What To Do When Healthy Fear Becomes Unhealthy

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a business and blogging conference, and it ended up being one of the best conferences I’ve attended. It was challenging in so many ways and one of many takeaways and aha moments was a realization of how much I’ve been running my business (and in many ways my life too) from a place of fear.

Not exactly a lesson I was expecting to go home with. But, I’m glad I did. I’ve been taking a closer look at what to do when a healthy dose of fear turns unhealthy.

What to do when healthy fear becomes unhealthy. | SelahReflections.com

Healthy Fear

Not all fear is bad.

Fight or flight is good is a good example. When someone suddenly slams the breaks in front of you, and you throw your arm over your child in the seat next to you. That fear of danger, that urge to protect is instinctual.

If you have ever stood at the door of an airplane getting ready to skydive and your fear takes over saying, “Uhm no!” In my opinion, there is NOTHING wrong with that. I’m of the belief that God made airplanes for riding in and not jumping out of :).

Zig Ziglar has said:

“There is such a thing as “healthy fear.” For example, it’s very healthy to fear drinking before you drive. However, fear should not be allowed to run rampant through our lives so that it becomes such a devastating factor that it produces failure. The problem is not getting rid of fear, but using it properly.” (Link)

Unhealthy Fear

But what happens when fear takes over and becomes a normal way of living? We can get so used to living in a state of fear it becomes the norm, and our awareness of it changes.

When fear dominates our lives, it can become crippling and create a decision-making process based on fear of what could or might happen.

So what do we do?

Take action.

Any action. Big. Small. Or somewhere in between. Taking the next step in your journey is what matters most. That step leads to another, and another, and soon we are again going after a goal instead of feeling trapped and paralyzed.

3 Steps to Help You Take That Next Step:

1) Revisit Your Why.

Why are you chasing that goal or that dream? Your why has to be big enough, and motivation enough to help pull you through the moments of fear. If it’s not, you won’t find the motivation needed to keep moving forward.

2) Find An Accountability Partner.

There is nothing quite like having to tell someone you did or did not do what you said you were going to do. Having an exercise buddy means you have someone waiting for you that you do not want to disappoint.

Last summer I published a book for the web design end of my business, and I got it done because I had someone that I was accountable to weekly. It ended up being a huge piece of the puzzle for me to get the book done and published.

After this conference, a friend and I decided to send each other weekly updates on what we learned during the week and what our goals are for the next. Already we see progress, and it is a wonderful feeling.

Taking action is one of the best ways to fight the fear that comes when chasing a big goal. | SelahReflections.com

3) Get Comfortable With Doing It Scared.

This concept was another lesson I learned at that conference. Taking action can dispell fear. Continued action cultivates courage and confidence.

Tackling a project or heading in a new direction while afraid, is not comfortable. In fact, it’s usually so much easier to turn around and walk the other way.

It’s worth remembering that anything worth doing is going to stir up fear on some level and it’s worth taking that first or next step and do it scared.

Where is fear stopping you today?
What one action step can you take to gain momentum?

Recommended Resource:

The Next Right Thing Podcast – I’ve enjoyed this podcast so much! Emily’s gentle voice and wisdom helps the listener take a look at fear, decision-making, and creativity in a new way. Here is the podcast description – it describes it perfectly:

“Out of the thousands of decisions you make everyday, chances are a few of them threaten to keep you up at night. If you’re in a season of transition, waiting, general fogginess or if you’ve ever searched “how to make a decision” on the internet, listen in as best-selling author and host Emily P. Freeman helps create a little space for your soul to breathe so you can discern your next right thing in love.”

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