In 2005 I had the big vision to travel the world by myself and to go to all the places I’ve always dreamed about.
There was just a little problem with my vision.
- I didn’t have any savings
- I had the fear of flying
- I was worried that my English wasn’t good enough (It’s my 3rd language after all) and
- although I was excited about my vision at the same time I was also terrified by the idea of exploring the world on my own
In January 2007 I was sitting in the plane full of excitement on my way from Frankfurt to Los Angeles, which was the first stop of my 2-year long journey.
How did I go from a place of worry, fear, and self-doubt to realizing my dream?
I made a plan, saved up money, overcame my worry, fear, and self-doubt and just went for my dreams.
In this post, I’m sharing with you the things I did to overcome my worry, fear, and self-doubt and to make my vision become reality.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Why do we have worry, fear, self-doubt
- Action steps you can take
WHY DO WE HAVE WORRY, FEAR, SELF-DOUBT
What I learned in the past 20 years is that having worry, fear, and self-doubt is normal every time when we are leaving our comfort zone.
Not only for me, not only for you but for all human beings.
It’s because a part of our human brain is primitive and loves comfort and familiarity.
This part of our brain hasn’t evolved much since the stone age and is responsible for our survival.
While going out of the comfort zone and leaving the “cave” back then could mean a life threat to our ancestors it’s different today.
The primitive part of our brain, however, can’t distinguish whether the new situation is life-threatening to us or not.
Therefore it’s freaking out every time we’re thinking about leaving our comfort zone or are facing a new situation in life.
It panics because it doesn’t know whether we’ll survive it or not and wants us, therefore, to stay where we are right now.
For the simple reason because here we are alive.
And because we are alive now this is a sign for our brain that it’s a “safe” place where we are right now and should stay there.
Our biggest dreams, however, aren’t here in our comfort zone otherwise we wouldn’t dream about them.
They are in the place we don’t know yet and are longing to explore.
Therefore it will always take effort and mindset work to realize any of your dreams.
We always have to push ourselves out of our comfort zones to reach our goals.
The good news is that we also have another part of our brain called the prefrontal cortex which is our modern brain so to speak.
With this part we can plan things, judge whether something is life-threatening or not, solve problems, control our impulses, see if something makes sense to us or not, are able to talk and remember things.
The secret is to use our modern brain to evaluate whether it’s a threat or not and to push through our internal fears which are coming from the primitive part of our brain.
This was the biggest issue I faced before I made my dreams come true.
I had a steady job in the fashion industry and a nice fully equipped apartment.
Leaving everything behind was not an easy decision for me and I was accompanied by a lot of worries and what if’s.
My top 3 fears were:
- Worries about what If I leave my job and will never find a good job again. (spoiler alert: It was my last full-time job and in retrospect quitting it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life)
- What if I don’t enjoy traveling by myself. (spoiler alert: It was amazing and I loved every minute of it)
- What if something happens to me or my family while I’m traveling. (spoiler alert: Everyone and everything was doing well)
Despite the fact that I had worries, I didn’t let my worries stop me from going for my vision.
Instead, I started researching and learning about ways to overcome my worry.
A great audiobook I listened to which helped me a lot with this is called how to stop worrying and start living by Dale Carnegie.
Highly recommend it to anyone who is a worrier.
I learned from this book to look at my worries and to disempower them.
How I did it?
- First I started looking at my worry and asked myself what’s the worst possible scenario that can happen.
- Then I thought about a solution to how I would handle this worst possible scenario.
As soon as I looked at my worry and had a solution for the worst possible scenario that could happen my worry didn’t have power over me anymore.
I had a plan for how to handle the situation before it even happened and my worry was disempowered.
Besides my worries, I also had a lot of fears around my vision.
It clearly pushed me out of my comfort zone.
I had a huge fear of flying.
- So I started looking at my fear and asking myself why I have such a huge fear of flying.
- I asked myself what I can do to overcome this fear.
I always loved to watch documentaries and movies based on a true story.
It turned out that my fear of flying was fueled by all the plane crashing movies I used to watch as a teenie.
We had several of those movies at home where planes were crashing into the ocean or into the mountains and only a few people survived.
They were all based on a true story.
So once I figured out where my fear is coming from I decided for myself that I stop watching the disaster movies and anything connected to plane crashes.
In fact, I also stopped watching horror movies, the news on the tv and told everyone that I don’t want to hear anything about new plane crashes anymore.
Instead, I started engaging with people who already have experience with flying, were already a world traveler and connected with those.
Secondly, my friend surprised me with plane tickets to Paris.
So we could fly together for the first time and see that it’s doable before I started my long trip alone.
I also booked a wellness vacation just for myself in a town in Hungary where I haven’t been before to experience how it’s like to be a solo traveler. (Sidenote: I was born in Hungary and lived there for a couple of years so the culture wasn’t something new to me, however traveling alone totally was)
Another obstacle I faced before I decided to move out of my comfort zone was the fear that my English is not good enough.
And that people won’t understand me.
So I started listening to English audiobooks after work, watching movies in English and decided to take English classes in Los Angeles and Hawaii while I was traveling.
This way I could make sure that there was really no reason at all why I couldn’t and shouldn’t go for my vision and realize my dream of traveling the world!
And you know what?
No one had trouble understanding my English.
In fact, after I started traveling just within a couple of months I landed 2 internships in the US, got the opportunity to work in India as a designer, studied at 2 amazing Universities in London and Melbourne and got my Bachelors degree in management (everything entirely in English) and have written my research paper as well as my Master thesis in English as well.
I’m not telling you this out of bragging instead I want to show you what’s possible for you when you overcome your self-doubt and just go for your dreams.
Today I’d also recommend reading the book I’m enough by Marisa Peer. At the time I prepared for my travels it wasn’t available yet.
I’ve taken her online program later on and her message to me personally was really life-changing.
In my opinion, I’m enough is a must-read to better understand our most common limiting belief which is the one of not being enough.
In whatever way, it may show up for you make sure that you detect it and disempower this belief in yourself as soon as possible.
ACTION STEPS YOU CAN TAKE
So what can you do if you are in a similar situation and are worried, or have fear, and self-doubt of realizing your dream?
- Ask yourself what’s the worst possible scenario that could happen.
- What would you do if that would happen? What’s your best solution for the worst-case scenario?
- If you aren’t able to solve it on your own ask for help.
- Make a plan!
- Read the book called how to stop worrying and start living
- Ask yourself why you have this fear.
- What can you do to overcome this fear?
- Is it something deep-seated you can work on and disempower?
- Are there any triggering situations you can avoid?
- If you can’t overcome it by yourself who could help you with it?
- Which limiting belief is holding you back from going for your dreams?
- What can you do to disempower those beliefs?
- Is it a perceived lack of knowledge that you can simply solve by learning or is it just a made-up belief coming from negative thoughts?
- In case it’s a lack of knowledge start digging in and learning about it
- Read the book called I’m enough
All tools I recommend and mention in this post at a glance:
- How to stop worrying and start living is the audiobook that taught me to let go of my worries and to embrace my vision and dreams instead.
- I’m enough is a must-read for anyone because it’s about our most common limiting belief which is the one of not being enough.