Overcoming fear - why you need to, and how to do it!

Overcoming fear is something we all struggle with in our lives. There's a saying by Eleanor Roosevelt, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do," and it's very true. We all have a comfort zone - things we are comfortable and confident doing. But by feeling afraid and sticking to life inside that comfort zone, never really pushing ourselves, we will never grow and become the people we want to be.

What did you dream of being when you grew up; an astronaut, a ballet dancer, a pro footballer? Whatever your dreams were, as children we're not afraid to dream big, and we don't doubt that we'll achieve those goals as adults. Ok, so you might not be in the exact job you thought you'd be doing as a kid, but that doesn't mean you can't still have dreams and goals that require getting out of your comfort zone once in a while. We thought we'd take a look at some of the things people often want to do but are afraid to - and see how you can overcome your fears to achieve those goals!

#1. "I want to travel the world alone"

Solo travel is scary, there's no doubt about it. Backpacking around the world solo requires guts, determination and pretty good social skills, as you're going to be relying a lot on meeting people along the way. But there's no reason that fear should hold you back from travelling alone if you're determined. First, you'll need a plan, and to carry out enough research so that you feel more confident to tackle your travels head on without a friend in tow.

If you're really daunted at the idea of a solo trip for 3, 6 or 12 months, why not start small? Volunteer for two weeks in Africa or take a trip to Thailand for a month. Or rope in a friend to travel with you to the first destination then part ways. You'll learn so much about yourself when you travel solo, and it's a great opportunity to pick up new skills, like volunteering, studying or learning a new language. Don't be afraid - make 2016 the year you achieve your goal!

#2. "I want to lose weight and get fit"

Moaning about how unfit you are and how much weight you need to lose whilst simultaneously chowing down on Dominos and watching Netflix is something many of us seem to do! Recognise that the only person who can decide to lose weight and get fit is you - it's your body. You can hire a personal trainer or find a fitness buddy to help you train, but at the end of the day the motivation and the will to change comes from you. Nobody is saying you have to become a gym addict overnight, but start small with little changes to your diet and lifestyle, like swapping biscuits and processed snacks for fresh fruit and popcorn and starting every morning with a healthy, protein-packed breakfast. Winter is a great time of year to commit to indoor exercise and if you're stuck for inspiration, check out our 18 Indoor workouts to try this winter!

#3. "I want to make new friends"

As a child, making friends is relatively easy. Share your snack with somebody in the playground or invite them over to your house and you've got a friend for life! Unfortunately, nobody teaches us how to make friends as adults and it can be tricky meeting new people and forging friendships as we get older. You might feel shy or anxious about socialising and meeting new people - that's okay, and you're not alone. Joining a group or taking up a new hobby is the best way to make new friends as you'll be doing something you love whilst meeting others who are also into the same thing.

Whether your passion is bouldering, running, going to the pub or foreign travel, the internet has a lot to offer when it comes to meeting like-minded individuals. Sites such as Thinking Bob (for those in London) and Meetup.com are great ways to get involved in new hobbies whilst getting to know people in your town or city. You're never too old to make new friends!

#4. "I want to quit my job and start a new career"

Quitting your job can be scary, and we don't recommend quitting unless you have a new job to go to or at least a few month's salary saved in the bank (nobody wants financial worries before Christmas!) But if you're unhappy at work and considering a change of career, it's well worth exploring your options.

Maybe you could study part-time around your job to gain new skills or a qualification, or perhaps you can reduce your hours at your current job and work in another role the rest of the time until you are experienced. Considering starting a business and working from home? Building up your business in the evenings and at the weekends might be hard work at first but sooner or later you could kiss your 9-5 bye-bye and get a better work/life balance, whilst making a profit from your own hard work. Being self-employed can be scary, but it's so rewarding. Whatever you want to do, don't let the fear of failure lead to inactivity - push forwards as it's better to try and fail than to wonder, "What if?"

Why should you push yourself?

Growing and changing as we get older happens to all of us, but those of us who experience more in life - take risks, change jobs, travel, fall in love - remain more open-minded, and are happier for it. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone means there's little risk you'll end up in a nursing home one day, regretting all the things you wished you'd done and places you wished you'd travelled. Fear can hold you back and make it hard to achieve your goals, but it's better to try (and perfectly normal to feel scared) and fail than to never try at all. What is the one thing you would love to do but are afraid to try?

READ THIS NEXT: Get out of your comfort zone with solo travel in 2015

Author By Paula Beaton
Date On 10th Nov 2015 at 16:10

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