What do you think of when some asks you if you are living life to the fullest? Do you think about all the great things in your life, or do you think about all the things you wish you could do, but are afraid to?
When you stop and think about it, we are really only motivated by two things: love and fear. And each of these affects us in different ways. Love opens us up to the joy, passion, and excitement that life has to offer. Fear, on the other hand, makes us want to hide away and protect ourselves from any hurt or pain the world may cause.
When you’re living life to the fullest, you’re all about the love. But, when you’re not, you’re embracing the fear and letting it hold you back from living the best life you could envision for yourself.
And it’s so easy to let yourself get caught up in the fear. I did, getting caught in a bad marriage because I was afraid of being alone. Then staying in that relationship because I was too scared of him to leave or to ask him to leave. I let the full life I lived when I met him dwindle away to nothing but pain and fear, and even after he left it took me about ten years to really knock through the fear and start living and being open to new experiences again. And even now, almost twenty years later, I am still fearful of many things that stop me from going after what I really want.
But that’s changing. The more I do what I love and spend time with the friends that I love, the easier it becomes to embrace the bright side of life and push the darkness of fear away.
If you want to bust away from the fear and start living your life to the fullest again, here are a few tips I found helpful.
Get clear on what you want
Clarity is one of the most important gifts you can give yourself.
You have to know what you want before you can go out and get it.
Set goals for your life, and have a good idea of why you want to achieve them and what your life will look like when you do.
The Boy Scouts really were on to something with their “be prepared” motto.
It’s hard to go out and embrace new opportunities if you’re not prepared for them, physically or mentally. Mindset is so much more important than a lot of people give it credit for.
You will need to take the time to prepare your mind for a shift from being closed off by fear to being open. And I can tell you from my own experience, this can be a huge obstacle to overcome and will stop you in your tracks if you let it.
Talk to people
When you’re living life in fear, you close yourself off and are afraid to even talk to people. What will they think of you, will they judge you, will they tell on you? It’s so easy to be afraid of everyone around you.
Having a strong support network of friends, family, and colleagues can really help you overcome the fear and start living your life to the fullest. Not only will you realize they were there all the time, waiting for you to reach out, but they’ll have opportunities and experiences to share with you.
Once you start talking to people instead of being afraid of them, your life really does become more full.
Embrace Curiosity and Creativity
What the heck does that mean?
Think about it this way… When an opportunity presents itself to you, does it come with a sledgehammer to beat down your door and yell “Here I am?”
Nope. Often it’s just a whisper of a thought, and it’s up to you to say, “Hey, I think there might be something here worth exploring.”
If you allow your curiosity to explore ideas and then use your creativity to see them from every possible angle, you might just find something you never expected that becomes the key to creating – and living – a very full life.
Be open to taking calculated risks
This is the really scary one if you’ve been letting fear stop you from living.
In order to live life to the fullest, you have to allow yourself to take calculated risks in order to embrace the new opportunities that open up for you.
That means learning to evaluate the pros and cons of each opportunity, assessing how it makes you feel, and then deciding to either go for it or explore the next one.
Learning to live life to the fullest means kicking fear to the curb, and embracing new thoughts, people, and opportunities that allow you to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Yes, you’ll probably make mistakes and less-than-stellar choices along the way, but that’s all a part of living. When that happens, chalk it up to a learning opportunity and move on to the next experience.
Using these tips will help you to live a happier, fuller life. Be open, be grateful, and live life to the fullest.
What do you do to ensure you're living life to the fullest? Share in the comments below...