I feel afraid a lot. Doing something big, or hard, or new, I feel overwhelmed with fear and nervousness. It grips me & makes me feel like I am not capable of functioning at my best, highest, level. I am not brave or bold woman by nature, but many of my dreams and goals require me to do things that scare the living daylights out of me or make me uncomfortable, or shiver and shake, but not because it’s cold, or give me a night of nightmares, or cause my hands to grip the steering wheel so tight my knuckles are white and my whole body is stiff, without even realizing it.

You know the feeling, don’t you? It’s a feeling we don’t like. Naturally, we try to get rid of that feeling as quickly as possible. But it’s ok to feel afraid. Relax a little, just let yourself feel afraid. Stop fighting it for one second. Here is a strategy I practice for facing fear. It takes me from feeling anxious and afraid, with the same thoughts swirling through my mind, to courageous, excited, happy, anticipative, and brave.

1: Give Thanks

When I feel afraid, I search my mind for something to feel grateful for! Often times it is the very opportunity that is making me feel afraid! I am so glad to be living life and doing something important enough to feel afraid, to be pushing and growing past what is in me now, towards the person I want to be. Sometimes it is difficult, but I challenge you that there is always something you will find! Try to find a few things. Now, ponder your gratefulness for these things, let it really fill you, and soak into your soul. Allow yourself to fully feel how grateful you are! Physically smile about the things you are grateful for! This will change your entire being! You will feel completely different.

2: Focus on Others

Before the feeling of fear seeps back in, shift your thoughts to others. How are they feeling? How can you serve them with your words and actions? Put yourself in their shoes, even if you don’t feel like it, and ask them about themselves, and encourage them. Chances are they if you’re in a situation that’s making you nervous, the people around you are too. Smile at them, be thoughtful towards them, help them feel comfortable and at ease, and like they’re doing great! Now you have taken all the focus off you and how you are feeling, and you are bearing alongside the people around you. You no longer feel afraid, because you aren’t looking inwards for how you feel, but are giving outwards, and showering others with a positive energy that only swells and grows!

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
― Nelson Mandela

Do you feel a bit of sweet peace coming on? This practice will absolutely shift your para-dime! It will take your thoughts off you and will begin to channel fear into positive energy into the situation. Being grateful that puts your heart and mind in an amazing place. Thinking of others, instead of yourself, makes you feel so much better! Every time you feel a glimmer of fear again, bring your focus back to gratefulness and others. Now you’ll feel full of fire to face the situation!

“Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up”
― Veronica Roth, Divergent

Most of the time, you are not afraid because you are doing something harmful to yourself, despite what your animal nature will try to tell you. Quite the contrary! Most of the time it is because you are doing something very good! Almost anything good, or worth doing is difficult. Fear is an affirmation that you are doing something right.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

Good job! Fear means you are pushing forward as a human! You are becoming a better version of yourself! You’re growing, you’re expanding! You’re putting yourself in a situation that could change the course of your life for the better! You are an amazing human being! You are capable of doing these things!

If you lived your whole life without ever once doing something that made you feel afraid, well, you have failed at living a life worth living. You never did anything worthy of being great! Can you imagine our world if no one ever stepped out in their comfort zone to do a thing that made afraid? Imagine if doctors never performed a surgery, because it made them feel nervous. Imagine if no one had ever tried to make flight possible because they were fearful? What if no one ever built something better, because it might fail? What if one never dared to love another person, because they were afraid? Try to picture a world in which no one ever stepped outside their comfort zone, ever in history? It would be a disappointing disaster. Outside your comfort zone is where you will do GREAT things! The things you were made to do, and are called to do!

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
― C. JoyBell C.

So lean into the fear. Feel it, embrace it. Turn it into a positive energy working in your favor. Fear is a sign that you are doing something right. It’s a great affirmation. You are are following your calling. You are becoming better than ever before! You are moving forward, you are working up! You are reaching out towards your dreams and goals. You are living a life worth living. You are going to be extraordinary!

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
— Nelson Mandela

Next time you are afraid, try this two-step strategy to face it: give thanks, and focus on others! Do you have any other strategies you use when you are afraid? I would love to hear + use them, please share in the comment box below!

XO, Juliet

Psalm 61:2
Psalm 56:3

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt