We are creatures of habit and we loooove our comfort zones. There’s very little people who could honestly say that they love doing things that scare them. Not just say that, but actually even do. I admire and respect them for that. Every day I try to be like them but in my own way.

I bet that each and single one of you has certain things that they’re afraid of. It could be tight spaces, water, heights, talking in front of people, being completely honest, saying no to someone or skydiving. Basically it doesn’t matter what it is. We all have that certain something that we’re scared of.

Well, let me tell you something, everything you’re scared of is created in your head. You’ve created the fear and you control it. It’s really funny because everything is really constructed in our heads. We create scenarios that are unlikely to happen and get scare ourselves. Funny, huh? Most of the times we’re afraid of situations that will never really happen.

There are a lot of explanations of why we do it, but I think it’s all because we hate going out of our comfort zones and and it’s easier to be scared than brave. It’s easier to sit put and wait for a situation to resolve itself, but you know what? Most of the times it doesn’t. And if you want it to change, you have to change.

Sometimes the fear was created because of an experience we’ve had in the past. The past is not who you are right now. The past is just that – the past. Do not let the past create who you are now. You are what you choose to be and not what happened to you.

It actually doesn’t matter where the fear was created or why or how. My point is that it’s in your head. And if it’s there, if you’re the one who created it, you’re the one who can make it go away. Not with magic, not with a special recipe, there’s only one thing you can do. You have to be brave and start moving. Because the more you run towards your fears, the more they run away from you.

Fear is not real. It’s a product of the thoughts you create. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice.

It’s easier to not look in the mirror, to not step on the scale and realize that yes, you did gain 10kg in the past year, to admire the person you like from afar.. but seriously, where do you think that all of this is leading? Imagine yourself looking back at your life in 10 years. What will you see? You’ll see a chicken and regret it for the rest of your life. And regret is really hard to live with.

There’s always a voice inside of your head that’s telling you what to do, arguing with you, that you shouldn’t do something, because this and that will happen (don’t say it isn’t there, because right about now you just said to yourself that there isn’t any voice in your head, and you’re probably laughing right now, which is nice…), making up situations and scenarios that will most likely never occur.

The next time you hear that voice stopping you from doing a brilliant thing, especially when you want to try something new, tell it to zip it and go on a vacation because you’re doing it anyway. Tell that little voice that you’ve had enough of it’s BS and that there’s nothing it can do that is going to stop you.

I know that the voice inside your head is actually you, and that you’re arguing with yourself, I do it to, but there are 2 sides of you. One – the annoying little voice – is the Chicken, that will say and do basically anything to stop you. It will really work hard to stop you from getting out of your comfort zone. That’s the one who creates millions of different scenarios that never happen.

And then there’s the other one. Braveheart I call it. That’s the one you should be listening to. He’s usually in the back of your head, sitting in a corner, whispering and you can’t hear it just because you let the Chicken scream so loud. But he’s the good guy. He’ll help you do the things you never imagined you’d do, he’ll be a helping hand and he’ll always believe in you.

By doing things you’re scared of you let yourself grow. Every time you overcome and defeat a fear (which you have created), you become stronger. Your confidence spikes up. And with a little bit of confidence, you can do whatever you want to. And you know that what I’m saying is true, because you’ve done it already. You listened to Braveheart on your job interview. What happened? You got the job. You listened to it, when you told a “friend” that you don’t like how he treats you. What happened? You stood up for yourself. I could go on for days, but you know what I mean.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you feel scared I want you to do something. Let’s say you have to talk in front of 500 people. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You could choke and not a single word will come out. OK. You could stutter. So what? You could forget what you were planning to say. People won’t like you or the things you have to say. They’ll be bored. Hm… These are the questions and scenarios our Chicken creates.

Before it gets too loud (i’m talking about the Chicken), step 3 steps back and evaluate the situation. You wrote the speech, you’ve made the presentation and you rehearsed it. You know the subject you are talking about by heart and it’s a passion of yours. The people who are coming to hear you speak are coming because they want to be there, nobody forced them, so they probably want to hear what you have to say.

If you let the Chicken win, everything you’re scared of will happen, I guarantee it. You will forget the lines, you will choke and in the end you’ll fall apart, on stage in front of everyone. Do you really want that to happen? No… You want to be brilliant and you want to succeed. Listen to Braveheart. He’s the one with all the facts and reality. You do know what you’re doing, you have a lot of things to say about it and even if you stutter, so what.. Who doesn’t?

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Every single thing that you do will come out depending on which of the voices you’ll listen too. If you’ll feed the Chicken, you’ll never do anything spectacular in life. You’ll never have stories for your grandchildren. You’ll have nothing to be proud of. You won’t be able to say I did that, you know.

Chicken is your enemy. Just because he’s comfortable where you are now. He doesn’t like change and he doesn’t like new things. He loves his little closed circle and will try anything to protect it.

Braveheart on the other hand is the one who you must learn to listen to. He’s the one who should be your best friend. He’s the one, that will help you write fun and adventurous stories. The one who’ll show you that you can do and be anything you want to, wherever and whenever you want to. He’s the one that’ll push you forward, make you happier and create a world where you’ll feel accomplished, successful and confident.

There’s a simple solution to overcoming your fear, and darlings, it’s the only one. Face them. That’s it. There’s no other way and believe me, I’ve tried a million times to find one. I found about 10.000 ways how it isn’t possible to overcome a fear, but the ones I overcame, I did by facing them.

I was terrified of spiders. Yes, those little 8-legged creatures that live inside of your house, make cute little cobwebs and are actually very useful. I know that they’re more scared of me than I was ever scared of them, but hey.. it’s spiders we’re talking about. I developed arachnophobia when I was about 4 years old. My parents let me see a movie involving spiders overtaking the world. I remember the last scene, the whole world was covered with spider webs (i shivered right now).

2 years ago, we were sitting at a bar and I said that there’s a spider named after David Bowie. A friend googled it and in the middle of a conversation showed me a picture of it. I screamed and ran out of the bar. That’s how very afraid I was of spiders. And that’s about the time I decided that I’ve had it. I slowly started facing my fear.

At first I started looking at pictures, I forced myself to watch them on TV (I couldn’t stand them, even on TV), and I slowly got comfortable. Every time I was in a pet shop I went to check if they had spiders, usually they did. I went there regularly and as time went by, I found myself standing in front of a terrarium, 2 cm away from the glass, looking at a tarantula. It was moving, walking and looking right at me (I know they’re basically blind, but you know what I mean…)

This was an accomplishment for me. A huge one. For years I couldn’t be in the same room with a spider, let alone touch it. At the moment, I don’t panic if a spider walks on my arm or leg. I even talk to the little ones and have a little spider in my apartment that I named Tilen. He’s kind, he eats mosquitoes and makes cute webs. I’m not sure if he’s happy that I vacuum them but… I’m still not sure if I can have a tarantula on my hand or on my face, but I’m getting there.

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And yes, you can laugh about me talking to little spiders, but you know what? From being scared to death I came to talking to them. When’s the last time you did something that you’re scared of?

So next time you’re afraid of doing something, anything at all, listen to Braveheart and tell Chicken to go eff himself, ’cause he can’t win this time. Whether it’s running a marathon, singing in front of 100 people, quitting your job and travelling the world.. it simply does not matter. Remember, you create it, you control it.

And sorry guys, but if Internet Explorer has the guts to ask you every time if you would like to make it your default browser, you sure as hell have the guts to ask the girl of your dreams on a date.

Enjoy your week. Cheers.

Ana