Practicing

Do Something That Scares You Every Day

“Do something that scares you every day.”

I forget when or where I first read this piece of advice, but it’s changed my life ever since.

We’re all afraid of certain things. Fears are what we run away from or what we try to avoid, or not think about. They hold us back from reaching certain goals or accomplishing particular dreams.

I know what being afraid is like. And so I didn’t take that piece of advice seriously at first—until I understood what it really meant. I finally grasped what it means to do something that scares me every day, what that looks like in practical terms, and how my life would change if I were to act on it.

Let’s take this statement and break it down.

“Do something that scares you every day.”

Point number one: Be more proactive in your life.  Being proactive means that you’re self-aware and that you can—and do—act with purpose. You don’t just allow things to happen to you, or simply react to situations in life. This means that you’re not running away from your fears or avoiding uncomfortable situations. You are proactively going after your fears and overcoming them.

This brings us to point number two: Face your fears. Don’t let things you’re scared of get the better of you and control how you live your life. They can be big fears or little fears. Maybe you’re afraid of confrontation and tend to compromise more often than you should or sweep things under the rug, just so you won’t have to deal with conflict. Maybe you’ve been emotionally or physically injured, and certain situations or movements scare you. Or maybe you’re afraid of changing your day-to-day schedule for the better because you fear uncertainty.

When you’ve nailed down what exactly your fears are, face them head-on. If you’re scared of public speaking, go speak “in public” on a video conferencing call with friends or even strangers. When you disagree with others, take a deep breath, and calmly, clearly share your views. If you’re afraid of changing your schedule, try picking one small thing to change each day.

This leads us to the third and final point: Be consistent. This, I believe, is what actually makes this principle powerful. It’s not just being proactive or facing your fears, although both of those are really good starting points. You have to commit to facing your fears every day. You have to stick to it. Consistency is key. It’s hard to overcome fears. It’s hard to do something that you’re afraid of, even if it just scares you a little. Fighting your fears is not easy because it can drain your emotions. Fears may come back with a vengeance if you just poke them every now and then. I’ve tried that before. It’s no fun. That’s why you have to be consistent in living out this simple, powerful principle.

As you overcome one fear after another, you’ll understand yourself better and become a stronger person. And the best part is, looking fear in the eye will eventually get easier too.

So, do something that scares you every day. Get after your fears until you’ve overcome them.

Then pick another one. And start all over again.

-Odelia C

Photo by Benjamin Wedemeyer on Unsplash

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