In the last several month, many have faced (and continue to face) an unprecedented level of ‘unknown.’ Ambiguity can give rise to our deepest insecurities, and left unchecked, has the potential to fill us with fear.
Being afraid is natural. But when you let fear take over, the world misses out on the bravest and brightest version of you. And that’s no good for anyone. Here are three tips to help you quell the fear and step into bold action:
If you find yourself starting to think “what if it goes terribly and they hate it” interrupt that thought cycle, and challenge your brain to think “what if it goes awesome and everyone loves it.”Pointing your brain towards the payoff (instead of the risk) helps you be more confident and courageous before bold action.
When you understand why your body is reacting to fear the way it is, it’s easier to become objective in the face of it. When you recognize an oncoming wave of fear, ask yourself, is this my lizard brain thinking? Take a step back, inhale a big deep breath, and remove yourself from that fight or flight brain space by breathing, moving your body, and practicing mindfulness.
High performers are their own toughest critics. When you start to feel anxious, remind yourself, you’re likely the only one looking at your words and actions through the microscope of judgement. People make mistakes, most other people don’t remember or even notice those mistake, and life moves on.
Consider this widely quoted excerpt from a Theodore Roosevelt speech, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Stepping into the murky waters of growth and vulnerability can be scary. It’s also incredibly courageous.