Every Day, Do Something That Scares You

March 7, 2018

Fear is a force that can push you to do great things, or paralyze you. It can lead you to come up with ways to take care of yourself and face the danger or fence yourself off from the world. To make sure fear doesn’t grow uncontrolled, you have to face it head-on. And therein lies the challenge –  do something that scares you every day.

People who love you probably won’t encourage you to do that. After all, they want to protect you. In fact, so often loved ones try to persuade you not to take risks or experiment the discomfort of facing your fears.

“A man who feels fear in the absence of danger, invents the dangers to justify his fear.”

-Alain-

They do it with good intentions. Fear isn’t exactly a pleasant sensation, though there are plenty of people today who are addicted to risk-taking. In normal circumstances, people experience fear as an unsettling feeling that they want to get rid of as fast as possible. The bad thing is that that same feeling drives us to adopt stagnant lifestyles.

Do something that scares you – leave your comfort zone

Your comfort zone is anywhere in which you can easily control everything. It is another word for that which is routine, well-known, familiar, etc. Consequently, your comfort zone invites you to stay there, floating along, without challenging yourself, growing, or moving forward.

do something that scares you

That being said, it is healthy to have some spaces that you consider comfort zones. These are physical or emotional spaces that allow you to set your worries aside. In your comfort zone, you can forget about making decisions, and enjoy the little things. In your comfort zone, your only concern is tranquility. These spaces are absolutely necessary for processing experiences, assimilating them, and finding balance.

What can happen, however, is that your comfort zones become bubbles that keep you from enriching experiences. They operate like a refuge that you never want to leave. They keep fears at bay, even those that you have to face and overcome to grow. Getting over certain fears can also be crucial to reduce your suffering. That’s why when someone tells you, “do something that scares you,” what they are basically doing is inviting you to leave your comfort zone.

Fear is everywhere

At first, fear is valid as a self-preservation mechanism. When it grows uncontrolled, it starts to invade your soul like a weed. It has a unique characteristic – it feeds on itself. Fear tends to increase and grow on its own. If you don’t put a stop to it, it can increase disproportionately. 

Of course, we all need a bit of fear to live. But, we run the risk of succumbing to it as well. That often happens imperceptibly. For example, you are afraid of public speaking so you build a life for yourself in which you never have to do it, or you avoid any situation that would require public speaking. This sounds logical. What isn’t logical, however, is that maybe you are giving up opportunities, big and small, just because of your fear.

This can happen with more relevant issues as well. Like suffering, for example. You are afraid of suffering, so you pass over a thousand beautiful experiences in life just to protect yourself. Or you are afraid of being alone, so you give up your freedom.

Do something that scares you

The main point is that the only way to conquer your fear is to face it. When you face your fears, you will realize that you are capable, and you will become braver. Courage also feeds on itself.

In addition, when you do something that scares you, you start to discover other facets of yourself. You will increase your confidence and also your self-love. It feels good to be capable of overcoming limits. That’s not to say that there aren’t different levels of fear. You can’t start with something that absolutely terrifies you. If you aren’t ready, you will end up more afraid than when you started, instead of nurturing your courage.

man watching

So, doing something that scares you every day can be effective. To do this, you have to start with small fears. For example, if you are afraid of the dark, challenge yourself to sit for a few minutes in total darkness. You will come out of that challenge feeling a little stronger. Or just walk for a while in a place you aren’t familiar with and where you don’t feel entirely sure of yourself.

You are the only one who knows where to start. Will you give it a try?