Have you ever set a well-intentioned goal for yourself but, for some reason, you've been unable to reach it? In many of these cases, there is one controlling factor holding you back: fear. Sometimes it hides quietly beneath the surface with a firm, silent grasp and other times it emerges bold and paralyzing. In either instance, the fear is in control -- and there's only one way to overcome it.
While on tour for Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend, best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert spoke to the audience about fear, sharing her advice for how they -- and anyone else -- can overcome the fear and anxiety holding them back from making real changes in their lives.
"I'm going to say what you don't want to do," Gilbert begins. "What you don't want to do is walk out of here and start treating your fear like a precious object again."
Far too many people, she says, tend to indulge their fear and elevate it to a precious status, which actually ends up strengthening it and creating even more distance between you and your goals.
"If you cherish that fear and you give it all kinds of attention and you treat it like it's something very special, it's going to end up keeping you from what you really want," Gilbert says.
In actuality, fear doesn't even deserve this lofty treatment. It's not a defining characteristic for anyone. "Here's what I'm going to tell you about your fear: It's the most boring thing about you," Gilbert says. "The most interesting thing about you is your creativity, your passion, your love, your joy, your faith -- all that stuff is fascinating."
The bottom line is that fear is a waste of time.
"Your fear is just as boring as mine is," Gilbert tells the audience. "Everyone's got the same one. It is not precious. It is not special. It is not singular to you. It's just the one we all got wired with when we came in."
So, focus on your unique qualities that deserve to be celebrated and put fear back in its place. "Don't listen to it," Gilbert urges. "Onward."