The Power of Facing Our FearsNov 01, 2021
Life is full of things we are afraid of. Fear looks different to all of us, but no one is immune from it. Fears can be a good thing. They can make us cautious of dangerous situations. Fear of failure can be a motivating factor for us to keep pushing forward. But some fears can be debilitating and stop us from making any progress at all.
These debilitating fears can be limiting and more dangerous for us than the thing we’re actually afraid of. That’s why we need to learn to face our fears to push beyond those limits and move forward.
Let’s start with a fear many people can relate to - the fear of heights. It probably doesn’t limit us in our everyday lives, but in little ways it might. We may not live in tall buildings, or we may not choose to go hiking in the Grand Canyon, climb a mountain, go to an amusement park, etc. to avoid facing our fears. Skydiving would seem like the most ridiculous activity for someone who is afraid of heights to do.
But the best cure for a fear of heights is to put ourselves in high up situations and learn how to calm ourselves down to complete the task at hand. Once you are up in the plane, the only way to get out of the situation is to take a deep breath, follow the instructions, and jump.
Now let’s think about this in another way. We’re approaching the end of our playing career and we have no idea what the future is going to look like. Making the switch from being an athlete to another career is terrifying. But the only way to overcome our fear is to embrace it and go through it. We have to face our fear of transitioning careers and the best way to do that is to start thinking about it and preparing ourselves for it.
How much less fear would we feel if we had friends in other industries that could guide us? Former teammates who could mentor us? A better understanding of who we are outside of our sports? A really great LinkedIn profile that presents us in a great light?
Any of these things would likely help us feel a lot more confident about the next chapter. Unknowns are scary. It can be way more comfortable to embrace the stability of what we have. But what we have isn’t a guarantee. It could change tomorrow.
So instead of looking at the future in fear of what’s to come, let’s all change our mindsets. Let’s prepare for the future and embrace it as an opportunity to redefine ourselves, to continue to get better and to tackle what’s next for us head on.
Facing our fears is the best way to overcome the dread and anxiety that comes with them. Our fears shouldn’t control us. We can prepare to overcome whatever comes our way, even if we are afraid of it. And the best part about overcoming our fears, is that once we do it the first time, we know we can do it again. So let’s tackle what’s next head on, and let the fear motivate us to prepare harder and dream bigger.
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