4 Secrets for Overcoming Fear and Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

wegLos Angeles-based yoga teacher, life design coach and writer Mary Beth LaRue has created the life of her dreams—but she had to overcome her fair share of fear and self-doubt to get there.

Most of the worthwhile things I’ve done in life have really scared me. I’m an introvert, so I don’t thrive speaking in front of large groups—teaching big classes used to scare me so much that I’d feel like I was going to pass out. But I’ve grown to absolutely love it. How? By learning to overcome fear-based thinking patterns.

Outside of our comfort zone is where the creative magic really happens! Here are my secrets for overcoming fear and embracing new creative challenges.

  1. Remember why you’re doing this.

I got past my fear of public speaking by reminding myself that my passion and my message are more important than my fear.

Whether you’re scared of teaching, sharing your artistic talents or launching a new startup, remember that you’re doing it for a reason! Take some time to reconnect with your intention, and you’ll find the strength to make it happen.

  1. Know that you belong here.

My business partner once helped me summon the courage to teach one of the biggest classes of my career with a simple reminder: “You belong there. You need to approach the class like you belong there.” When I got up there to teach, I realized that I really did belong in that room leading those students.

You can trust that you’ll get through a creative challenge because that’s where you’re supposed to be and that’s where your unique path has led you. Make sure to remind yourself regularly that you belong wherever it is that you are at this moment. Life always leads us to the experiences that provide the greatest opportunities for growth and transformation.

  1. Strive for learning, not perfection.

Fear gets a bad rap, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re scared of something, it means that you have an opportunity to challenge yourself, and to grow as a result. It’s a chance to see where you might be blocked and push past your own personal barriers.

When I’m scared of something, I know that I have to do it. Afterward, I’ll feel a sense of pride and confidence in myself. It’s always worth it in the end!

  1. Be present to yourself.

When we get into the “fear mind,” compassion is the first thing to go. We get into the fight-or-flight mode of the lizard brain and immediately begin to see everything through a lens of fear. In that mindset, we forget to just be present for ourselves because we’re too busy trying to protect ourselves from perceived threats.

When you get into this headspace, take a moment to stop what you’re doing, find stillness, and simply notice what you’re feeling. Presence and compassion will always serve you better than self-criticism and doubt.

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