Conquering Fear: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone When Feeling Terrified

Image representing someone stepping out of their comfort zone, symbolizing the topic of conquering fear and personal growth.

The closer one gets to the truth, the more fearful one becomes.

Péma Chödrön

Do you feel as terrified as I do?

It’s terrifying me.

No, not in a “Halloween” kind of way. This isn’t the kind of fright that causes you to jump before you calmly realize it was only a buddy. A fear like this isn’t even comparable to forgetting your iPhone in a public restroom.

The type of fear that makes your stomach turn and turn is present here. You’re unsteady on your feet, hungry, and disoriented. This dread is real and physical.

Are You Scared of the Big Bad?

I’m sure you’re curious as to the source of my apprehension. Maybe I have a ghost in my home. That is not the case. Maybe there’s a stalker after me. No. Apocalypse of zombies? In all honesty, I wouldn’t be updating my blog at that time.

My decision to devote my whole time to my company has filled me with dread. It’s a huge leap to start your own business, and it’s much more of a leap if you don’t have a “back-up employment” net to fall back on. Let me reassure you that it is as terrifying as you can possibly imagine.

What if I can’t find any customers? What if nobody is interested in reading my blog posts or books? What if I completely and utterly fail? What if my loved ones, including my girlfriend and family, reject me because of the embarrassment I have brought upon them?

Fear of the Unknown

Do I sense a touch of hyperbole here? Yes, very much so, but it’s always nerve-wracking to make changes in our lives. Transformation requires exposure to risk and a willingness to be vulnerable.

To make real, lasting changes, we must leave our safe spaces. The challenge is to maintain a comfortable distance from the edge. We need to be tested, but we can’t afford to be frightened.

Tune Into Your Zones

Most of our lives may be divided into three categories:

1. The Cool Spot

We’re at home here, where we know the terrain, can anticipate most results, and can get by with relative ease.

2. The Transitional Realm

This is the place where we are being challenged, where we will likely experience some discomfort and strain, but where we will ultimately flourish.

3. Danger Zone!

There’s a collective “AHHHHHH!! We respond, close down, or flee because we are frightened.

Catching Some Waves

Achieving lasting change requires making the journey from your “Cool Zone” to your “Change Zone” and back.

We enter a difficult situation and pause for a while. We force ourselves to work out more, but we always make sure to reward ourselves with downtime as well. This is the natural ebb and flow of long-term change.

Into the Heart of the Crisis Area We Go

As hard as it may be, sometimes our need for immediate gratification takes priority. We fail to keep this rhythm in mind and end up trying too hard. Soon enough, we’ll be deep in the Panic Zone.

When I try to take on the task of operating my own company, I get overwhelmed. When my pulse rate increases, my hands start to sweat, and I start to feel dizzy, I know I’m about to fall. The inability to learn anything new is perhaps the worst aspect.

We experience mental, emotional, and physiological strain while we’re in the Panic Zone. This limits our ability to acquire new knowledge when in the Panic Zone. Moreover, returning to old behaviors, burnout, disease, or injury are all possible outcomes of being in our Panic Zone for too long.

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Three Things to Keep in Mind

The mind’s tendency to wander is one of the most challenging aspects of the Panic Zone. The ideas in your brain begin to spin wildly. You need to center yourself and go back to where you feel most at ease.

When you’re in the Panic Zone, the first three things to keep in mind are:

  1. Accept that you are in your “Panic Zone” and embrace the feeling. It will only become worse if you deny it.
  2. Second, keep in mind that it happens to the best of us. It’s easy to feel helpless, weak, and inadequate all by yourself. Just by being there, you will still be treated as a human being. What you do after you get there is what counts. And this leads us to…
  3. Third, find a method of centering oneself called “grounding.” Here’s my go-to method for escaping my own Panic Zone, while there are many more.

An Actual Panic Room

Defog your vision. Relax and inhale deeply for a moment.

Focus on where your feet are. Explain how your feet currently feel. It doesn’t matter whether you do this internally, aloud, or on paper. More information is always preferable when describing anything. When do your feet become warm? Does it feel the same on the tops of your feet as it does on the soles of your feet?

What sort of footwear do you think those are? How? Do you know where the soles of your feet stop? Where do your feet stop? If you experience something stable, hold on to it. Pay attention just to that feeling. If it stops functioning, try something new.

This mental calmer helps us channel our mental energy down into our body. Even if you do it by yourself, the results will be far better if you have a guide.

Stop for a While

Rest thoroughly after you’ve escaped your Panic Zone. You’ve used up all your energy and need to rest so that you can get your strength back. After entering the Panic Zone, it’s crucial that you treat yourself gently.

When you’re under pressure, physiological and hormonal changes occur in your brain. The effects of visiting the Panic Zone might linger for up to an hour or more afterwards. Be cautious and allow yourself some breathing room before heading back into a tense scenario.

Keep Going! 

The Panic Zone is no excuse to put off introspective work. If you’re beginning to feel the panic of entering your Panic Zone, that’s a positive indicator. You can learn to manage it after you have the necessary resources and insight into your own triggers.

I have been in the Panic Zone before, and it was terrifying, but I am glad I took the plunge and started my own business. Having made it through the Panic Zone has given me the belief that I can handle anything that comes my way.

How do you like to manage stressful feelings?

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