“Always do what you are afraid to do” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fear lives on the peripheries of your comfort zone. It patiently waits for you at the border denying you access to a world of personal development and progression. Each time it reminds you that…’you’re not good enough’, ‘you haven’t done that before’ and for the most part you believe it. You retreat back into your comfort zone. Or can I be more blunt…you retreat back into your DEATH zone.
Death zone (Noun)
1. A place where dreams, ambitions and ideas all die.
The death zone doesn’t provide the right environment for growth. It doesn’t offer opportunities for development. It doesn’t challenge your way of thinking. It doesn’t allow you to learn new things. Your ambitions and ideas can only flourish outside death zones.
This is why it’s important to always do what you are afraid to do because if you don’t you’ll remain in your death zone. You’ll never know what you’re capable of. You have to remember. Fear only resides within the mind. It cannot exist without your consciousness. Why do you think some people are fearful of public speaking and others thrive at the opportunity? The situation is ultimately the same however, the mind-set of the individuals are different. One believes that public speaking is an uncomfortable situation and the other sees it as an opportunity. Previous life experiences and personal beliefs create the back story to justify fear. ‘everyone will think I’m stupid’, ‘I’ll say something wrong’, ‘people will laugh at me’. The mind creates this story of untruth and unfortunately most of us accept defeat and believe it.
But once you learn to acknowledge and control your fear it can be a great thing. Fear is a great indication that you’re alive! Your mind is engaging with your surroundings. You’ve reached the end of your death zone and if you persist you’ll start living!
I must give you a personal example. For weeks I had been putting off going to speak to someone about my business venture. I didn’t know exactly who I needed to speak to and thought the best way to find out would be to turn up and ask. I toyed with this idea for weeks. Each time I walked pass the place and thought…oh I haven’t got time right now, I’ll go next time I’m around. But this seemed to continue for a while. It wasn’t until the other day I was walking the same route again and I felt compelled to go in. I made an awkward U-turn and headed to the front door. In my head I was thinking…what am I going to say, who do I ask for? Do I go for the overly enthusiastic approach or do I play it cool and ask general questions. All these thoughts rushed through my mind during the milliseconds I held onto the door handle. But before I could process what I was going to do…I had already opened the door and was walking towards this lovely receptionist who greeted me. In my head I was thinking…how did I end up here…I was nervous…my heart was beating. I was about to ask this woman that I didn’t know to help me with my business…
So I began to explain my business proposition to the receptionist and asked her if she knew who I would have to speak to. She was intrigued by my concept and suggested that I spoke to her manager who was conveniently having a meeting at the table behind me. I gulped and thought oh my goodness I can’t do this. I’m not prepared to meet the manager of this place. I wanted to go. But my amicable nature caused me to accept her offer. After all she was doing me a favour right? So I agreed to wait. In no more than 5 minutes the manager finished her meeting and was now available for me to speak to her. My mind was racing and I thought I’m not prepared for this! Despite all of the thoughts going through my head I was able to remain calm. I began to tell the manager about my business and she was quite interested about the idea and gave me details of someone else that I could speak to.
So there you have it, in the midst of fear I still persisted. I didn’t run away from my fears. My mind told me ‘you’ll look stupid’ ‘you’re not prepared’ ‘they won’t be interested’. But I did what I was afraid to do and it felt great. It wasn’t a massive win, in terms of the progression of my business. But it was a personal win. I had just completed something I was fearful to do. I stepped out my death zone and started to develop and grow my ideas. I ended up walking out of that place feeling really proud of my accomplishment.
So I challenge you to do something you’re fearful of, it could be anything from answering a question in class to sky diving. We all have something we’re fearful of.
I would love to hear your accomplishments or previous experiences where you have overcome a fearful situation. You can contact me through the contact page or post a comment below!
Remember always do what you’re afraid to do…because that’s where progression begins!