How to Be Fearless
People have been saying to me recently that I must live my life like Xena, warrior princess: Fearless. I mean, who in their right mind packs up five cats and drives them 2300 miles alone across ¾ of a continent? I know, the thought of driving alone cross country for many people is well, crazy and can bring up fear. Believe it or not, it did for me too. I had fear about the trip, but I didn’t let it consume me.
In our lives, we experience fear, but it begs us to ask the question: Is our fear real? What are we really experiencing or is the fear only in our mind?
I can tell you that when I was still in Boston, packing and planning for my trip, that of course some fearful thoughts would cross my mind. It’s natural to have fear. We are programmed to fear otherwise we would not have survived our caveman days as our ancestors would have all been eaten, right?
So fear..it’s natural to default to it. Sometimes we allow it to consume us and guide our lives because we simply don’t want anything ‘bad’ to happen to us
BUT by letting fear rule, we take the safe road. We don’t take risks or opportunities when they present themselves. Frightened and afraid, we hide and protect ourselves as best we can from something that may or may not happen. We can’t know what the future holds and we rob ourselves from new experiences by letting fear rule.
And who the fuck wants that? Not me! (and not you either)
So how can you be fearless? Here’s what I do
1. Acknowledge your fear
2. Ask if the fear is real
3. Write out ‘worst case’ scenarios
4. Re-write your worst case scenarios into best case scenarios
5. Re-read your best case scenarios
Acknowledge Your Fear
So what is it you are afraid of? Making a fool of yourself? Failing at ‘fill in the blank’. Criticism? Making a mistake? Being mugged or robbed? Dying alone? Whatever it is, write it down.
“I am afraid of ______”
Ask Yourself If This Fear Is Real?
Is it real? I mean, like does someone have a gun to your head and will shoot you if you fail or ? Is the fear real?
Yes or no?
I would say that most likely whatever you are afraid of is not real and is just in your mind.
Write Out Some Worst Case Scenarios
What’s the worst that can happen if your fear comes true?
When I was planning my trip, my worst case scenarios went like this:
The car is going to break down and I’ll be stranded somewhere with the cats. Then the cats will all run away. While I’m chasing the cats, someone will steal my purse, my money and all of my credit cards. Then some guy will chase me and try to rape me. Then I’ll go back to my car and it’ll be stolen too. Or someone will wreck into it and I’ll be alone, on the side of the road with no money, no car, no purse, no cats. My family will freak out and I’ll have no way to get home. I’ll have to sleep on the side of the road like a hobo and then some other hobo will attack me too……
Reading that makes me laugh. How likely is the above scenario? Not very to be honest. Try it for yourself and then re-read your ‘worst case’ scenario. How probable is it?
Re-write Your Worst Case Scenarios into Best Case Scenarios
Look at your worst case scenarios and re-write them into best case scenarios. I always have fun doing this part cause it changes the story into one where I get to be the hero and everything works out. Here’s my worst case scenario from above, changed to a best case scenario:
The car is going to run perfectly for the entire trip. The cats and I will make it to the hotel and will rest every night. None of them will run away. I’ll be able to pack them up and drive and there will be no problems. The people I meet along the way will be helpful and friendly and kind. I will stay in safe hotels and have enough money for each one. I will be safe. My cats will be safe. Everything is going to be ok.
Isn’t that a better story? Try it! I swear, it totally works to help dispel any fear you may be experiencing.
Re-Read Your Best Case Story
So once you’ve written out your best case story, feel free to re-read it when you feel that particular fear creeping up on you. In fact, you can even go so far as to visualize it like a movie in your head. A movie in which you are the star and hero.
That’s what I do!
I hope you enjoyed this article and it’s helped you learn to live your life fearlessly 🙂