"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear."  This inspiring quote seemingly makes it easy to face our fears and achieve the idyllic state that we believe awaits us. We all know, however, that facing our fears can be terrifying. We've all been in situations where we doubt our strength to go through the difficulty and sustain the strength we need to make it to the other side.

As a three-time, 25-year entrepreneur, cancer survivor, and mom of a 21-year-old and 18-year-old, I've had my share of fearful life moments.

If you're holding back on moving through discomfort, and are hesitant to break free of a difficult situation because the thought of dealing with the initial struggle overwhelms you, here are 7 ways you can empower yourself to move forward. 

Take a baby step towards discomfort.

In what areas of your life can you introduce discomfort with minimal risk? I recently stepped out of my comfort zone by joining a new elite fitness group.  My biggest fear was that I would struggle to keep up with the other athletes who have been training at this level for a long time, and that's exactly what happened. Even after 35 years of consistent, hard-core training, I've found myself at the bottom of the group.

Being in this position invigorated me. It shocked my system and created an adrenaline rush. It made me realize how stuck I've been in my old patterns, and that new challenges are good for the mind and body.

So shake things up. Be uncomfortable. Seek out something new where you are out of your comfort zone and you question your ability to succeed.

Take a baby step towards resolution.

Are you in a holding pattern about anything? Move. Take the first step to stop the stall. Write an email, initiate a difficult conversation, become more informed by reaching out to advisors so you have the information you need to take intelligent action. Disempower your fear by leaning into it.

Examine your circle relative to where you are now

Who do you need in your inner circle as you lean into your difficulty? What knowledge, expertise, guidance, or emotional support is missing? Go find it. Reach out to ONE new advisor/advocate with a specific ask, so that you are informed about your next move and what awaits you.

Do a gut check.

What doesn't feel good to you? What regularly leaves a bad taste in your mouth? What do you find yourself doing daily or weekly that you dread, or feel obligated to do? Why are you tolerating it? How can you either shift your perspective or get rid of it? Whichever you choose, decide that being miserable isn't an option.

Do a personal values check.

What are your personal core values? What principles do you want in place to drive your life? They may related to your physical well-being, spiritual growth/connection, financial health, or emotional/mental strength. Perhaps they are connected to the quality of your relationships, or how you care for yourself. Are you living them? If you aren't, why not? What can you do to get back to them?

Check your personal boundaries.

Boundaries are containers we create in our lives to establish distance between people, events, or circumstances that are not aligned with our values or our goals. If we don't know our values and our goals, we can't establish boundaries.

Without boundaries, we live reactively, in accordance with the agendas of others. We say yes to what others ask of us with no regard for what we may need. Jim Rohn summed up the need for boundaries perfectly:  "If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much."

Activate your 2019 theme.

As we approach the 4th quarter of 2018, it's the perfect time to envision what 2019 will hold for us. What will be your theme? What will be your roadmap for living it? I've chosen "Disruption and Discomfort" as my theme. I'm committed to quantum growth, and this won't happen without discomfort.

Assess what you want to achieve in 2019, and put a plan in place to get it. These strategies will help you face your fears, embrace discomfort, shed what isn't working for you, define and re-commit to your personal values, and establish the boundaries you need to say no to what doesn't serve you. 

Published on: Sep 20, 2018
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