Friday, August 3, 2012

Life Lessons—Feel the Fear, and Do It Anyway!

A guest post by Reba J Hoffman


Don't abandon your dreams
Several years ago, I had big dreams but when it came to acting on them, I was terrified. I didn’t believe in myself and I had a lot of people who provided daily doses of negative reinforcement. It seemed I would move forward to the point where the adrenaline kicked in and my hands began to shake. Then I did what I’d done over and over again. I quit. I ran in the opposite direction, all the while kicking myself in the seat of the pants for abandoning my dream.

When I got tired of being stuck in the quagmire, I reached out. I found a book that revolutionized my life. Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Dr. Susan Jeffers. Before I read the book, when I got to the fear, I concluded I lacked courage and gave up. It resulted in dream paralysis.

I want you to learn from my adventure through the valley of fear. Here are a few things I learned that I believe will encourage you:

  • Fear is NOT a lack of courage. When you feel the fear, it just means your body is reacting naturally to an uncertain situation. God created us that way. 
  • Feeling the Fear and doing it anyway is rarely fatal. Disclaimer for high octane thrill seekers: my dreams were not to jump out of an airplane at forty thousand feet without a parachute or climb Mount Everest without ropes. Moving forward won’t kill you, no matter how bad your palms sweat. 
  • You will have discomfort whether you push forward or run away. So, if you’re going to feel that way, why not do what you want to do?! 
  • If you move forward in spite of the fear, your sense of empowerment and confidence will multiply. You will find more courage, wisdom and passion for your dream. And, you’ll become more productive at working toward living your dream. 
Run toward your dream, not away from it!
You will get used to the fear and it won’t bother you as much. Just like when your stomach growls when you’re hungry or your eyelids droop when you’re sleepy, you’ll come to expect and automatically accept the temporary state of fear, knowing that as soon as you take action, the fear will subside.

My life has not been the same since I made the personal commitment to feel the fear, and just do it anyway. Yours will change too. When you’re terrified, RUN! Just run in the direction of your dream instead of away from it. It will make all the difference in your world.

What are your fears? What’s kept you from living your dream? Leave a comment here. 

Reba J. Hoffman

Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching (www.magellanlifecoaching.com). She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at reba@magellanlifecoaching.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @RebaJHoffman.

14 comments:

  1. "You will have discomfort whether you push forward or run away." Love it! Boy, did I need this reminder today. Thanks for the motivation!

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    1. So glad Allison. Fear comes and goes. Your achievements last a lifetime!

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  2. Reba, Thanks for the encouraging words. Fear is such a part of our lives, but you remind us again it will be there, but don't let it stop us. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

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    1. Yes, Tammie. Well said. Fear is with us but it doesn't have to drive the bus!

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  3. Reba, this is exactly what I needed today. Thank you! God's timing is perfect.

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  4. Reba, great words of encouragement! We were sort of on the same wavelength today. We must not just wait, we must do the thing!

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    1. Right Kristi. Just do it! Fear falls off.

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  5. Thanks Reba. "Feel the fear and do it anyway." I love that. Sounds like fear is not the enemy. Giving in to it is.

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    1. Oh Ellen, fear is absolutely NOT the enemy. It is actually your friend!

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  6. I'm grateful to hear that others have stalled, but are now happily living their dreams. Sometimes fear tells me I'm already too far behind. Not true, I know. And like you said, I just as well run toward my dreams. What do I have to lose? Reba, thanks for offering a logical way to deal with emotions.

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    1. Kim, the voices around us and in our heads tell us all sorts of things about our dreams that are soooooo not true. In the end, if we follow our hearts in integrity and truth, the fear will eventually fade into insignificence.

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  7. I can see from your awesome responses that this topic struck a chord. Everyone grapples with fear. Like pain, our tendancy is to avoid it. But fear is really good. It gets our body and mind geared up for the challenge.

    Thank you all for courageously commenting. You are one HUGE step closer to living your dream!

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  8. Thanks for posting this, Reba. I can't wait to pass this on!

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