Have you ever allowed fear to sap your motivation? If so, you are probably familiar with the heavy sense of frustration that inevitably results in the abandonment of goals and dreams – no matter how badly you may want to achieve them.
However, you don’t have to allow fear to hinder your actions and destroy your goals! With a simple shift in perspective, you can transform fear into courage and optimism and use them to your advantage.
If you’re like most people, you’re probably used to seeing the negative side of situations. Not only do you tend to focus more on the challenges instead of the benefits in each situation, you may also hesitate to take action because of the potential negative risks involved. Wanting to move forward may not provide enough incentive to overcome these fears, so you continuously hold yourself back and accomplish far less than you’re capable of.
However, if you learn to shift your focus from what you stand to lose in each situation and instead focus on what you might gain, you’ll probably find yourself feeling more courageous and eager to take action!
You may find it helpful to make a list of any specific fears you have and get them out in the open. In each situation that makes you feel fearful, consider exactly what is holding you back. What do you fear happening and why? Are those things likely to happen, or is there only a slight chance?
Then use a separate sheet of paper and create a list of benefits you stand to gain by moving forward. Be as specific – and optimistic - as you can. Remember that dread and fear often seem to amplify the negative possibilities, which can make the positive benefits seem smaller or less important, so you may need to work a little harder to emphasize the positive.
Looking over these two lists should give you a more balanced view of your options and provide the clarity you need to decide whether to move forward or not. You may decide that you have valid reasons to hang back a bit longer, and it’s okay to do that! If you see that the possible negative consequences are more than you’re willing to accept at this time, you can either come up with less risky steps to take, or simply hold off and reevaluate at a later time.
If you do decide that the time to take action is now, you may need to work on building up your courage a bit before you do. Remember that the only one with the power to hold you back is YOU. At its core, motivation is largely the determination to conquer any fear, hesitation or excuse that threatens to hold you back.
Most importantly of all, don’t trick yourself into believing that you have to be completely fearless before moving toward your goals! The most successful people in the world would probably tell you that they eventually had to resolve to move forward despite their fear and uncertainty!
Courage is absolutely a choice, and fear does not have the power to sap your motivation and strength unless you decide to let it.