“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” – W. Clement Stone
I personally experienced that this is so true. I have always been one of those persons being afraid of a lot of things: Failure, rejection, extreme sports, spiders,.. I guess it’s also because I’m one of those people that are always overthinking everything.
I’m actually really proud of myself though. I feel that I got so much better at dealing with my fears. Let me share a little story with you:
As you can see from my last blog post, I recently had been on a trip to a surfcamp in Morocco and there had been quite a lot of things I was scared about before going there: Travelling on my own (in case there will be difficulties), flying (never felt good up there), travelling to an islamic country as a women alone and surfing itself (because of the waves). With so many fears you might think: Why would anyone book this trip? Well.. actually I wanted to face my fears, I was so ready to get a break from my routine and to challenge myself. When I finally booked my trip it was pretty spontaneous though and I wasn’t thinking about the details too much. All I knew was I wanted to visit Morocco, so one day I just booked my flight and my accommodation. And what happened then? First of all everything went wrong.. I went to the wrong airport, my flight got cancelled and I had to organize everything new. But I was lucky and could stay at someone’s place until my next flight and somehow everything just worked out in the end. And when I then was on the plane, I was not scared anymore. I guess it’s because I was so relieved to finally be on my flight at all. I was so calm and actually enjoyed the view from the window and tried to see the flight as a big adventure instead of something scary. I was as relaxed as I’d never been on a flight before, this surprised me a lot. It’s like my fear was washed away simply by all the trouble I had before. When I arrived in Morocco, so much happened again that I had not planned until I finally arrived at the surfcamp. In the beginning, I really also felt a little uncomfortable in Morocco as a woman because of everything you hear in the media but as I stayed there longer I was okay, everyone was just so kind and I fell in love with the country and its people. This made me realize again that the media just in general spreads so much fear. To find out if something is true it’s best though to make your own experiences. When it came to surfing, I just turned of my thoughts somehow. Since my first surf experiences I always had this huge panic when being in the waves with my board but this time when a wave was building up in front of me, crushing down on me and made me swallow lots of water instead of panicing and leaving the water, I just didn’t think twice and went on getting into the waves again. What happened was that I got hit by so many waves that in the end I kinda got used to it and felt that while it’s not pleasant, of course, it’s nothing you will die from either but something simply necessary if you want to get better at surfing. We sometimes just need to get through something hard if we want to get somewhere in life.
Please use this as a little motivation: If I, being as chicken-hearted as I am, can do it, you can, too.
The two things that I feel really help me when it comes to fears funnily are pretty much the opposite: One of them is turning my thoughts off and just taking action, just as I did while surfing. I also once did this when taking a huge spider on my hand. After this I thought “What was I just doing?” I still don’t really know.. I just saw it and put it on my hand without thinking. People often say that you shouldn’t think of the worst case scenarios but actually the second thing that I find helpful is imagining them really detailled. What happened with me with my flight to Morocco pretty much was the worst case scenario: Wrong airport, cancelled flight, waiting 2 days in a city with no place to go,.. but in the end it worked out somehow. I like to use this technique in the most different situations. When I wasn’t able to find a job last year for example, I was in so much fear but when I came to the conclusion that even if the worst case happened and I can’t find anything, I still wouldn’t have to starve and live under a bridge. What happened was that I got so much more relaxed, was able to take new actions, and suddenly new doors opened.
Facing your fears and hopefully beating or at least being able to deal with them better makes you grow so much as a person. You earn a lot more new skills and you’re able to take more changes and make bigger experiences in life which will probably contribute to your satisfaction and happiness. So I recommend you to go out there, to do what you’ve always wanted to do but maybe didn’t because fear was holding you back. You will never regret trying something out as much as not trying at all and thinking “What if..” later on, I believe.