Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway

How to step outside your comfort zone and live your dreams

Man stands on top of mountain with sunset with hands up

I've always had an interesting relationship with fear in my life. Growing up, I never really called it fear, though. It's more like, "oh, I don't really like what's happening to my body right now. Maybe I shouldn't do this."

I felt this bodily sensation strongest when speaking in front of people and when I would set a goal a big goal for myself that I thought was outside of my current capability.

As I continued to grow, I realized that my fears controlled my life. In every aspect! I didn't even realize how much influence it had on my relationships, career, and income potential. It was almost like I was asleep to it.

I would wonder why everyone around me, so it seemed, were achieving their goals, buying homes, getting their brand-new BMW, and finding their dream job.

And it certainly doesn't help to scroll on social media to constantly compare yourself to other people who look like they "have it all together." The comparison syndrome can rob your happiness if you let it.

It was robbing mine until I realized my mental block.

I was afraid.

I was afraid to set big goals for myself. I was afraid to step outside of my comfort zone. I was afraid to walk up to women and introduce myself. Afraid of asserting and standing up for myself. I was afraid to apply to jobs because I felt like I wasn't even worthy enough to put my name in the hat.

What a dumb game! I was counting myself out before I even stepped foot out into the game of life.

My life was an exact representation of the quote Earl Nightingale said: "Most people tiptoe their way through life, hoping they make it safely to death."

As a result, I felt stuck, complacent, and even envious toward others around me accomplishing so much.

Luckily, I started to recognize this bodily sensation that had been with me all my life and called it what it was: fear. So, I began to aggressively study it in books and in my own life experience.

Because nothing in life changes until you face it.

The first book I picked up was Feel the Fear… and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. As I read, I became aware of my fears I didn't even know I had. On top of that, she shared powerful tools to overcome them.

As I put the tools to practice, day-by-day – something happened. I realized that fear was an illusion. It was something that my brain unconsciously told me was terrible, but through understanding – I could overcome it, and my life got better.

The strange thing about fear is that when you face it, the universe has a peculiar way of turning your nervousness into excitement. And then, after you face it, you realize there was nothing to fear in the first place.

Now here's the thing: knowing and doing are entirely different. You can know this all you want, but you have to train your brain's fight-or-flight response (which is known as your amygdala) to calm down in the moment by basically saying to yourself, "nope, I'm in control here, not you."

"I want this for myself despite how uncomfortable this situation makes my body feel."

Sounds easy, but as we all know, it's not. But with understanding and practice, it gets a lot easier!

As Susan states in her book, she says "If you have not been successful in dealing with fear [you've] interpreted fear as a signal to retreat rather than as a green light to move ahead."

Over time as you begin to overcome your fears, your brain begins to neurologically rewire itself – building new pathways that reinforce the corresponding pattern of thinking that allows you to overcome fears – thus making you mentally stronger as you continue.

Not only does the physical structure of your brain change over time, but it even gives you a psychological benefit of yielding you confidence in every aspect of your life.

Confidence in knowing that you have everything you need to meet the challenges that may arise in your day.

All in all, your relationship with fear will dramatically alter. You may still feel uncomfortable feelings in your body from setting big goals or speaking up for yourself, but you will have a better understanding of how to push through – because you know there's actually nothing to fear except fear itself.

As Susan says, "pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness."

When you continue to overcome each fear, you will feel what it feels like on the other side. And this feeling is freedom.

Freedom to live life on your terms.

As Will Smith once said, "God placed the best things in life on the other side of fear."

So, are you tiptoeing through life, or are you really living?


1.) Think of a fear you may have. It could be asserting yourself in relationships, applying for promotion, setting a big goal for yourself, or even public speaking.

2.) Write down your fear on a notebook or sticky note. Now relax. If you are sitting in a chair, ensure both feet are on the floor and put your hands on your knees or thighs. Close your eyes and mentally rehearse the goal or fear you have but see yourself in your mind's eye gracefully overcoming your fear.

What would it feel like? Who's around you? Are you celebrating a job well done with family and friends? Are you smiling from ear to ear because of joy and satisfaction with yourself? Use all of your five senses, if you can, for added impact on your subconscious mind. Do this for about 5 minutes.

3.) Now, open your eyes and take baby steps toward overcoming this fear. Whether it be setting up that important meeting, picking up Feel the Fear... and Do It Anyway, or even setting up a time to find people who've overcome the same fear you have.

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- Chazz Scott, Mindset & Resilience Coach, Founder of Supra Mentem, LLC.

Supra Mentem, LLC. provides corporate training, seminars, leadership and entrepreneur coaching, and workshops designed to provide effective strategies to propel individuals toward their potential personally and professionally.