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Three Reasons Why Every Woman Should Embrace Fear

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The benefits of fear for success

When was the last time you embraced fear? Even appreciated it? Most women do everything they can to avoid doing the things that scare them most. Fear, after all, is a very uncomfortable thing. I don't blame those who want to avoid it!

But is avoiding fear the right thing to do?

In a recent interview with the "Harvard Gazette," Susan Hunt Stevens, the co-founder and CEO of a company called WeSpire, had some wise words for female entrepreneurs, "Just get used to the fear. There is constant fear. But it's so much fun, the fear kind of motivates you."

That is wisdom not just for entrepreneurs but also for all women who want to grow in life.

I've always believed that, when it comes to big life decisions, if you are feeling afraid, you're most likely facing down something incredible on the other side. The points in life where we grow and achieve the most are also the times when we fear the most. Once we face down that fear, the sweetness of victory or the lessons learned from failure are priceless.

To me, there are three key functions fear plays in a woman's path to success:

1. Fear creates a decision point

Because fear is uncomfortable, no one wants to stay stuck in it. When you feel fear, you know you must make a decision. Either you'll push through the fear and accomplish more than you ever expected, or you'll back down and return to what is comfortable. In either case, it forces you into a decision.

The good news is that if you understand the dynamic of fear, you have power over it. When you realize that you are at a decision point, and that you, not the fear, are in control, you can choose to walk into your fear and discover what is on the other side.

2. Fear stretches you further than you thought you could go

By nature, we're creatures of comfort. The old adage, "stuck in a rut," refers to how deer will take the same path to water from the woods over and over again, creating a rut over years. They don't ever take a different way because the rut works just fine for them. But if they come to believe the path is now dangerous, they will find a new path.

In the same way, we often get stuck in the rut of safety and security. When this happens, we don't change and we don't grow. Rather, we atrophy.

If you want to grow to be more than you are, you need a little fear to shake things up and set you on a different path. Thankfully, it's exhilarating when this happens-if you're willing to embrace it.

The best part? The more you grow, the broader your horizons get and the less likely you are to return to old ruts!

3. Fear makes you feel alive

Thea Jourdan, writing for "Netdoctor," shares some of the benefits of fear:

Fear actually does have a profound physiological affect on the body, which evolved to help us in a 'fight or flight' situation.

'In the first few seconds, adrenaline levels soar - leading to a state of heightened alertness and the muscles are primed for immediate action,' explains Dr Louise Selby, a GP based in Guildford, Surrey.

The heartbeat quickens and the rate of breathing accelerates. As soon as the fear diminishes, it's replaced by a sense of powerfulness and euphoria, which can be addictive.

Under the right conditions, fear makes you feel more alive than you ever have-especially when you conquer your fear and take a leap of faith! The sense of accomplishment that comes after facing down your fear is irreplaceable, and it makes you all the more ready to take down your next challenge.

It really is addicting!

What fears do you have today? What dreams have you abandoned because the thought of chasing after them was too scary?

Now is the time to start putting a little fear into your life. Embrace the uncertainty. I promise you'll be better for it in the end.

Walk into the fear!

Original publish date: February 04, 2016

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