Worrier to Warrior: Learning to Challenge yourself
As individuals, I think we often forget that worry is a universal feeling. But we are not alone. Fear that socially encompasses us on a daily basis, like the fear of leaving a toxic job, of booking a solo holiday or your fear of moving to a new city can be really daunting. However, whilst fear can be scary and uncertain (and it’s totally OKAY to feel this way and say ‘no’ to things we find uncomfortable), it can be a positive motivator and an opportunity for growth.
I am by no means an expert, nor have I been crowned the conqueror of fear, but what I can say is that I am no stranger to such feelings of worry. Over the past year in particular, I have wrestled with these thoughts and only now am I beginning to find ways that help transform the worry to wisdom:
START SMALL: The most important thing to remember when facing a challenge, is that Rome wasn’t built in a day! Start by focusing on the small wins of your life, as well as the large ones. A helpful way to do this, is often by writing one or two things that you can incorporate into your week.
For example, if you have a fear of driving to places that you don’t know very well, start by taking a route you’ve never taken that is close to home. Or, if you are nervous about joining a social club, maybe enquire about it first by meeting the organiser of the group, so the next time the club meets, you will recognise a face and it may become less daunting. Baby Steps!
VISUALISE: If you were to visualise how you want your life to be, what would you want to achieve? What are your personal goals? Just as it’s important to take small steps towards challenging yourself, it’s also important to dream big! A really good way to help you step outside your comfort zone is to take some time on your own to visualise yourself accomplishing those challenges that you have already overcome and also that you still wish to achieve.
Not only this, but try to take some time to be mindful of the feelings that would come with reaching those goals. This will often help you feel motivated to go and do it.
BUTTERFLY TO THE WORKER BEE- This one is easier said than done. We all know the feeling of butterflies, right? It’s a mix of excitement, but also fear and nervousness. Up until recently, I used to take this feeling as an indicator for me to run away from the things that challenged me. However, I am now beginning to turn the feelings of the butterflies into the productivity of a worker bee!
How do I do that? Firstly, by accepting and acknowledging that this thing is getting you to feel this certain way. The trick then is not to dwell on the scary nature of the task, but grasp the opportunity for positive self-talk. No matter what, you know that by starting to question this fear, you are already challenging yourself.
PERSPECTIVE- This is the biggie. Always remember that YOU ARE IN CONTROL of your thoughts and actions, so try and put the situation in perspective. For instance, if I was to go the scary audition that I’ve been dreading for months, there are two likely outcomes: I may get a small rejection, but at least I tried. OR, it may go completely the other way, I may surprise myself and actually get the part!
You can always go back, you can always find another opportunity and if you make a mistake then that is fine. Mistakes=learning. Learning= growth.
Always remember that worry is one hundred percent natural, and a million percent human. One thing I can truly say is that if you can have achieved even one thing on your list of ‘I want to do it but I’m scared’ this year, you will feel the most amazing sense of growth that will motivate you to continue to do more of what challenges you.
You got this!
Written by Em Hope