Did you ever notice how the things you’re most afraid of doing are actually things you wish you could do? It’s rare that we’re afraid of something we don’t want to do. In life it’s usually clear, we know what we want to do, and what we don’t want to do. And we either do it or not.
But fear is different.
It keeps us from trying new things we might actually enjoy.
In 2015, my employer asked me to drive out of town to work with a new client. Unlike my peers, I didn’t take my driver’s course and test at the age of 16. I never had a strong desire to get behind a car wheel, let alone drive on a highway. So, for many years I avoided driving unless it was absolutely necessary.
Not driving, to avoid my fear of driving became the best case scenario. I often had a recurring dream where I was driving the family van and when I would press on the breaks, you guessed it, the car would just keep driving. Thankfully, I would always wake up before I ended up in a serious accident. The feeling of losing control in a situation where I should have been in control was unbearable. The fear of the situation led to me reasoning: to avoid getting into an accident, avoid driving.
By the time driving became necessary in my life, I realized my fear of driving had gotten in my way. It had kept me from going wherever I wanted to go without a “chaperone”, bus, or cab. I was getting restless depending on others to get me where I wanted to go. I had let the fear of driving control me. It felt more like a restriction in my life. A limitation.
My employer’s request pushed me to face my fear and get behind the wheel, regularly.
If you let fear get in the way of the things you could be doing, you limit your life experiences. And, just a quick fact and reminder, life isn’t endless …
Fear limits you.
It keeps you within the confinement of your comfort zone.
It cripples you and can even suffocate you.
It keeps you from living the life you want to live, i.e., a life where you feel good about yourself, empowered to do the things you want to do and that matter to you. A life where fear isn’t controlling you.
When I started driving on a regular basis, I realized it was an activity I actually enjoyed. The freedom I felt behind the wheel, the freedom to go places, the freedom to get from point A to point B much faster … I felt empowered to live more than I had lived before. I was experiencing the joys of driving and I had also become aware of a part of myself that I might have never discovered. If I had never chosen to face my fear and get behind the wheel, I would have never known that I LOVE driving!
What fear is keeping you from living a life you love?
Do the benefits outway the risks?
Facing your fears will help you increase your overall well-being.
It will help you realize that the worst-case scenario probably won’t happen. Instead, a world of opportunities opens itself up to you.
In my case, when I started driving, my recurring “broken breaks” dream stopped.
Ready to finally deal with that “itch” that keeps coming back, but that fear is keeping you from really dealing with?
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*this blog was first published in October 2017