Have you ever been so afraid of a change that you let the fear hold you back? Did you stay in a job you didn’t love, a relationship that didn’t feel right, because you didn’t want to make things even worse?
If yes, then you’re not alone. Fear is something that everyone experiences. The fear of failure, the fear of not being good enough. But is this fear a warning sign, like your intuition telling you not to do something? Or is it based on limiting beliefs, which means that you should overcome it?
There might not be a definitive answer to this question, but I personally don’t believe in making decisions based on fear. Therefore, I want to state 5 powerful reasons to stop fear from holding you back.
Fear wants you to stay in your comfort zone
3 years ago, I left my old life behind because I believed that I deserved the chance to be happy. It was the best decision I ever made. But one change is not enough. We constantly need to move forward, and so I’m currently finding myself in a rut again.
Most of my day is spent doing work that I don’t love. That brings in money, but not happiness.
In this situation, I started asking myself: is it okay to quit something safe to try creating something better? Or should I stick with what I have, for fear of having nothing left at all?
An article in Psychology Today states that fear prefers that we stay in a familiar—even if painful—situation, rather than step into the unknown.
If you’re scared to let go of something, you tend to find every reason imaginable to stick with it. A job you hate, a relationship that doesn’t feel right. After all, it’s better to have money and a companion than to be broke and alone. Right?
Well, not really. By holding on to something that isn’t the best fit for you, you don’t even allow yourself the chance to find something better.
Fear makes you believe that you don’t deserve better
Sometimes, we stick with less than perfect options because we unconsciously believe that we don’t deserve any better. That a successful career and a perfect relationship are not for us, for example.
But this is a limiting belief that just keeps you from being happy!
Psychology Today states that fear influences the choices we make. Yet making decisions motivated by fear is flawed, if not dangerous; it will never lead to the healthy, fulfilling lives we crave.
If you secretly believe that you only deserve what you have, you’re letting fear hold you back from creating something better.
Think about it: why shouldn’t you find a better job if you quit the one you have right now? Why wouldn’t you be able to lead a life you love if you let go of aspects you don’t like?
There’s only one real answer to that: maybe you’re not good enough.
But you are. We all are. And it’s also completely normal to feel that way! So, accept that you’re scared and move on anyway. No matter what happens, you’ll always find a way to make it work!
Fear holds you back from trying
If you’re too afraid to get out of your comfort zone, you’ll never know what might have happened if you did. Trying can lead to failure, that’s true. But failure is just a hurdle along the way!
Our fear causes us to avoid any situation that may cause potential failure. But that also means that we don’t take advantage of opportunities.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by the “safety” you have right now. There is no such thing as safety because everything can change in a whim. I’ve known people who stuck with their mediocre job for years and years, just because it was safe. And suddenly, they found themselves out of work at 50 years old because the company closed.
There is no guarantee for anything in life. So, don’t let fear hold you back from trying new things because you’re afraid of losing something “safe”!
If you don’t try, you’ll always wonder: “what if I did?”. If you don’t try, you’ll never know how happy you might have been.
Fear tells you that it’s impossible
Fear holds you back by making you believe that you can’t make any changes. Instead of focusing on the abundance of possibilities out there, it makes you wallow in “I can’t” and “it’s impossible”.
Instead of being afraid, try to analyse your situation.
Maybe you’re struggling for money and can’t afford to quit your job right away. Maybe you’re married with kids and ending your relationship is not that easy.
In that case, you might need a bit of time to figure out a doable way to get out of your current and into a better situation. It’s not impossible, it just requires a bit of planning!
But what if you’ve saved a bunch of money doing a job you hate? Then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t just take the plunge and quit to free up space for something better.
Zen Habits phrased it like this: Having the fear is natural. Letting it stop you from going after your dreams is a tragedy.
Fear prevents you from following your instincts
People always tell me that things aren’t so bad. Sure, I don’t like my job, but who does? After all, we all just work to make money.
When I struggled with an unhealthy relationship once, my friends kept saying that they don’t get me because my then-boyfriend seemed so nice.
Oftentimes, fear holds you back by making you think that your feelings, dreams, and aspirations aren’t rational or valid. But there is so much wrong with that.
First of all, people telling you things like that often let fear reign over their lives, too. Or can you imagine someone like Marie Forleo saying that a job is only there to provide money? Probably not. So, don’t listen to those in whose footsteps you wouldn’t want to follow.
Second of all, we’re all different. And if something works for others, it won’t necessarily work for you. In France, it’s unfortunately quite normal to have a toxic environment at work. Bosses yell at you, blame you for things that are out of your control… And most people just deal with it. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the right decision for me.
According to Psychology Today, when you’re consumed with fear, gut instincts are hard if not impossible to recognize.
So, instead of focusing on the fear that’s holding you back, imagine what could happen if you just tried. While it’s good to be prepared for a negative outcome, we’re far better of thinking positively!
What do you think of these reasons to stop fear from holding you back? Please let me know in the comments and don’t forget to share this post on social media if you enjoyed it!