6 reasons you shouldn’t feel like you *have* to do things that scare you, no matter what people say

All it takes is one quick Google search to yield a ton of reasons why you should do something that scares you. Honestly, we couldn’t be more encouraged and inspired by the overwhelming number of people who want others to overcome their fears and live their best lives. There are times when doing something that you’re seriously afraid of can facilitate growth and help you expand your horizons, live more freely, and gain confidence.

On the other hand, we can also come up with a few legitimate reasons to ignore Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice to “do one thing every day that scares you.”

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Yeah, we said it: Doing scary stuff sounds all admirable and bold, but what about people who prefer to maintain a healthy distance from the things that terrify them?

Despite the opinions of well-meaning folks who want you to stare the source of your fears directly in the eye and tell them to kick rocks, let us offer up some reasons why you shouldn’t feel like you *have* to do things that scare you, no matter what people say.

1You know your limits better than anyone else.

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Having others coax you to venture outside of your comfort zone is a good thing, but only you know how far you’re willing to go before you’re actively harming yourself in the process.

For instance, a friend might try to talk you into asking your crush out because hey, what’s the worst that could happen, right? Deep down, you know you’re not exactly known for handling rejection like a champ so you balk at her suggestion. In this case, you have a perfectly legitimate reason to not do something that scares TF outta you, especially when you know pushing yourself isn’t the healthiest thing to do.

2Facing fears on others’ terms may only do more harm.

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If you force yourself to do something that scares you when you’re not ready because someone else thought it was a good idea, you could grow resentful toward the people who pushed you to act against your better judgment or even worse, develop an even stronger fear of whatever scared you in the first place.

There’s a way to feel confident about doing things that scare you, but that won’t happen when you strictly view it as something you *have* to do.

3You’re the only one who will benefit from (or suffer the consequences) of doing scary stuff.

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Whether you’re exhilarated at the thought of doing something scary or you melt into a quivering, crying pile of mush after an attempt at facing your fear, you’ll have to face those consequences all by yourself, so make sure it’s a decision that you can live with.

4It’s always OK to say no to something that makes you uncomfortable.

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Always. Because if being scared outta your mind isn’t uncomfortable, we don’t know what is.

5You may not have an interest in overcoming your fear.

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Some things that leave you shakin’ in your boots don’t necessarily have a negative impact on your well-being or your quality of life. Therefore, you may not even see a reason to do whatever scares you. So if you are cool with never boarding an airplane for the rest of your life and have no interest globetrotting, then you definitely shouldn’t feel like you have to force yourself into becoming a frequent flier.

6You may not be equipped to handle it (yet).

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People who have an intense fear of something may need therapy to understand the root of their fears before they just haphazardly decide to conquer them.

As Business Insider explains, the things that happen to our bodies when we’re scared can’t be consciously controlled. And for every person dealing with something as serious as a phobia or a seemingly simple experience, random object or activity that freaks them out, there’s typically a reason behind it, including childhood traumas or major self-esteem issues that they may not be equipped to address on their own.

If doing things that scare you works in your favor, then continue to go for it! But if you’d rather chill and *not* do something that terrifies you, feel free to keep living life on your own terms until you’re ready to tackle your fears.