3 Steps to Move Through Fear

3 Steps to Move Through Fear

I remember facing the decision about which college to attend. The first college had a lot of people I knew and was the comfortable choice. At the second college, I didn't know anyone but it's where I wanted to go.

The problem with the second college: no connections, no friends there. I faced the fear of being a complete outsider. I processed the decision over and over again, trying to figure out what to do. Do I go somewhere safe and already known or face my fear and be unknown?

I decided to attend the second college. I silenced my worries, faced my fear, and enrolled where I was a nobody.

How did it turn out? I attended for 4 years, made great memories, developed my closest friendships, and met my wife. My life would have been very, very different if I didn't choose to step through my fear.

“Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small.” Ruth Gendler

This taught me 3 phases to step through fear: Recognize. Acknowledge. Decide.

  1. Recognize when you are afraid. Seth Godin wrote, "The reason you're afraid is that there's leverage here, something might happen. Which is exactly the signal you're looking for."
  2. Acknowledge you are afraid. Once you recognize your fear, acknowledge it. Don't hide it - bring it into the light.
  3. Decide to take the next step. Now that you have recognized and acknowledged your fear, choose courage: take the next step through your fear.

When I am faced with a situation where I am afraid, I choose to take the next step. I wish I could say it happens 100% of the time (it doesn't), but I do choose it more often (thankfully!). My goal is to get better at recognizing my fear and choose the courageous step more often.

Which fear do you need to face today?