Lately I’ve been operating miles away from my comfort zone and, after chatting about how far I’ve come and how much has changed for the better with David, I thought it would be a nice idea to create a blog post sharing some of the tips I find helpful when trying to overcome a fear.
Everyone has their weak points and issues they’d like to get rid of. You are not alone! These are a few pieces of advice that I’ve found useful; whenever I feel like something is a bit daunting and find myself thinking ‘I would never do that in a million years’, I think about my little list and take a good stab at it anyway… I hope you find it useful too!
1) Dive right in!
For me, baby steps always seem like a good idea, but I always end up finding a way to put off the inevitable. Recently I’ve discovered the best thing to do is not think about it and just go for it. I’m terrible for overthinking things, which only seems to result in a list of reasons why I shouldn’t do it. Being cautious is ok, but it’s important to know the fine line between caution and fear. Every time you’re debating over something you’re nervous about doing, pay attention to your thoughts… Is it fear talking? Or genuine good sense? In all honesty, what’s the worst that’s going to happen?
2) Persistence is key.
If at first you don’t succeed… you know where I’m going here. What people often forget is that failure is your friend… and it’s a really important part of learning. If you think about it, you’ve been failing all your life! You learned how to crawl before you managed to walk, didn’t you? And look at you now! The way I see it is that if you’re not failing, you’re not trying. What is life if it’s not full of challenges and obstacles? Make it your business to fail. Then pick yourself up, dust yourself down and give it another go… I bet you do it miles better next time, and you’ll be so proud of yourself for not giving up at the first hurdle!
3) Read up…
Never underestimate someone else’s advice. There are so many books out there that are written for problems just like yours; have you ever gone to the bookshop and picked one up? No one likes standing in the ‘Self Help’ aisle, but it’s the first step to working through a big problem that potentially change your life. Doesn’t sound like such a stupid place to be seen standing in now, does it? There are books on how to become more confident, how to stop getting upset over small things, how to handle crippling fears and … how to find a man, naturally 😉 I’ve collected quite a few books from here over the past few years and whilst I don’t read them religiously or all in one go, I do use them now and again when I see old habits creeping back in. You don’t have to agree with everything you discover, but you’ll find that you’re not alone which makes life a lot easier. You might even find a little golden nugget of wisdom that changes your perspective or encourages you to keep trying.
4) Ask for help!
I am terrible for not asking for help when I need it. I’m always super keen to give it, but somehow, when I need it I often find myself choking over the words and doing anything to manage the situation by myself. What’s that about?! If you’ve ever helped someone out, you’ll know that it’s not a big deal and often it’s rewarding because you know that you’ve gotten someone out of a sticky situation that they were dreading. Recently I’ve been trying to set up various things on our new Etsy team forum and I was starting to feel overwhelmed. Rather than letting myself wallow in it I reached out and got some incredible advice, great support and I’ve certainly made a couple of new friends, not to mention solving the problem… Once I got over myself, I made the mamoth task at hand something really simple and much more manageable. I’m still a bit anxious, but I’m not freaking out now 😉
5) Set small achievable goals and celebrate them!
If you’re getting yourself into a pickle over something I think the best thing to do is break it down into several small goals and make sure you celebrate each time you complete one. Sit down and spend one hour revising. If you do it without looking at twitter and pinterest and distracting yourself, reward yourself. I’m all for going out for a bubble tea or googling nonsense for 15 minutes as reward for small tasks completed! I find that working this way is more manageable because I’m not going to sit down and try and do everything at once; that’s insane! After a period of concentration like this you need a good break 🙂 Once you’ve done 1 hour, the 2nd one will be easier to get through too… If your finding that your lack of confidence is holding you back, why not try and speak to one stranger today? It could be complimenting your barista at your local coffee shop or helping an old lady with crossing the road… make it your goal to speak to someone new today and reward that. You might feel a little bit silly to start with, but it gets easier the more you do it. Plus you’ll be amazed at how nice people really are once you’ve gotten over your shyness 😀 Strangers are just friends you’ve not made yet after all, heehee!
I hope you find my blog post helpful! It’s great to have something written up for me to look back on when I feel like I’m having a bad day too 😉 If you have any tips or advice on what you’ve found helpful when trying to overcome a fear, we’d love to hear it!
Good luck with getting out of your comfort zone … It’ll be worth it in the end, trust me!