Fear - how to thrive despite it.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I took our kids on their first roller coaster. We both love rides and were hoping they would too. My youngest was scared, but he enjoyed the ride (kind of). Whereas my daughter was terrified, hating every moment and vowing to never go on another rollercoaster in her life. Despite the trauma, we had a good laugh about it and I told her I was proud of her for trying it in the first place. It made me wonder where fear comes from and why it’s so different in all of us. Fear is such an odd concept. It’s undoubtedly necessary, saving us from dangers and keeping us from harmful situations. Yet it affects our lives in so many unnecessary ways. As a child I was scared of everything; the dark, school, baby chicks (not kidding, I would scream and cry if encouraged to hold one). However I grew into a teenager who feared little, with my close friends by my side I believed I was invincible. Becoming an adult, the fear returned, but in a different way. I found I was scared of possibilities – with every idea came an influx of ‘what ifs’ and too many times I’ve talked myself out of trying something new because of it. Luckily, a few years ago I recognised what I was doing and have managed to overcome my irrational fears. How? By acknowledging them. When I send a manuscript out, it scares the shit out of me. I don’t pretend to be fearless about it though, I admit I’m scared, talk about it to someone I trust, then shove my fear aside and do it anyway. It doesn’t mean I’m not terrified, it just means my fear doesn’t stop me from trying anymore. The more I do despite my fear, the easier it gets. Fear doesn’t have the power to stop us achieving anything – unless we are overcome by it. So my advice to anyone scared of stepping out of their comfort zone – don’t ignore your fear, recognise it, discuss it, then push it aside and step forward any way.