This article is part 7 and the last in our A Week of Excuses series. Why do we put off those things we want most in life? Why do we let excuses stand in the way of pursuing our dreams? In this week-long series we dive into these questions, deliver actionable steps for common obstacles, and provide resources to help you take the first step to making your dreams a reality.
Sometimes, what we want to achieve also scares the shit out of us. We are stuck in a dilema between something we’ve always wanted to do and the voice screaming in our heads telling us we are completely insane for wanting to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
As we create dreams, we often pick some big audacious goals which we’d love to do but are simply too terrified to consider them at the time. Our belief is that we will be more brave, more ready, and overall less scared at some distant point in the future. We continue to tell people it’s our dream, but we put it off as the fear fails to subside.
Overcoming this fear and going after your dream takes action. You are not going to wake up one day and magically no longer be scared of jumping from a plane. Your fear of feeding sharks by hand is not going to slip away in the night after a fun night out with friends. Instead, it is going to require you to take action in spite of the fear. The good news is this action need not be either scary or very difficult. It is simply a first step in the process.
Tips for Managing Fear
- Research the details. Learn about each component of your dream to see how it works. Read about companies that may cater to the specific area (skydiving companies, race car tracks). Learn as much as you can about the process so you can demystify much of what you think you know. Read about all the safety regulations and precautions that are provided. The more you know, especially the details, the less scary the dream is. Familiarity breeds comfort.
- Find a buddy. As we discussed a couple days ago, finding someone to achieve your dream with can greatly increase your own resolve to make it happen. Especially if they are a first-timer as well. Find people that share your passion and let them know you’d like to reach the goal together. Talk about your fears and let it out in the open. By discussing the fears with others you can gain the encouragement to make it happen. Their excitement will feed yours, and you will each be stronger in the face of fear knowing you have a partner.
- Talk to people that have done it before. This was a great resource for Betsy and I when we decided to take off on this adventure. We chatted with others who had left their careers to travel the world. The feedback and discussions were invaluable to addressing our questions, concerns, and many of the fears we had leading up to departure. Most important is to find people with a similar situation as you and someone you can relate with. Finding someone that has 30 tattoos and is addicted to the process may be difficult to relate to if this is your first time. You may not know anyone in your regular life who has done what you want to do, so take advantage of the Internet. I promise you’ll find someone out there who has done or wants to do what you want to do.
10 Dreams with Links to Help you Move Beyond Fear
- Go skydiving – I am terrified of heights, but decided that I needed to overcome this to fulfill this dream.
- Get married – take this test to see if your fear is of commitment in general
- Drive a race car – two excellent resources and safe options where you can do your research and then book when ready. In the United States and in the United Kingdom.
- Feed the sharks – why not start with whale sharks? They are still technically sharks but without that pesky love of flesh.
- Write your memoir – a beautiful and inspiring story of one woman’s motivation to finally write her memoir
- Having a baby – many prospective mothers have fears about having children and here is an entertaining tale of one woman’s path to motherhood
- Deliver a TED talk – public speaking is the #1 fear for most people, but check out this interview we did with Josh Hanagarne to see how he found success over his Tourette’s Syndrome to speak in public
- Learn to scuba dive – this brief article debunks the 4 most common myths (and fears) of diving to get you in the water
- Get a tattoo – permanent and pain, these are the 2 words that strike fear in us. In this post and video Betsy talks you through getting her first and doing it all without crying (for which she is very proud).
- Volunteer with wild animals – whether it’s pumas, elephants, or monkeys the opportunity exists to volunteer. My thought is to start with monkeys at Monkeyland and work my way up to the pumas.
Whooohoooo, today is not just the end of this series, but also my 41st birthday. I am thrilled we could spend the last week together exploring our dreams and what is keeping us from them.
For more more detailed insights into how to identify your dream and save the money to make it happen, check out our popular book Dream Save Do. We document the plan we used to successfully plan and finance our dream of world travel, and we get emails every week from people using the steps to map out their own big dreams. We hope you find it gets you a step closer to making your dream a reality.
Click here to get it now. Please share the link with your friends and family so they too can take the first step towards their dreams.
No more excuses!