The Ultimate Guide To Ditching Fear and Following Your Dreams
Fear and Dreams.
If you're anything like me, you likely have both of these things in your life.
And if you're here, reading this, the odds are it's because you know what you want, you're just afraid to go after it. To claim it as your own.
And you also might be overwhelmed by one or the other, wondering how to reconcile the two to lead a happier life.
In order to start the road to a balanced diet of dreams and fear, you must understand the key relationship between the two.
Dreams push you forward,while Fears hold you back.
You may think it is easier to expand your dreams, so they push you farther than your fears pull you back.
But often, the bigger the dream, the larger the fears.
So how can you eliminate your fears, and chase what you truly want in life?
This may hurt to hear, but
you can never truly eliminate fear.
It will always be there, floating butterflies around your stomach. You are always going to have that voice in your head, you know that one that constantly asks"What if?"
But what you can do, is work hard to tone this voice down. Take away its authority, so that it does not have the power to wield its way between you and your goals.
And you want to know something else? The worried "What if?" that arises in your head is a whisper compared to the screaming "What if?" that rises up when you wonder about the missed possibilities, the 'what-could-have-beens?"
How do you Work to silence that fear?
The answer is rooted somewhere between self-love and understanding the relationship between risk and reward.
There are several things you should realize in order to actualize your dreams:
You must love yourself enough to see that you are worthy of going after your dreams
Dreams start with a vision, but it takes confidence to turn that vision into a reality. You must recognize that you are worthy of this dream. That you have every right to pursue it. Most importantly, if you don't believe in your own vision, then how do you expect others to?
Rewards are not possible without risk
If I took anything away from studying finance for four years in college (Surprise! I bet you didn't see that one coming) it's Markowitz's Risk-Return model. Broken down into 'girl boss' terms, it's the scientific theory that reward is positively related to risk. Meaning If you truly want to attain those high returns, whether it be in the stock market or in achieving your life goals, you have to be willing to accept higher risks.
One story that inspires me, is actress Sasha Lane who was discovered by a director while on Spring Break at the beach. Lane took a risk in staying longer (missing school and life's obligations) to audition for a stranger, and that stranger went on to make her a star in a movie that took home the Jury Prize at Cannes that year. Had she simply left the beach when her friends returned to school, she wouldn't be the award-winning, breakout star that she is now.
There is never a more convenient time than now
I bet you have made the promise to yourself that you will start working towards your goals "tomorrow", "next week", or my personal favorite: delaying them to the new year as your next resolution. I get it. Goals are stressful, and often times you don't know where to begin when it comes to forming strategies. But put simply, you're never going to have a more convenient time than now. Not only (as cliche as it sounds) is tomorrow not promised, you never know what life is going to throw your way. Things come up out of the blue. People get engaged, pregnant, sick, fired, etc. every single day. So start planning now. Dedicate a designated amount of time each day or week to start building the future you want, and over time the results will show.
You must stop seeing failure as a negative thing
Failure is not the enemy. In fact, failure is one of my favorite things, and it should be your best friend too. This is because failure is when you learn about yourself and you learn what doesn't work, which is equally as important as learning about what does. Each time you fail, you learn a little bit more to point yourself down the right path, the one that ultimately leads to success.
I also have noticed that sometimes failures seem related to your calling and skill set. The times I have failed the most in my life have often been at things I hated. It was as if I was self-sabotaging, in order to run out of the opportunities in a field I didn't want any part of, so I could justify entering the arena that I had always wanted to thrive in.
You must be willing to live with the discomfort that lies in the unknown
When you take big risks, you don't have a crystal ball which assures you that everything is going to be okay. To be honest, I wish I could be that crystal ball for you, promising that every endeavor is going to be pure magic, but I can't. No one can, even though they often try (thanks mom). That is why the point made above on failure is SO important. Once you accept failure as an acceptable outcome, the anxiety that comes with anticipating the unknown starts to dissipate. This is a perfect segue into my next point which is...
You have two feet to pick yourself back up if you fall
Falling down, figuratively speaking, can quite often feel like the end of the world. It can attack your self-worth and make you question why you ever bared your soul and took a risk in the first place. That state of mind is toxic, and I can assure you that if you think that way, you will hold yourself farther back that any fear ever could. Know that you are a capable being, with the resources and tools to get back up when a rock in the road unexpectedly pulls the ground out from under you. However, sometimes it can be hard to get back up, and when you lack the capability to stand up on your own...
You must be strong enough to ask for help
Perhaps a better way to phrase this tip, would be you must be able to humble yourself enough to ask for help. If you're anything like me, at rough times you feel too stubborn to reach out for a hand to help you rise from the ground. You're human, and sometimes you need support. Never feel embarrassed asking your support system for a helping hand when you've had a large fall.
A support system is necessary, but it does not have to be blood
One of the hardest challenges people face in gaining the courage to go after their dreams is the disapproval of their families. At the end of the day, all you want is acceptance from the people you love, but I'm here to tell you that you can build your the life you've always wanted even without their support.
You do, however, need support to believe in yourself, if not even more support when your family disapproves of your aspirations. But this is support you can find in friends and peers, especially in this age of technology. Some of the most supportive, inspiring people I have met have been online, through social media platforms.
And I will tell you this, I support you. That is the sole reason I formed this site, to inspire others and give them the encouragement they need to shatter fear and escape the 'belle' jars they've been living under.
You can change your mind at anytime
When you commit to a dream, especially a career goal you have a tendency to fixate on it, and I have been there before too. It becomes even harder, the more people you tell about what it is you're doing/aspiring to do. It is important to know that your dreams are not set in stone, that you can change them at any moment that you please. Otherwise, your dreams turn into a 'belle' jar, where what you thought would set you free actually cages you inside.
With resilience, you can survive all
Resilience is a mental survival skill. Put simply, it's taking what life delves out to you and not crashing down as a result. It's being strong enough to rise from rubble, and use it to build stepping stones that allow you to reach new heights.
Resilience is vital to the pursuit of happiness, because things don't always go as planned, and we still must find the strength to go on. It isn't acquired over night, so start practicing resilience in little ways, and soon you will have the strength to get through anything.
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Last, but not least, I want to know more about you!
Leave a comment and tell me what your dreams are below!