If You Were Not Afraid, What Would You Do Today?

If I could stop sleepwalking through life so can you!

Irrational fears can be powerful enough to keep us from achieving our goals and living our best lives. Do not let it! Fear feeds stagnation, and procrastination, and keeps us from taking advantage of opportunities. Many people are living in the self-imposed prison of their fears.

Common Phobias 

A quick search brought up a list of phobias. Each phobia sounds worse to me than the next. These are very real phobias many people have to deal with. If we add all our fears to this list of phobias I think the number would be in the hundreds.

  • Social Phobia: Fear of social interactions.
  • Trypophobia: Fear or circle clusters.
  • Atychiphobia Fear of failure.
  • Thanatophobia: Fear of death.
  • Nosophobia: Fear of developing a disease.
  • Arachnophobia: Fear of spiders.
  • Vehophobia: Fear of driving.
  • Claustrophobia: Fear of enclosed spaces.

Walk Into Fear One Step At A Time

To have some fears in life is inevitable. There are different ways to overcome our biggest fears. We can dream the big dream all we want but without overcoming our fears we are stuck.


I learned a long time ago there is no way around my fears. The only way to be less fearful is to walk head-first into the fears to get through to the other side. The first time you do your thing despite the fear will be the day you begin to let go of fear.


Walking through fear is an exhilarating, scary thing, and every time I walk through fear it gets easier.
For the most part, now I am of the ‘ what have I got to lose?’ mind. The main thing is to not let my fears prevent me from trying new things and moving forward.


There are still areas in my life where I am vulnerable. These fears are harder to work through and when these fears pop up I remind myself I have made a lot of progress and to choose wisely.


Some things warrant a healthy fear. I put power tools and hot air balloon rides in this category. Interesting to note I had no fear of F1 Racing a few years ago. Or maybe the fear was masked as exhilaration. Whatever it is I am glad I jumped in the race car! My fear could have prevented an awesome experience.

You Deserve To Live Your Best Life

Fear is an emotion that every human being experiences at some point in their life. Whether it’s the fear of the unknown, the fear of public speaking, the fear of failure, or any other fear, these emotions can hold us back from achieving our goals and living our best lives.

If I can confront my fears I am here to tell you anyone can! When I look back and picture the terrified me I am hardly recognizable to the today me. For so much of my life, I was my greatest enemy.

Types of More Common Fear

Before we delve into overcoming fears, it’s essential to understand the different types of fears that a lot of people commonly face:

Fear of the Unknown

The fear of the unknown is a powerful force that can keep you trapped within your comfort zone. It’s the fear of what might happen if you step outside of your familiar surroundings. Your thoughts are what is sabotaging you because you are thinking the worst-case scenario.

Fear of Public Speaking

Fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears. I still experience this fear if I have to speak about myself. If I am teaching a class I have very little fear. Being well-prepared is an antidote to fear. I refuse to miss opportunities due to fear. I could never have tried so many things had I not come to terms with my fears.

Fear of Failure

Fear of failure can be paralyzing, causing you to avoid taking risks or trying new things. It can be a significant obstacle to success. The best workaround for these thoughts is to go forward with your plan and not plan the outcome.

Fear of Success

It doesn’t make sense to fear success. When you consider what can come along with success considering some fears is not completely ungrounded. Often with success come very real feelings, such as Imposter Syndrome, Fear of Increased Pressure, and the Fear of the Unknown.


Anything that pops up as a result of your success can be dealt with. You have already built success. Why would you believe you will not be able to handle glitches?

Fear of Rejection

The fear of rejection can affect your personal and professional life. It can prevent you from pursuing relationships or opportunities due to the perceived threat of rejection. Whether your fears are perceived or real, that family members, friends, or business associates may reject you, this does not seem like a valid reason to let go of your dreams.

Fear of Change

Change is inevitable in life. Fighting changes we cannot change is a big waste of energy. Accept the change, adapt, and move on. Do not let the fear of change make you resistant to growth. 

When I look back at my life I see a lot of zigging and zagging. This is because plans change and the need to pivot accordingly pops up. The choice is to give up or zig and zag and I choose the latter.

Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem can be the root cause of many fears. The coolest part of confronting fears is each time we do this we grow in confidence. Considering most of my fears were fictional, I am very glad I did not hold myself back from pursuing my dreams.

picture of an empty spiral bound notebook and old fashioned quill pen.

Understanding the Root Cause

To overcome your fears, it’s crucial to identify their root causes. Take a moment to reflect on why you have these fears. Are they based on past experiences, societal pressures, or self-doubt? Understanding the source of your actual fears is the first step towards conquering them.

Writing or journaling is a really good way to find the root cause of your fears.

Confronting Your Fears Head-On

Once you’ve pinpointed the root cause of your fears, it’s time to confront them. Here are some effective ways to do so.

Face the Worst-Case Scenario

I can’t even count how many times I have goofed up. It’s ok. The red face goes away and the lesson is hopefully learned. Do not let false pride prevent you from trying.

Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Often, our fears are blown out of proportion. By facing the worst-case scenario, you can put your fears into perspective. My father used to tell me 99% of the things I fear will never come to fruition. He was right!

Challenge Perceived Threats

Distinguish between real and perceived threats. Most of our fears are based on perceived threats rather than actual dangers. Challenge these perceptions to regain control.

Again some fears are healthy. Fearing driving a vehicle on a dark country road at night, without headlights, in my view, is a real fear. I would not attempt this.

Take Small Steps

If you are frozen in fear do not abandon your idea. Instead of diving headfirst into what you fear, take small steps to gradually build your confidence and reduce your fear’s intensity.

Seek Support

Talk to a friend, family member, or therapist about your fears. Sometimes, discussing your fears with someone you trust can help you gain clarity and support. We all deserve to enjoy peace of mind. The worst thing would be to go through life not trying all the things we want to try.

Think of the regrets living in a world of fear would bring.

Replace Fictional Fears with Positive Thoughts

First, you have to realize your fears are fictional. As human beings, we need the help we most often resist. This is why having a trusted friend or people to network with is a lifesaver. 

Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Visualize your success and focus on your abilities rather than your limitations. Intend the outcome of your endeavor to be great! This is all taught in Mindfulness 101 workshops.

Overcoming Obstacles and Embracing Life

Life is too short to be held back by fears. Much of the time by recognizing and confronting your fears head-on, you can overcome obstacles and embrace the good life. Don’t let fictional fears limit your potential, instead, let your fears lead you to personal growth and achievement.

Like I said fear is a natural part of life, but it doesn’t have to control your destiny. Identifying the root cause of your fears and taking practical steps to overcome them can lead to a more fulfilling and fearless life. So, take that first step towards conquering your fears, and watch your life transform as you break free from their grip.

Embracing Change and Growth

Fear can be a double-edged sword. While it’s a natural response to protect us from harm, it can also inhibit our growth and limit our potential. It’s important to differentiate between healthy fears of immediate danger, that keep us safe, and those irrational or fictional fears that hold us back from thriving.

Embrace Change

Change is a constant in life. Instead of fearing change, embrace it.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Comfort is both good and overrated unless stagnation is your chosen path. Growth and progress happen when you step outside your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to try new things and face your fear head-on.

Each step forward will empower you to take on bigger challenges in the future. Lack of doing so may result in regrets later in life.

Learn from Your Failures

I am one of those people who believe there is no such thing as failure. The biggest reason people don’t try new things is they fear not being good at it. I am not great at many things that I try. I am curious though so I still enjoy trying these things.

Safe to say too the more I do things the better I get at it. Throw in a really big interest in the subject and I will get much better at whatever I am doing. All It takes is time and practice.

Some view failure as a natural part of life. I do not know who wrote ‘There is no such thing as failure, only delayed success.’ but I grabbed onto this idea when I read this quote 150 years ago.

I make a living, more or less, as an artist. Because I may not be pleased with a piece the first through the twenty-first attempts does not mean I failed, it means I am not there yet, It is only logical to me that if I keep trying I will get to the place I want to get to.

Start Writing!

There is nothing to fear about trying new things, They will either work out the way you intend or not, At least you will know if you try. Isn’t this better than always wondering ‘what if?

A powerful question to ask yourself is ‘If You Were Not Afraid, What Would You Do Today?’ Grab a cheap spiral notebook or your keyboard and write that question. Continue writing your answer until you decide to try doing the things you want to do.

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutter-er and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

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