Life is an assault course with obstacles at every turn. Some of these are real, whilst many are simply imaginary – that is, we place far too much importance and mental effort in worrying about situations that are quite often nothing more than scary monsters. Which is understandable if you class the Paranormal activity movies as horrors instead of, oh I don’t know, comedies.
We all go through experiences that are challenging but the only difference between those of us that move forwards to those who let fear overwhelm them is perception. It’s our thoughts that rule the world and by allowing yourself to see the positives in all of life’s tricky situations – you will truly get to live your live on your own terms.
The following life situations can all be made a little easier by simply changing your perspective (and not your underwear).
1. Quitting your job
The scariest part of quitting your job is the uncertainty – the fear that without a regular income you will struggle to pay the bills and look after your loved ones, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
You quit your job for a reason and deep down you know what this is. Perhaps you had a strained relationship with your boss, or maybe you quit because you’re still haunted by the memory of what you did to that poor photocopier machine at the Christmas party. It doesn’t matter – the reality is you are now free of that burden and you have the opportunity to finally do something that aligns with your goals and integrity.
From the outside it may seem fantastic to be earning a 100k salary but almost everyone in that position will trade that for more time with their family. You are now in the enviable position of having all the time in the world to choose your next path in life. Embrace it.
2. Ending a relationship
Breaking up with someone is somewhat similar to losing a job. At first you will feel fear and a sense of detachment from your everyday life – suddenly there is a huge gap in your world that needs to be filled. This void will initially attempt to take over your mind, by trying to convince you that without this person in your life, you won’t be complete.
You are fine just the way you are and you don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy and content with your life. Sometimes we rely on other people as a crutch, to mask our insecurities and to give us that false confidence. Being single enables you to live life on your own terms and to stand on your own two feet. The more grounded and confident you are within your own skin, the easier it will be to find love in the future.
3. Stepping outside of your comfort zone
Our brains will do everything to keep us safe, and unfortunately that means that anything even remotely exciting will fall into this ‘danger’ category. It’s the primal fear that prevents us from being eaten by a sabre toothed tiger, which was fine for our ancestors, but in today’s modern world it just gets in the way.
Generally we feel this fear when we want to try something different. A change in hairstyle, your first day in a new job, travelling abroad for the first time or even sparking up a conversation with a cute stranger.
This uneasiness we feel in our stomachs is to be embraced. It is a sign of growth, not of weakness. Feeling nervous and excited is something everybody should strive for because it means that we are living a rich and rewarding life. Constantly doing things that we are not used to and leaving that boring comfort zone behind.
4. Telling someone how you really feel
The scariest part of asking someone out on a date or revealing your feelings is the possibility of rejection. This fear is sometimes so strong that it can stop us dead in our tracks and we let the object of our affections slip away, often into the arms of someone else – all because we are afraid to put ourselves out there.
The truth is that without any action, there is only one possible outcome.
Telling someone how you feel is one of the most exciting and courageous things we can do. In reality there is no risk because it doesn’t matter what the outcome is, nothing bad will happen. The worst case scenario is that they will feel flattered and you can go about your daily business unharmed – because there is no such thing as rejection, it just a matter of perception and compatibility.
Of course there is the chance they will accept your feelings and say yes. Isn’t that worth the risk?
5. Following your gut instinct
There are generally two types of decisions, those that are made with our head and those that are made with our gut. Most people tend to shun their instincts in favour of making decisions with their head because they feel like they have more control over the outcome.
Going with your gut instincts is a scary prospect but 9 times out of 10 it will be the right decision. How many times have you felt something but tried to disregard it in favour of a more analytical approach, only to finally revert back to that initial feeling anyway? This decision making cycle happens nearly every time and it’s almost like an insurance policy that our brains force us to go through.
Spontaneity is the by-product of following your instincts so we should all embrace it as often as possible. Learning to say yes instead of no, taking a risk instead of playing it safe, trusting that you are doing what actually feels right instead of what you think society expects of you.
This is the true essence of letting your gut rule your head. Your life will be better off for it.
6. Expressing your vulnerability
It seems as though we live in a society of emotionally stunted robots that have been programmed to never reveal their true selves. Ideas, thoughts and feelings – you name it; repressed and pushed down, never to be seen again – like Miley Cyrus’ dignity, just with less tongue.
We do this out of fear – a fear of letting other people see who we really are on the inside.
To fully let yourself go, to fully allow other people into your world you must accept your own vulnerability. It is only when you become truly defenceless that you gain the power to be comfortable within your own skin.
Every aspect of your life will benefit from this change. Your relationships will be healthier, people will gravitate towards you and your popularity will skyrocket.
Fear is the only emotion that truly holds us back. It is a fire that feeds on the air that you breath and the fuel inside your mind. Without it, fear has no life force, it cannot do any harm, its impotence betrays the importance that you once gave it.
Once upon a time you stopped believing in scary monsters, so re-open the closet door that is your life and you will see that there is nothing to be afraid of.