“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
This week I did something outside my comfort zone: getting behind a video camera. Every part of me wanted to call it off, but a little voice in my head kept saying “face your fear.”
Taking a chance and facing your fears doesn’t necessarily mean living on the edge, making reckless decisions, or doing things that are extremely dangerous and irresponsible. It’s more about facing the things that make you lack confidence in yourself. For instance, public speaking, change, rejection, or meeting new people.
By facing a fear this week, I gained more appreciation for doing so every once in a while.
The bottom line is that if you manage to spend your whole life running away from your fears–never facing them–you deprive yourself of growth and your future of possibilities.
Why it’s important to take a chance and face your fears
- You have nothing to lose. In the above quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” Remember, taking a chance is the beginning of change. So, as long as you have a growth mindset, you’ll be able to recognize and appreciate the lessons learned or the personal growth that is gained, whether or not taking a chance was successful. Moreover, you develop the motivation to, thereafter, face more fears and take more chances.
- You might never know. The quote, “I’d rather live a life of ‘oh wells’ than ‘what ifs'” really summarizes the point, you might never know. If you don’t take chances in life, you may never know what might have happened if you did. As a result, your life is full of ‘what ifs.’ What if I had done this? Or done that? Rather than being able to say things like “Oh well” it didn’t work out. But at least I tried.
- Life is short. Okay, there is no easy way to put this: None of us is getting any younger, and we literally don’t have all the time in the world to take a chance on certain things. So, as difficult as it might be, when an opportunity comes to take a chance and face a fear, don’t let it slip away. After all, you have nothing to lose, only much to gain.