By Kimberley Carter Spivey
“The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power.”
— Oprah Winfrey
When I was in elementary school, I convinced myself at a very young age that I was “the shy kid.” The kid who suffered from debilitating fear of being called on to read out loud, or work a math problem on the board in front of the class. When my teacher scanned the classroom for volunteers, I hung my head low, or looked in the opposite direction, hoping that would deter her from calling on me amongst my peers.
(Well, it didn’t.)
In middle school, it pained me to be a part of a group activity because it forced me out of my comfort zone.
Then, there was high school…the point in my life when I feared being labeled as a weenie.
But when I started attending college, something happened (maturity found me) and I realized I’d placed a label on myself early on that continued to follow me. I accepted being fearful. *gasp
Knowing this, I was desperate to make a change and determined to make major moves in my life. Fear was not going to defeat me! Or at least I thought it wouldn’t.
I became an adult and life became scary —— really quick. Then it hit me. If I wanted to accomplish the things I was afraid of, I had to do the hard stuff and do it afraid. So I decided to incorporate some things into my life that would help me overcome my fears.
Maybe some of you need to hear this. This is for the people out there who’s sitting in the back of a meeting, a classroom, a church, at work, at home, or in the gym consumed with fear inside, and terrified of being who you’re meant to be.
You’re afraid of going after your dream with all you got because you’re scared of failure. You’re worried about the opinions of others and them seeing you fail. You’re choosing to hold yourself back from your greatest potential.
Trust me, I get it, friend. I know how you feel because it has happened to me.
If this gives you any comfort right now while you’re reading this, I’m typing these words for you, and I’m doing it afraid. I’m doing this because this is my passion that drives me to level up. I’m doing this because I want to push myself far beyond my comfort zone. I’m doing this because I believe in you and I want to see you win, too.
I’ll share with you what helped me face my fears and how you can incorporate these tips into your life.
- Awareness: First things first, identify your fears that are causing havoc in your life. Get specific about what you’re afraid of. Why are you really afraid? What do you see happening?
- Change your mindset: Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it. The way you think (positive or negative) sets the tone for your life. Carol Dweck says it best in her New York Times Bestseller, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, “The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you live your life.” Be intentional and practice self-talk every single day. In the mornings, tell yourself that you’re smart, capable, determined, and you will succeed.
- Boost your confidence: Find the thing in your life that you’re passionate about and good at. Work hard towards leveraging your gift to excel. Believe in yourself, and stop comparing yourself to others. You are on your own journey to succeed.
- Surround yourself with leaders who you want to emulate. I’ve learned that you need to be around people that will challenge you and inspire you to be the best version of you. Find a group to join that advocates motivation, encouragement and support. I joined See Jane Write, a community for women writers, and bloggers and it’s been a game changer for me.
- Do it afraid: If you read my last blog post Introducing…Girl You Write, I mentioned facing my fear. This one is a biggie, I know. It’s hard, scary, and completely out of your comfort zone. But you know what? You will never know what you’re capable of until you try and face your fear, sister.
What are you biggest fears and what are you going to do to overcome them?
Kimberley Carter Spivey is a Freelance Writer & Blogger and Owner of Girl, You Write. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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