We’re told that one of the best ways to develop personally and professionally, is to constantly push ourselves to do things that scare us, but have you ever stopped think why this works?
But actually one of the biggest reasons why we should be, as Eleanor Roosevelt may have put it ‘doing one thing each day that scares us’, is that by repeatedly experiencing the feeling of fear, we can learn to understand which parts are fear and anxiety, and which are actually feelings of excitement for what we’re about it do.
See, as Caroline Paul author of The Gusty Girl and the first woman to work for the San Fransisco Fire Department says to Tim Ferriss in this podcast; the feeling of fear is very similar to the feeling of excitement, anticipation and curiosity.
So similar in fact ,that we often mistake these positive emotions for straight-up fear.
Once we can identify these seperate feelings, we can overcome what we think we’re afraid of; such as public speaking, job interviews, stage fright, quitting your job, or making life-changing decisions.
And the only way to discover which of these emotions you’re feeling at any given time, is to experience ‘fear’ as much as possible, until you can learn to identify it from exhilaration, excitement or anticipation.
So, in a nutshell, one of the biggest reasons for constantly challenging yourself, is not for the great sense of pride and achievement (although it’s worth doing it for that too!), but so that you can practise differentiating whether it is actually fear you’re feeling, or a bit of excitement thrown in there to.
And when you’re excited for something, what is there to be afraid of?
On a side note, if you are thinking of making a big life change and have ‘the fear’ this blog has some useful tips
Got more insight you’re dying to tell me about how to face your fears?