Transform Fear into Action

Mary Hemingway said, “Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.”

Isn’t that good advice? If something is wrong, fix it if you can. In other words, when you’re feeling worried, act to control the controllable.

It sounds easy, but have you ever noticed how worry, doubt, and fear often stop people from taking action?

Has the fear of failure ever stopped you from taking action? Have you ever been afraid of not being good enough or smart enough? Have you ever stopped yourself from taking action because you worried about what other people might think?

If you want to stop talking yourself out of taking action and start talking yourself into taking action, begin with positive self-talk. The truth is, whether negative or positive, your thoughts will become your reality.

Imagine, for example, you decide you are going to get up 30 minutes earlier every day to start an exercise program. At 6:30 am the alarm goes off. You wake up and tell yourself, “I’ll never be able to stick to this. What’s the use? It won’t make a difference anyway.” Do you really think that you’ll jump out of your comfortable bed and into action? Not likely.

Suppose, however, when the alarm goes off, you wake up and tell yourself, “This is going to be a great day. I’m getting up to exercise now. I can do this. I can stick to my program right now.” Do you think you will have improved your odds of at least getting out of bed? You bet!

If your action involves a bigger risk than simply getting up earlier, you’ll first want to determine if the action is worth taking.

Here are four questions to help you decide:

  1. What is the best possible outcome of taking this action?
  2. What is the worst possible outcome of taking this action?
  3. Is the best outcome worth risking the worst?
  4. If the worst happens, could I live with the results?

Did you answer “yes” to the last two questions? If you did, you believe the action is worth taking. Don’t wait until the fears, worries, and doubts subside. You can choose to do it afraid! Affirm to yourself, with conviction, “I can do this!” and you’ll be right!