Crossing the Bridge from Fear to Action

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By Laura Beyer

As an anxiety sufferer, I feel fear a lot. Whether I am trying to finish an assignment and worrying it’s not good enough, going to class, or even just talking to other people, I deal with it all day long.

You probably can relate to what I’m talking about, reader, even if you do not have anxiety. It’s that chest tightening feeling you get when something is really bothering you. Your heart rate goes crazy, pounding like a jackhammer against your ribs. The hairs on the back of your neck prickle up, and an icy trickle of cold swooshes down your spine.

Maybe your hands have started to shake and take on a cold, clammy feeling. Even if not all these feelings happen, they can happen on a much smaller scale.

For example, fear can be that tiny jolt in your heart that makes you realize something is wrong. Whatever your body is doing, you know you’re scared of something. These are all natural human reactions; the issue is when you let them shut you down.

Fear should be used as a catalyst to achieve things, not be something that makes you unable to cross the bridge. By flipping the negative effects of fear and making them work for you, you can take hold of those scary feelings and accomplish with them.

A quote from Dale Carnegie that I like to live by is this, “If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” This is important for those who often feel shut down by fear, like me, because it reminds us that fear does not have to be crippling.

So, how can we use fear to get us where we need to go? Something I think works the best for me was suggested by blogger Henrik Edberg, in his article, “5 Life Changing Keys to Overcoming Your Fear.” He suggested taking little steps to accomplish a task.

While this advice may seem simple and straightforward, it often is forgotten when something really scary has to be accomplished. I know that when I’m fearing something, I often see it only as the large issue, when I should be taking it apart into manageable segments. 

Just removing the big picture and focusing on the smaller parts of your problem can help you cross the bridge or finish line from fear to accomplishment.

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Marianne_Vos_winning_the_women%27s_road_race_at_the_2013_UCI_Road_World_Championships_%283%29.jpg

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Don’t you want to be the one crossing the finish line, reader? You don’t have to be the one stuck at the starting line, unsure of how to tackle the task and becoming completely consumed by the fear.

Like in this comic, fear can help us go from being unable to do anything, to being able to take on the world. All it takes is remembering you can conquer anything in a few simple steps.

 

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Set Yourself Free

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Photo by Laura Beyer

Do you ever feel like something is weighing you down? Maybe it’s not just one big thing, but several small, nagging things? Maybe you have a million little projects floating around in the back of your mind, taking up space and increasing your anxiety. I know this is me pretty much daily. I also know I would rather feel light and free, like the ocean, which can be held back by nothing.

So, what can you do about those days where you are running on empty with a million things important things cluttering your to-do list and you can literally feel the motivation leaking out of your body? How can you defy being held back by these things?

One of my favorite rules to live by and an easy thing to declutter the mind was first introduced to me when I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. She helped organize her life and increase her happiness simply by sticking to the “one minute rule“.

This rule basically says that you should take care of anything that can be finished in a minute immediately. Do not procrastinate on these types of tasks because you can get them done so quickly, and off your mind.

Whether it be hanging up a coat or getting the mail or even just throwing away a water bottle that has been sitting around your house for too long, taking care of these one minute tasks takes that strain off your mind. It also gives you that perfect feeling of accomplishment, which could even increase your motivation to tackle harder tasks.

Some days, you’re really dragging. Maybe you just want to curl up in bed and not wake up for a couple days, you’re that exhausted. But, of course, your to-do list will not do itself. That’s where the power nap comes in. It only takes 20 minutes out of your day, but its benefits are huge: increased attention span, motivation, and alertness. All things you need to tackle those projects.

Feeling like you can’t close your eyes today without staying asleep for hours? Try this unique yoga pose. It can make you feel completely rested without even laying all the way down. It also has benefits beyond making the brain feel free; it helps immunity, as well.

Utilizing simple techniques such as these to bring your stress level down can make you feel free and peaceful, like the wide-open ocean above. We’ve talked about having bad days before, but these techniques might be able to actually help with those dragging days.

No one wants to be held back by anything, especially those to-do list objects. Don’t let yourself get swamped down by this stuff, you can be free like the ocean, too. All you need to do is take a hold of your life and make tiny tweaks such as the ones above. That could spell the difference between getting through the day and giving up.