A year ago my life was COMPLETELY different than it is now. I was working a job that didn’t incorporate my strengths or light me up. Every day I would clock in at my 9-5 and count down until Friday. These days my life looks a lot different. I spend my days working on projects I LOVE and make my own schedule. I wanted to start my business for a long time before I ever actually did. It felt like too big of a project. It was a scary ass goal and I let my fear stop me from living the life that I really wanted. This story has a happy ending though, I did end up going after it and now I have a business that I am freaking crazy about. Here are some of my tips for setting big goals without fear.
So many people won’t ever reach their big ass goals because they don’t get started. ANY action is better than no action. You need to start building some momentum towards your goals so tell your fear to STFU and get started TODAY. Anything you’re telling yourself that is keeping you from taking action is just an excuse. I wanted to start my own business for years before I got started. I wish I had spent that time taking steps towards building the life I want but instead I spent months thinking about it and going back and forth. Make a decision to go after your dreams and get started now. If you’re taking action you’re learning but if you’re just sitting around thinking about it you’re just wasting time. Conquering fear means deciding to take action even if it’s imperfect and really freaking messy at first. Eventually, you’ll figure out what to do but only if you start taking action.
Self-doubt is always in the back of my brain and it gets especially loud when I am trying something new or going after a big dream. Choosing to surrender to the process and trusting myself helps me push past the self-doubt and keep pushing forward. I choose not to worry and trust that if I keep putting in the work things will work out in my favor. You can decide to just trust and believe that your journey is all working for you and everything is going to work out perfectly. Choosing that belief takes away the fear of failure in our brains and helps us move forward without fear. If your big goal is just really scaring the crap out of you decide to surrender and trust that everything is going to work out OK. In fact, decide it’s going to be better than OK and all of your dreams are going to come true.
Have a Vision
Create a clear vision of what your goal is, why you want to achieve it and what it will look and feel like. When I was starting my business I was obsessed with the idea of quitting my job and working for myself. I held a clear vision in my mind of what it would feel like to be my own boss and control my own schedule. I visualized it constantly and that was key to helping me keep going when it felt impossible. If you’re setting big scary ass goals you need to be able to hold a strong vision of what it will look like when you achieve it. Use that vision to counteract your fear and anytime you start to doubt yourself choose to visualize the future you want instead. Write in your journal how it will feel when you achieve your goal. Plan out exactly how you will celebrate, who you will tell first and what it will be like. The clearer your vision is the better. Get it in your mind and obsess over it and use it to drown out the fear you have in your brain.
Make a Plan
Once you decide to take action you need to start figuring out what steps you’re going to take. Making a plan can help make the big ass goals you’re setting feel more obtainable and take some of the fear away. Break your ultimate goal down into smaller steps. I break my year-long goals down into 90-day chunks. I find that giving yourself three months gives you more of a sense of urgency than if you give yourself a whole year. It takes away some of the time you would spend procrastinating and messing around. Write out clear steps you can take towards your goal for the next 90 days. Focusing on one week at a time will help you keep making progress. The key is not to become overwhelmed by how much you have to do to get to your goal by breaking it down into smaller chunks. If thinking about the big picture makes you go into panic mode then only focus on the top three things you need to do RIGHT NOW and forget about the rest. Become micro-focused only on what you need to do this week.
If you go through life never challenging yourself and staying in your comfort zone you aren’t going to grow into the badass B you were meant to be. If you’re scared to be uncomfortable you are going to miss out on so many opportunities that life has for you. Don’t let fear stop you from doing things you want to do. Challenging yourself by doing something that scares the f#$% out of you will teach you coping skills and you’ll be better equipped to handle the future stress that pops up in your life. It’s like practice for when the shit hits the fan. Plus, if you always do things that are easy your life is going to be freaking boring.
Being well prepared can help calm your nerves. Do some research about the scary thing you want to take on. Spend some time googling or watching YouTube videos. Talk to other people who have done the thing that scares you. Being prepared can help alleviate some of the worry and fear you have because you will know what to expect. Write out a list of all the things that scare you and then write our why you don’t need to have those fears. Spend some time addressing your own concerns so you are prepared to tackle them.
Pretend It Doesn’t Scare You
When I got my tattoo I was terrified. It was something I really wanted but anything needle-related makes me extremely anxious. However, when I walked into the tattoo shop I pretended I wasn’t completely freaking out inside. I wanted to break down crying but I just walked in there and tried to look like I wasn’t that scared. If I had let myself fall apart in a crying mess I probably would have gotten myself worked up and felt even worse. Sometimes pretending you already feel how you want to feel can help get you on the right track.
Think About the End Result
Think about why you want to get over your fear and how it will benefit you. If you’re scared of flying going on an airplane can open the doors for lots of future traveling. Ask yourself why you want to do the scary thing and write down the reasons. Think about how amazing you are going to feel afterward when you have accomplished your goal even though it scared the heck out of you. I was SO happy when I got my tattoo. It was something I had really wanted and I finally had it! The fact that I conquered a huge fear was an awesome feeling.
Ask for Support
Sometimes just admitting your scared can help. Ask a friend or family member to go with you. Let them know that your scared and why. Be picky about the people you ask for support, though. Think about the person in your life that makes you feel inspired and empowered. They are the person you want to confide in. If you don’t have the right support person hire a professional. You can read my article about going to the therapist here. Don’t let yourself near people who will feed your fear or take away your empowerment.
Adult life can be freaking boring. Can you imagine how fulfilled you will feel if you stay in your comfort zone doing the same old thing all the time just because it’s easy? Conquering a fear can be exciting and it’s a totally badass thing to do. If you’re in a funk sometimes overcoming a fear can shake things up. I’m not talking about being reckless, I’m just talking about the excitement of being outside your comfort zone.
I used to be scared of practically everything. I’ve had panic attacks over everything from death and dying to buying the wrong peanut butter. My biggest fear in my whole life was elevators and I didn’t step a foot in one for over six years. Now I work on the 5th floor of a hospital and I take the elevator multiple times a day (I try to take the stairs for exercise but my laziness gets me). I hated that my fear had power over where I could and couldn’t go. If you have a fear that is affecting your life think about trying to take some steps to tackle it. I know it can seem overwhelming and impossible to overcome fear but it isn’t. Think about all the people that have conquered their fears and let that inspire you.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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