3 Tips for Overcoming Fears

Have you ever been so scared to try something that you backed out and missed an experience?
I think everyone has at some point in their lives. You are so uncertain about the outcome of something so you shrink back from an opportunity. I'm not here to tell you to always "step out" because sometimes it's best to listen to your spirit and not participate. Honestly, it's really hard to know when you should sign up for that club or go to that event. Below are some practical tips to help you evaluate the situation.

You’ve got to face your fears to become someone greater. If you’re trying to improve yourself, you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone! Take risks! I've faced so many fears this past month and i have matured greatly. Here are two (to name a few) ways I pushed through. 

#1 New Environment. I was so nervous to travel with my family for a couple weeks, It meant leaving my friends and all of my weekly activities. Plus, I didn’t want to leave my dog. I was also nervous about what would happen away from home. Was it safe? I didn't know. 
#2 Social Stress. Have you ever been in an awkward conversation or atmosphere? I have many times...and on this occasion while traveling I was sure one would happen that night. I tried so hard to have my parents let me stay home. But experience stretches you, and I was about to find that out. 
#3 Visual Fear. Sometimes, when we watch or experience something scary it's our fault; we bought the movie ticket, or we hung out with those people. But other times it's out of our hands. It all started the weekend away from home. It was my choice whether I wanted to watch two new movies, and I wasn't sure what to do. They looked alright, but I knew both of them had something a little scary in them. This was a fine line decision... My parents were ok with it, they even encouraged it. But I knew where I was mentally and emotionally, and I didn't know if i was ready to expose myself. But experience stretches you.
#4 Legitimate Fear.  I watched the movies...(which I don't regret, but definitely stretched me) and while still in 14-year-old shock from the previous day, I found myself on the edge of catastrophe (literally!) 2,000 feet in the air. Well, probably more like 20. There i was on the beginners rope course standing dead silent on the first obstacle; a rope bridge. Go ahead and laugh- it seemed easier from the ground. I was even more intimidated when younger kids would pass me and go to the more difficult obstacles. I remember walking step by step on one particular obstacle where you dint have any ropes or net to hold on to. They were like little leap pads in the air. I had to shift from one to another without tripping. I was having enough difficulty walking on bridges in my thick sandals, but now…i was in for it. I took the first giant gap leap to the single lilly pad floating in the air. I saw dozens of tiny arcade hunters below it, and i kind of wanted to warn them that i was about to land in the ski ball machine. I took another step and realized my fateful problem. My feet didn’t fit entirely on the leap pads! I saw my foot shift back and fourth. I wasn’t balanced right.  how could i shift? My weight was only on one foot and i clung to my harness for life. I was certain my favorite pair of shoes would fall off at any moment. Well, this is the end of Candice… I told myself soothingly. It’s not such a bad way to fall… I coaxed. You’ll probably break your legs and get a trip to the hospital, Then you can get prosthetics and be a champion runner! I began to consider. Either way, i thought, I would have to endure pain.  So i asked myself…was it worse to stand here and look like a chicken? Or break my legs and be a hero? Definitely the second, i concluded. I stepped to the next lilly pad feeling a little more confident. Then came the next, and the next. Before i knew it, i was just two steps away from finishing! I looked straight ahead and took my eyes off my feet like all the pros do…only to slip and brace myself back on the leap pad. Great. (note: I actually love rope courses and heights but NOT in those shoes!) 

As you can see, there were many fears surrounding me. I’m not saying these are big fears (because they’re really not!) But maybe like you’ve experienced, it doesn’t matter what the fear is. Fear is fear and you feel like you can’t control it. Adults will tell you, "It's all in your head!" But that really doesn't change anything. It doesn't take away the fact that you are terrified. Sure, i could’ve developed a cold shoulder and stayed home from traveling. But I would have no idea what I missed! Sure, I could’ve made a long pitiful speech about my poor health and stayed home from that event. But that experience taught me to step out of my comfort zone and enjoy people.
Sure, I could’ve stayed home from the movies or gone in my room. But I am glad that I decided to watch it...not for the purpose of showing everyone "I could." But here's the thing... If you keep waiting for yourself to become more mature in order to do something, you'll never get there.
Because the experience is what matures you.
Of course I could’ve said no to the rope course…but I conquered it! (Next time with the right shoes!)

Facing fears is something so stressful and yet rewarding at the same time.
I recommend three things.

#1 Confront it. What are you afraid of? (Person, place, "what if" etc)

 #2 Think logically. Could that really happen in real life?

#3 Talk to someone. What do you parents think? Are there any real concerns??

If you've confronted your fear, evaluated it, and your parents advised you, then jump off the deck.
Remember that most likely, that camp or summer job will MATURE you.

Don't miss another lifetime opportunity! 


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