Do you allow fear to stop you dead in your tracks whenever you think about trying something new? Does that voice in your head conjure up a list of reasons to be inactive, why you shouldn’t try to accomplish a goal?

For most of my life, I was that person, too afraid to take a chance, self-sabotaging myself at every turn. I had a reason for every roadblock that I built; I allowed fear to govern my life.

It took a major life upheaval and a lot of soul-searching to get me to change my ways. And when I did, I realized that I hadn’t really lived - I played it safe and simply survived.

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Over the course of the past decade, I have had the opportunity to interview people that have inspired and challenged me to step outside of the comfort zone I called life. I met warriors who have overcome tremendous challenges and displayed courage that most can only imagine They changed my way of thinking!

Some of these people were born without arms and legs, or feet, or hands; others have lost their vision or the ability to walk; and others have survived horrific trauma and now live their life in service to others.

Every one of these people had every right to live in fear as they faced unfathomable challenges, but they all chose to confront their limitations and achieve what many would consider to be “impossible”. They understood that fear is nothing more than a mindset, a perception, False Evidence Appearing Real. They taught me that each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage and confidence in the doing.

So, the next time you’re faced with an overwhelming challenge, an opportunity to try something new, or the chance to step out of your comfort zone, how do you push fear aside and take action?

1. Evaluate the driving force behind your fear. Is it a real consideration or something that you have created in your mind?

2. Make a list of your concerns and attack them one by one. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” (btw…it usually doesn’t).

3. Develop a plan of action. What is your goal and how will you achieve it? Empower yourself with knowledge.

4. Muster up the courage and take a chance. The best plans are meaningless without action. As the explorer Christopher Columbus said, “You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

Remember, it isn’t the end result that matters … it’s the journey. You may just enjoy the ride!