Top Skills Thursday: Be Brave In Small Ways

Have you ever avoided doing something because it scared you?

I’m not talking, “That thing made me feel so nervous!” I mean, “my heart was racing, I couldn’t put words together, and my entire body was shaking!”

I’m going to bet you have, because every single person on the planet has had that happen at some point in their lives.

Well, there’s a way to get around it. We can start by practicing being brave.

The first thing we have to do is admit the fear. Not asking someone out because you’re afraid they’ll turn you down is a common fear. And yet, we like to hide behind “I don’t have time for a relationship” and other excuses. We have to at least be brave enough to admit the truth, just to ourselves.

There are a lot of things we can do to practice being brave in small ways. For example, not criticizing ourselves for being afraid. Tearing ourselves down doesn’t help anything, ever.

We can start learning that it’s okay to be afraid. If we accept that doing a certain thing will result in an anxiety response, we can start working on accepting that response instead of beating ourselves up or running from it.

We can also get a therapist (if it’s a personal issue) or a mentor (if it’s career related). Having someone to encourage and guide us through that fear zone is a wonderful way to learn how to overcome that block.

Or, we can do something more extreme to force ourselves to face our fear. I dread data analysis. Rather, I dread having to do it myself. I LOVE data. Give me data. Please don’t make me go get it. I get so lost.

Welp, now I’ve got an MBA in progress and one of the three focus areas is data analysis. Why? Because it scares me to death and yet, I need it to get to the career I want. The idea wasn’t my own, it was courtesy of a grad student back at the Univ. of KY who faced her math phobia by enrolling in 3 summer courses, all focused on math.

Find a small way to face your fear, be brave in baby steps. And stop telling yourself what you can’t do.

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