Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do”. In other words, I think she was saying “Do the things that scare you the most!”. Susan Jeffers took Roosevelt’s quote further when she published her book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.
Jeffers talks about achieving your goals even with anxiety running in the background.
Pushing through the anxiety
Jeffers and Roosevelt tell us that even if we feel anxiety about tackling something we want to do, we should do it anyway.
Unhelpful thinking and the resulting feelings have the power to paralyse us and stop us doing the things we’re passionate about.
Our minds come up with all sorts of thoughts which throw us for a loop. That doesn’t mean the thoughts are true.
We can try to challenge our unhelpful thoughts or, if that doesn’t help, we can choose to allow the unhelpful thoughts and feelings to be present.
Then whilst they’re present, we continue doing the thing we want to do anyway!
Why doing things when scared helps you grow
I very much believe that if the thought of doing something scares me, I should go ahead and do it.
Doing something new or unknown is likely to bring up anxiety or nervousness. However, I believe that pushing through those feelings is where the growth lies.
How will you know you can’t do something unless you try?
How will you know if your fears are unfounded unless you face them?
If you can move through the fear and anxiety, you’ll learn that a lot of what holds us back is actually ourselves and nobody or nothing else!
What’s the worst that could happen?
When you do the things that scare you the most, it’s a win-win situation. Here’s why:
- If you do the thing you’ve been wanting to do and you enjoy it, then that’s great!
- If you do the thing you’ve been wanting to do and you don’t enjoy it, then at least you’ve learnt you don’t like it and you don’t have to carry on with it.
- If you do the thing and happen to be good at it, great! You can either choose to carry on, or you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
- If you do the thing and you’re not good at it, at least you found out! You then have a choice as to whether you want to develop your skills to get better or just call it quits.
Whatever the outcome, you create an opportunity to push through the fear, learn about yourself, and take that learning forward!