How to live FEARLESSLY and STOP CARING what other people think
Updated: Feb 28, 2020
It's honestly crazy how much we sabotage ourselves. When it comes down to it, when we strip everything back, one truth is clear: you are against yourself. Let this sink in for a moment. I'll say it again. YOU are against yourself (yes, the emphasis is completely necessary) Imagine what you would do if you weren't scared. Just think about all the amazing things you would do if you just stopped holding yourself back.
For me, all fears originate from one main fear: the fear of not being enough. Not being good-looking enough, not being rich enough, not being skilled enough, the list goes on. When we feel scared, it's simply our minds attempt to keep us safe. It wants to wrap us in a blanket of comfort because, ah, it's nice and warm. It's time to throw away the blanket and tell our mind to go fuck itself. If you want to live fearlessly then you need to choose challenge over comfort.
DO WHAT SCARES YOU, DAILY
The only way to make something less scary is by doing it as often as possible. The more you do something the easier it gets. Setting yourself daily challenges that push you beyond your comfort zone is, for me, the best way to be more fearless. By consistently doing things that make you feel uncomfortable you can reprogram your mind to stop attaching fear to things. Disclaimer: please don't do anything illegal.
Strike up a conversation with a stranger, perform in public, have a go at stand-up comedy, whatever. Just get into the habit of doing things that scare you and, believe me, in a few weeks you'll feel like a different person. You'll walk with more swagger, you'll have more belief in yourself and you'll feel like you can do anything. When I was 18, I jumped out of a plane. Twice. Doing two solo skydives was one of the best things I ever did. If you can jump out of a plane thousands of feet in the sky then everything else feels like a breeze. Try it.
RISKS OVER REGRETS
When we are nervous we are spending far too much time in our heads. We psyche ourselves out. We create reasons why we can't or shouldn't do something because it gives us an excuse not to act. Regret is one of the worst emotions to feel. It's also completely avoidable.
Trust me, I've been there myself. You don't do something that scares you and you play it safe. Retreating feels kinda good at first. It feels like you've avoided pain. You snuggle back into your blanket of comfort and everything feels okay again. Until it stops feeling okay. Once that momentary fuzziness has passed you are left feeling deflated. You regret your decision to play it safe. You beat yourself up. You swear that next time will be different. And it goes on. A constant cycle of inactivity and regret. If you want to do anything great in this life then you need to take risks. You need to delve into discomfort and just do it.
SUCCESS IS SIMPLY SHOWING UP
One of my favourite quotes is from Woody Allen who said that '80% of success is just showing up'. I would actually argue that that percentage is higher. Not enough of us make the decision to show up and then follow through with our intentions. It's one thing to say you're going to do something when you're in your bedroom where everything is safe. It's another thing to go out and actually do it.
T. E Lawrence said it perfectly: 'All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men (or women), for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible'. Set yourself daily challenges and then go out and do them. To put it simply, START SHOWING UP.
NERVES ARE THE BEST FEELING
There is a natural tendency is resist nerves. We get nervous and we automatically want to stop the feeling. But why? Nerves are one of the best feelings you can ever feel. Nerves are signs of growth. They are the perfect indicator that you are putting yourself in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Don't run away from this feeling, embrace it. Actually invite nerves and get excited when you feel them. Battling against the way you feel tells your mind that nerves are something to be avoided. People think that being courageous is not feeling scared. That's complete bullshit. Being courageous is about acting in spite of fear. Feel scared? Good. Now act.
LAUGH YOUR WAY THROUGH LIFE
Charlie Chaplin once said, 'a day without laughter is a day wasted'. He was spot on. I don't know about you but the more I laugh the less I care about things that may well have irked me in a pre-laughter state. It's easy to get caught up in your head and focus on all your perceived problems and shortcomings.
But if you truly want to live fearlessly then you need to spend less time thinking and more time doing, being and, of course, laughing. Stop taking everything so seriously. Learn to lighten up and start laughing your way through life. The more you laugh, the happier you'll feel and the more inclined you will be to smash through anxiety and live a more fulfilling life.
And there we go. Start implementing these ideas into your daily life and I guarantee you will see some amazing changes. Living fearlessly is about making decisions that force your mind into a new way of thinking.
Sure, at first change feels uncomfortable and you'll fell urges to retreat back into old habits. But don't. Make the decision today to start living a more fearless life. Your future self thanks you.