Facing Your Fears Is Not Something To Be Scared Of

By Di Westaway | Chief Adventure Chick and Founder of Wild Women On Top

When we face our fears, we feel awesome. Fearlessness comes from facing fear frequently, and when we step outside our comfort zone, magic happens. If that scares you, read on. 

We all have moments, minutes and even months of self-doubt. And this can grow into fear. But you can learn to face and embrace fear. 

We all have super powers within us, and if our life depends on it, we can achieve remarkable things. Imagine you’re at the zoo and your child falls into the lions' den. In an instant, you’d summon super powers to leap the fence, grab your child and deliver them to safety. You wouldn’t give a second thought to the lion. These super powers are in us, in you. 

Studies show that if you fail regularly but keep trying, you’re better equipped to respond to challenges and setbacks. You are more likely to try different strategies, ask for advice and persevere. 

Yet in today’s world many of us fear functions, public speaking, crowds and new experiences. Sometimes just getting out of bed can overwhelm us. These things can be scary, but they’re not life or death. As thought leader Peter Cook said, “Failure can have a psychological or financial impact, but it’s generally not going to get you eaten.” 

But these small fears can have a big impact on our lives. Fear can prevent us from reaching our potential and leading a life we love. 

So how can we use our fear to motivate us to take action? We create scary experiences for ourselves. We get out of our comfort zone. We say “YES” to that offer of kayaking, or endurance trekking, or abseiling, or sky diving. By facing fear frequently through scary experiences, we learn courage. We learn to be brave.

Studies show that if you fail regularly but keep trying, you’re better equipped to respond to challenges and setbacks. You are more likely to try different strategies, ask for advice and persevere. 

The fear that stops us from trying was designed to keep us safe in the wild. But unless you’re swimming with sharks or texting while driving, it’s your mind you actually fear. It’s the fear itself that is scary. 

If we can hike up a volcano, surely we can attend a party where we don’t know anyone. 

Adventure teaches us to face fear, to be brave. It provides us with little scary moments, such as balancing on a rock ledge or leaping a stream. It takes us outside our comfort zone in the rain, the wind, the wilderness, the dark. It makes us strong and powerful so we can overcome physical obstacles and build mental toughness. 

By putting ourselves in situations which are safe but have high perceived risk, such as rock scrambling or abseiling, we build our bravery so the next time we have to speak in public or go to an event, we feel safe in the knowledge that it’s not life or death. If we can hike up a volcano, surely we can attend a party where we don’t know anyone. If we can get up at 3am for a mountain summit, surely we can get up at 6am for a sunrise walk. 

So the next time you have the opportunity to do something that scares you, say YES. Face fear frequently, build your bravery and lead an adventurous life you love. 

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