You wanna know the biggest indicator of being ready to face your fears? The fact that you are searching for when you’ll be ready, is proof that you are ready right now!
Yes, I’m serious! Just you asking yourself this question means that you have a desire to face your fears. You want to do it. You want to push past all of the things that are currently holding you back. And the curiosity and desire is all you need! And sure, you may be feeling a little uneasy, unsure, defeated, and maybe even a little hopeless, but you are ready.
A little while ago somebody asked me, “Shannon, how did you know when you were ready to start facing your fears?”
And my response… “If I had waited until I felt ready, I would have never pushed past them.”
Seriously. Because here’s the thing, if you wait until you feel ready, you’ll likely be waiting a while, maybe even forever!
She went on to explain that facing her fears makes her feel worse. She then asked me, “What made you go for it?”
I said, “Knowing that facing my fears was less scary than the thought of living with anxiety and panic for the rest of my life.”
I want you to answer this question out loud right now... Which is a scarier thought for you - living the rest of your life with anxiety and panic, or doing the things that often lead to anxiety and panic? Answer this question honestly. And I want you to say your answer out loud because it’ll help you to really process it.
We sometimes choose temporary comfort at the expense of our long-term healing.
At one of the toughest points in my recovery journey, I remember sitting on the bathroom floor with tears pouring down my face and saying to my mom, If this is what my life is going to look like, I don’t want to do it anymore, I can’t do it anymore. Being a mom now myself, I can’t imagine what these words must have felt like to hear.
And I’d love to tell you that it was after that moment that I picked myself up off of the bathroom floor and started facing my fears, but it wasn’t! Recovery isn’t always full of magical and inspirational moments.
But it was in the moments that I felt so defeated, frustrated, tired, and anxious, that led me to truly realize this: Pushing yourself is hard, it’s uncomfortable, and it causes lots of anxiety and panic, especially initially. But you’ve gotta start welcoming all of it in, because facing your fears will allow you to push past them. And the more you allow your thoughts and emotions in, the less the symptoms, anxiety, and panic will show up.
Some of your biggest leaps forward will happen when you don’t feel ready. And when you don’t feel ready, do it anyway. Embrace the discomfort, the uncertainty, and the anxiety, because doing so will help you to push past it.
Here are some tips for improving your self-confidence, because let’s face it, doing the hard things feels much more doable with a little more confidence!
Celebrate your wins, big and small! There is no, “I drove a mile from my house but I had to turn around, I failed.” Leaving the house is a win! Driving is a win! Taking action is a win! Always give yourself credit for taking action because taking action leads to healing. It's so important to acknowledge your accomplishments and how far you've come. You have made progress. You are healing. You're doing a good job.
Stop comparing yourself to others, or to the old you (the you before anxiety)! Your journey is yours, not anybody else’s. We all struggle, and we all heal in different timeframes. Someone else’s abilities or healing doesn’t take away from your healing journey. And you will never be the old you again, and it’s a good thing! The you now, the one that is struggling with anxiety, is amazing and so very capable. And sure, the old you could do things that you aren't able to do YET, but you are capable because you've done them before. And soon you will soon do things you’d never even imagined you’d do!
Be supportive to somebody that needs it. Yes, lending your support to others can actually increase your own self-confidence. And hey, we all need support! Sometimes it's truly as simple as sharing a kind message with someone.
Practice positive self-talk. It’s so important to become aware of the messages and stories that you're telling yourself so that you can work to reframe your thoughts. This is a tool that I dive into in my online course!
How you treat your body is how you will feel - eat well and exercise! Seriously, it’s the seemingly small stuff that makes such a huge impact. If you feel good, you’ll have such a different approach to challenges.
Spend time with people that support you and want to see you heal and grow. When you are working so hard to heal, it’s so important to surround yourself with people that are able to support you. When you have people in your life that give you healthy pushes, and support you while you're doing the work, it's truly priceless.
Set goals! Having goals, and creating action items that will help you to teach your goals will lead to wins, and wins lead to an increase in self-confidence. Remember to start small!
The next time you’re facing a fear, acknowledge that you don’t feel ready, but go ahead and do it anyway! And remind yourself of your skills and abilities to work through anxious moments.
You are so very capable, you’ve gotta start proving it to yourself!
And if you’d like some help with facing your fears, check out my online course - Pushing Past Your Anxious Thoughts. In the course, I teach you tools for pushing past your fears AND I give you actionable steps to help you to reach your goals!