How to Overcome the Fear of Doing Something New
I am working on a new project.
It’s something that has been on my mind for over a year now. I have spent time on it here and there but am nowhere near where I should be on its progress. At one point I had a detailed plan on how I was going to complete it but failed to follow it when I got “busy.” Then summer came, and it was pushed even further down my priority list.
I said things like, “I’m still doing research.” and “I’m thinking through a few new ideas” and “I don’t have time to give it my full attention but when I do…” I thought these were excellent explanations as to why I didn't see progress, but let’s face it; I was procrastinating.
Procrastination is nothing more than fear.
Setting aside this project this summer to spend quality time with my kids is legit, but when I was honest with myself, I realized that I simply enjoy doing things I know I can do well. This new project is new territory and will push me out of my comfort zone. I’ve let fear keep me from taking necessary steps towards the unknown.
The two common fears that others and I face are:
Fear of Failure
Many of us fear we will not live up to the expectations of others. Whether it’s a boss, family member, or friend, we don’t want to let them down. Worse than that is the dread of not living up to the expectations of ourselves. We wonder, “Do I have what it takes to do this?” “What if there is a gap between what I hope it will be versus what it becomes? If so, what does that say about me?”
Fear of Success
While success is great, it brings with it new responsibilities. We tend to worry whether we can sustain that success. It may require time or effort that we don’t have or are willing to give. Accomplishments are also accompanied by new expectations from others and ourselves. Thoughts such as, “Do I have what it takes to it again?” and “What if I’m not worthy of the success I’ve achieved?” keep us from moving forward.
When we move out of our comfort zone, and we’ll experience the thrill of expanding our limits.
Here are a few things that will help:
· Journal your fears. Write about your fear and its origin. Spend time to uncover what terrifies you and record it. Reflect on how it has held you back in the past. Often when we write things down or talk about them with a friend, they lose their power. Plus, once you get specific, you can effectively address them in prayer.
· Counter fearful thoughts. Trusting in God is our ultimate remedy for fear. When you hear thoughts such as “You’re not enough.” and “It won’t turn out as great as you imagine.”, stop them in their tracks and choose to think something else. Read, speak, memorize, and often refer to the promises of the Bible and receive them as personal pledges from God. You can download these Powerful Scriptures to Combat Fear to get started.
· Create small goals. My friend Kimberly Coyle says “Peace rarely descends like a dove. Instead it is practiced through small acts of courage which put fear in its rightful place.” Instead of tackling your fear all at one time, take small steps towards overcoming it and achieving your goal.
· Tell people what you are doing. Share your fear with a friend and announce what you are going to do about it. When you included others, they can provide encouragement and accountability.
Don’t be fooled into thinking “That’s just the way I am.” or “This is the way I am wired.” No matter what your Myers Briggs or Enneagram type, fear should never drive your decisions for yourself, your family, and your future. Be willing to dig into the root of fear so that you can overcome it.
Over the next few weeks, here on the blog and social media, I will be giving you a sneak peek into what I am working on. Saying yes to this project has meant tackling my fears and making some changes to the things I am already doing. Stay tuned; I am so excited to share more details with you soon!
DOWNLOAD SCRIPTURES TO COMBAT FEAR
Face your fears with the Word of God. Download this FREE sheet called Powerful Scriptures to Combat Fear
For more on the topic listen to:
Episode 61 Facing Your Fears
Join Elise Daly Parker, Kimberly Coyle and I as we share our experience with fear and a few tips on how to move out of your comfort zone and expand your boundaries.