How many times have you procrastinated on that creative project? Have you applied for that job position you’ve been eyeing for some time now? Why haven’t you booked that trip yet? Did you talk yourself out of moving across the country? Talk yourself out of skydiving? Did you pass up on that potential relationship, even though you clearly felt a connection? Often, the underlying reason for all these scenarios is FEAR. It’s crippling, isn’t it? I cannot even tell you how many times I have talked myself out of some amazing opportunities. There was always some kind of ‘logical’ reason as to why I couldn’t do it. Fear creates the illusion of a safety blanket. Nice, fuzzy, warm. HEAVY. Heavy is what it really is, and it weighs you down. It holds you back and keeps you stagnant. That ‘safe’ space is your comfort zone, and the real magic happens outside of it. This topic felt right as my first guest column because I too have procrastinated, hid, and denied my own talent based on fear. But if this year has taught me anything so far, it is the simple fact that it is never too late to go after what you deserve!
Here are five tips that I have learned on the path to finding my own courage:
1. ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR HEART AND INTUITION.
Not every decision you make must be logical. Do you tend to overthink and psych yourself out? If you do, just stop. Don’t listen to what your brain is saying at that moment. Be mindful and search deep in your heart. What do you feel in your gut? If your heart and intuition are pleading with you to at least try, please do yourself some service. You deserve it.
2. TAKE ACTION.
You can be afraid AND brave. I promise it’s allowed! And it won’t take away your credit of courage either. If you have a desire to do something, but you are afraid, do it anyway! I can almost assure you that it ends up being the best decision you’ve made. Of course, if it’s with the best intentions.
3. BABY STEPS.
It is perfectly fine to ease yourself out of your comfort zone. Want to get into professional photography but don’t know where to start? Start with a camera! Watch tutorials, practice with loved ones, study styles and creative ideas. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We all have a starting point. This step helped me tremendously. I would have never imagined sharing my writing before this year and honestly, it all started with a new IG page. Sometimes, all you need to do is take that first step of initiative and the rest will fall into place.
4. GET COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE.
To open more doors, you must expand your horizons. Naturally, this is going to feel uncomfortable. It’s unfamiliar, unknown, and very different to what you may be accustomed to. Expect the anxiety. Expect the doubts. Expect the overwhelming urge to run away from it. But whatever you do, stick it out through all the discomforts. You made the decision to step out of your comfort zone for a reason!
5. ENJOY THE PROCESS.
Honestly, it’s going to be one hell of a ride, so you might as well have fun while doing it! Don’t take yourself too seriously. Know that you will make mistakes. There will be trial and error, INDEFINITELY. Don’t expect fruits without labor. Be patient. It’s all a learning process. Be present in the moment and enjoy the small victories. The process reveals more about yourself than you may have ever known.
Hope my mini pep talk has you pumped and ready to take over the world. Don’t allow fear to hold you back anymore. Continue to push the envelope. Invent, reinvent. Stand in your power and know that there is no limit to what you can do. Be great and celebrate yourself!