Scared of public speaking? Check.
Scared of giving birth? Check.
Scared of skydiving? Check.
Scared of speaking up? Check.
Scared of looking stupid? Check.
Scared of taking a risk? Check.
Welcome to being a human, where fears quadruple exponentially as we get older. Until we literally just don’t give a shit anymore.
Most of us experience one or more (or all the above) fears at some point or another. The moment you think you’re done with one, another is on its way. It’s like a never-ending subscription service that you can’t cancel. A never-ending conveyor belt that dropships fears at your front door. Which is why I wanted to write a post on how to do something you’re scared of since it’s the epitome of the human experience.
There are 4 things I do when I’m about to do something I’m scared of.
And no, it’s not running away from it. Good try.
See this ride? That’s me in it.
I went on it twice despite all the heart palpitations it probably gave me for life. I did it while watching my 2-year-old son at the bottom, who was unable to look up at me because he was terrified of the damn thing. And I did it because I told myself over and over: If Colton Underwood AKA “The Bachelor”, can bungee jump AND skydive within a season, I can totally do this. So next time you’re scared of something, embody Colton.
Wait, no, that’s not the message I’m going for.
Do these 4 things when you’re scared of something:
1) Say out loud: “Millions of people have done this, I can do it too”
When I was pregnant, I was so scared of giving birth. But the one thing that calmed me down was telling myself that millions of women before me have given birth, with the majority of them making it through. Because let me tell you, when I told myself that plenty of them died during childbirth, it did NOT calm me down. So I thought about it from a positive perspective and it gave me the strength I needed. When I was about to go on the above ride, I told myself that this is nothing compared to bungee jumping or sky diving, so I’ll survive it. It might be weird to say, but watching Colton do it on the show gave me courage.
2) Find a visual of someone doing it (or visualize yourself doing it)
This can be someone you know or someone you don’t know. If you know them, go talk to them about their experience and see how they managed to go through it. If you don’t know them, find someone online that’s lived through it. I find that having the visual image imprinted on my brain helps because I can put myself in someone else’s shoes, which makes me feel as if I’ve already lived through it. And as you know, the more you practice, the more confident you become. I kept replaying Colton jumping off of the ledge over the pool as I faced the ground, ready to drop.
3) Tell yourself “this, too, shall pass”
If anything, remind yourself that this thing you’re about to do (or this thing that happened) only makes up a tiny fraction of your life. 10 years from now, you won’t remember a thing about it. You might remember how you felt, but you won’t remember the details. Do you think that at 80 years old, while you’re playing Mahjong with Nora over there, that you’re going to care about what Bob thought about you 50 years prior? Hellz no. Find solace in that. I know I do. It gives me the courage to go about it to the best of my ability because life is just too damn short to be terrified of living it. Does this granny look like she gives a fuck? Be this granny now.
4) Remind yourself that you’ve already done it before
Maybe you’ve already done this exact thing you’re about to do (that for some reason scares the shit out of you again), but even if you haven’t, chances are you’ve already gone through something that really scared you. You might have even tanked at it immensely. What better proof do you need than the fact that you’ve already done it before?! That means you can definitely do it again. Just remind yourself of that. Now go forth, my child.