Let’s Get Fearless

If you made a point of stepping outside of your comfort zone and committing a single fearless act every day for a year, how much would your life change?

This year, I’m going to find out.

Hi, I’m Brinna Blaine and I am changing my life, one Act of Fearlessness at a time.

It started over a year ago with a post called Fearless for a Day: Introducing Fearless Friday. In that post, I dedicated the first Friday of each month to completing a single Act of Fearlessness or Fearless Act as I called them. These Fearless Acts could be big or small, simple or complex. The only qualifications were that I step outside of my comfort zone and do something that scared me just a little and had the potential to change my life for the better.

As a freelance writer, it isn’t uncommon for me to risk rejection or failure. Writers are known to need thick skins in order to deal with the frequent rejection that’s simply a part of the writing and publishing world. In my time as a freelance writer, I’ve completed a variety of Fearless Acts. Some were big, many others were small, but every one of them required me to step outside of my comfort zone.

When I came up with the idea for Fearless Friday, I was thinking of my career and where I wanted it to go. My goals were clear, but weren’t progressing as quickly as I thought they should. To be honest, I was feeling kind of stuck. So, I took a good, hard look at my career and myself to see why that might be. The answer was simple. I was scared.  

Fear is a funny thing. When we imagine fear, we think about physical danger. In our minds, fear is heart pounding, blood rushing, in your face scary. It is nightmares and scary movies, wild animals and monsters. But that is just one kind of fear.

The other kind of fear is much more common. It is the fear of rejection, failure, disappointment, loss, and even sometimes success. It isn’t as sudden or as obvious as the fear of physical danger and in a way, that makes it much more destructive. This kind of fear is sneaky and quiet. It creeps up on you so slowly that you don’t even see how still your life has become.

You may feel like you are constantly in motion, running around, putting out fires, and getting things done, but somehow, all of this movement isn’t getting you anywhere. It certainly isn’t getting you any closer to your dreams. No matter how much you do or how hard you work, you find yourself doing the same things over and over; doing the same jobs, in the same way, for the same people. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with consistency or loyalty, especially when it comes to people. Building strong, long lasting, and loving relationships is crucial to having a happy and successful life.

Some things can and should stay the same, but without change, there can be no growth. If we want to grow, we have to change, and that means stepping outside of our comfort zone. This is where fear comes in. What we call a comfort zone is really a bubble created by our fears, both the fears that we acknowledge and those we pretend do not exist at all. No one likes to admit that they live in fear, not even to themselves. To most people, admitting fear is akin to admitting weakness and something to be avoided at all costs.

Instead, we cling to the things, places, routines and patterns that make us feel safe. We grow comfortable in our own little corner of the world, and bit by bit, we slowly lose sight of the potential of our lives. We find validation in the things we know we are good at, the skills we have mastered, and the people who have already accepted us. We slowly lose sight of our dreams and goals, because beyond the comfort of the life we have is the possibility of rejection, loss, disappointment, and failure. I know that this all sounds terribly dismal and dramatic, but letting your dreams slip away from you over fear and uncertainty is a terrible thing.

It may be difficult to believe, but your comfort zone is the biggest threat to your future success.

I created Fearless Friday because I didn’t want to keep putting things off, simply because they meant stepping outside of my comfort zone and were a little scary. Originally, Fearless Friday was something I did once a month, but lately I feel that is not enough. I have big goals and bigger dreams and I believe that all of them are possible. However, I’m going to have to step outside of my comfort zone more than once a month if I want to make them a reality.

This is why I’m declaring this Friday, January 23, 2015, a whole new kind of Fearless Friday. Instead of a single day of fearlessness, I’m going to dedicate an entire year to Fearless Acts. Every day, I will do something that scares me, at least a little, expanding my comfort zone one Fearless Act at a time. Some of these will be small and simple things that anyone can do. Others will be much more difficult. Big or small, I plan to share as many of them as possible with you.

With any luck, my Fearless Acts can be an inspiration to you, and I’ll certainly appreciate your encouragement along the way. In return for your support, I’ll make sure to share the resources, information, tips, advice, and other helpful things I find along the way.

If you’d like to dedicate a year, month, week, or day of your own to being fearless, I’d love to hear about it. Email me at brinna_blaine@live.com or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. Use the hashtag #GetFearless in your posts or message me directly. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Come On, Lets Get Fearless!

Brinna Blaine

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4 thoughts on “Let’s Get Fearless

  1. This is a fantastic idea. 🙂

    One thing that I do is I’ve trained myself to notice when I get that queasy-stomach feeling when thinking about a task or decision. Whenever it happens, I acknowledge the feeling is there, become aware of it, but then try to nail down where the feeling is coming from. It’s usually the same sorts of things that cause it… Usually it’s either because a project is too big and I don’t know where to start (in which case I sit down and break it down), or I’m trying to avoid it out of a fear of rejection (in which case I just recognize that having it done, even if I fail, is going to be MUCH less unpleasant than that ugly feeling of fear).

    I used to be completely unaware of the feeling, and I often made decisions based on that instinctive, irrational aversion. It was a destructive habit… Now that I’ve learned to consciously notice when I’m feeling that way, I find that I’m much less likely to make irrational decisions.

    1. Thanks Misty. I’ve been thinking about doing this since I wrote the original Fearless Friday post. Part of it, like you said, is getting in tune with my body’s reactions to fear and working out where the fear is coming from and how to deal with the situation so that it no longer feels scary. Breaking down the task is a great way to do this. Giving yourself a deadline is another. I’m a big fan of the pomodoro technique when it comes to getting things done.

      It can be really surprising to see just how many things we should be doing or want to be doing that we avoid because of fear we don’t even know we’re feeling. One thing I believe I’ll get out of my Year of Fearlessness will be the ability to acknowledge fear quickly and easily. If I’m actively seeking out things that feel scary and then doing them, I’ll be much less likely to automatically avoid the feeling in the future. In fact, there’s a very good chance that it will motivate me to do the ‘scary thing.’

      Thanks for commenting on my blog. 🙂

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