it. Leaving them with only limited options, they are forced to drive for hours to get to places like Greece, Austria or Italia, which would normally take around a 1.5h flight. They also say that they will take the risk once they are done with what can be visited by car, unfortunately, years pass and they aren’t getting any closer to the tropical vacation they are dreaming about.
I will not be a hypocrite to say that whenever there is turbulence in the air I feel safe, or before I land I don’t say a few prayers in my head. It’s ok to be afraid of something that you cannot control, yet I educated myself to believe that the pilot has no intention of dying whatsoever and that he knows what he is doing and so I keep on walking down my favorite aisle and traveling around the world.
One of the biggest fears that I have is of failure and of making a fool out of my self in the process. I just love perfection and I keep on judging myself really hard that I am not spotless in everything I do. One of the hardest moments was to get in front of 30+ people and speak at a conference, yes some give me negative feedback and some just loved my style. Facing that fear made that day one of the best days of my life.
5 years ago I had a longer delegation to the Netherlands alone, I had almost 3 months there and I had to do almost everything on my own. I was 23 and that was my first job, not to mention that I’ve never traveled alone for such a long time before. In the first 2 weeks, I was only going to work and back at the hotel, I was so afraid of dining alone that the only food I ate during supper was nachos and salsa from the supermarket. After 2 months I was going shopping, stopping to get coffee, reading in the coffee shops, visiting cities from the neighborhood and finally eating all by myself. Still not a fan of traveling or eating alone, but those days I will always remember as the days I was completely independent.
I still have many other fears that I am constantly battling, sometimes I am winning sometimes I am losing, but the important thing is that I am trying. Maybe I will never be able to see doctors as my friends instead of my enemies, maybe my fear of needles will never allow me to have a tattoo or maybe my fear of loneliness will make me accept all sorts of people like my friends, but I will try to battle each and every one of these until I am no longer breathing.
Fears, just like other demons, don’t settle down and die in time, quite the opposite they keep on growing until you are helpless. Along with those, frustration with oneself appears and even depression. Even if it’s not a pleasant thing to do, facing the fears is imminent if you want to fully enjoy life. Make a list of what you fear most and start working on finding a way to deal with them, in time you will see the progress.