I was up all night, tossing and turning because I was anxious about doing something I wasn’t comfortable doing. I had been thinking about doing it for a while and finally decided it was time to just do the damn thing and quit thinking about it.
Self-Sabotage & Procrastination
Let me tell you the process of getting there first. I spent a lot of time, maybe days, possibly weeks, and quite likely months telling myself I’d do it “when.”
When some arbitrary milestone was accomplished.
When I felt better about it.
When I had more time.
You know you can “when” your life away, right?
So, I put a few milestones in the way to prolong it.
Sometimes we do that, don’t we?
We put barriers up to our own success by imposing these arbitrary milestones that have to be achieved first. You know that’s messed up, right? It’s just a way to delay the inevitable and hope that you’ll somehow feel better about it by taking more time to get there. Newsflash, not only does that not happen, I have found you generally feel even more anxious because you’ve been thinking about it longer.
I coach people to face their fears so this experience was especially unbecoming for me.
I mean, I’m kinda known for being fearless (humble much?).
The thing is, being fearless doesn’t really mean you have no fears so much as it means you don’t let them stop you. I know that I become better, stronger, braver, and more capable with each fear I hit head-on. This is one reason I put this particular task on my list of things to do today.
I got sick of my own excuses and decided to just do it. I had put this “thing” on my list of things to do today so that I would do it . . . today (because I do the things on my list each day as a way to keep commitments to myself).
But the idea of doing it was, literally, paralyzing.
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My mind had gone psycho with activity – the “what ifs” were keeping my monkey brain racing all night.
Now, some people (including myself at some point in my life) would have either not put it on their list, delayed doing it, or maybe never do it.
But I know fear doesn’t have to stop you. I only know that from experience. You can have fear and there is no shame in feeling that fear. It’s the lack of action that is the problem. The lack of taking action in spite of the fear is what stops us. And if we keep avoiding taking that action . . .over time . . .we become someone that just doesn’t face fears and lives a life of limitations.
Fear Caused By Events & Media
The past couple of years have been full of fear for literally everyone on the planet. Because I live in the US, I can only speak to what I have witnessed in this country, and damn, there was no shortage of reasons to stay in your house and board up the windows. Let’s see, the pandemic, racial division, riots, job losses, schools closed, presidential election, more pandemic, hospitals overloaded, political divides, the war in Ukraine, and increasing inflation to name a few. The list feels never-ending. After having to experience all this fear personally and then hearing it in virtually everyone I spoke to, my own fear of literally everything escalated. It’s a vicious cycle.
But I have to go back to what I know to be true. The only way to get over fear is to push through and just do it. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s not like I have the number to the nuclear codes and could destroy the world accidentally.
My Action Plan
So, I made it first on my list. Why? Because having that bullshit hovering over my head all day was just going to prolong the inevitable.
And you know what? As soon as I did it, I mean the instant it was accomplished, I felt relieved. I felt stronger, more empowered, and like “WTF was all that drama about?” I was so relieved in fact, that I tackled another task I was not comfortable doing. And that’s how pushing through fears makes us better.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
This is how we grow. It’s not comfortable. And it’s not easy. But it’s worth it. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to experience so much in my life because I push through the fear to the point that I don’t even have it in most cases. I’ve done things I would have never dreamed of because I pushed through the fear in spite of the uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach. These past couple of years wreaked havoc on my psyche and I, for one, am ready to get back to living.
Just know this, my friend, just because you feel fearful, doesn’t mean you have to give in to it and let it stop you.
We all feel fearful.
Hate to break it to you, but yeah, you don’t own the patent on fear.
I would encourage you to do something today, anything, that makes you a little uncomfortable. Pushing through in spite of the uncomfortable feeling is how you grow.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like this video on my YouTube channel. Check it out. I’d love to know what you think.