Facing Your Fears
I used to think that fear was an indicator of danger, but I’ve learned that isn’t always true. Thanks to the wisdom of others (shout out to Tara Mohr and the book Playing Big!), I now understand that sometimes fear is an indication that we are about to step into something that feels larger and more purposeful than what we may have done before. So even though it may feel like a more traditional kind of fear, this “fear” of stepping into something bigger is often tinged with a certain level of excitement and hope as well. So what if we choose to acknowledge the fear and instead of focusing on it focus on what about the situation gives us purpose, joy, and energy as we step into a new area or to a new level in our lives? How might that change our experience of fear?
Often the things we fear the most are the things we create as a result of our fears. (Read that again.) For example, if I’m afraid that I’ll be rejected in a social situation, I may not show up as my best self. I may come off as anxious, trying too hard to fit in or be accepted, or not being my true authentic self. And the result of my acting that way? People will likely pick up on a strange, inauthentic vibe and not feel a connection to me…which can result in my being or feeling rejected. So in essence, you are creating the experience you fear most because of your fear!
So what if I told you that the secret to “overcoming” our fears is to actually NOT overcome them at all? Instead, if we can use the energy we would expend on trying to eliminate fear to instead accept its presence and find ways to move forward anyway, we will be able to move beyond our fears MUCH more successfully! So how do we do this?
Acknowledge the existence of the fear.
Recognize and name the fear you are experiencing. Do so in a neutral way without giving it power.
Identify the source.
Is this a repetitive story you’ve been telling yourself? Is it popping up because you are pursuing something big? Is it a byproduct of someone else’s unhelpful voice in your head?
Look for the part that is helpful.
Is there any part of the fear voice that is offering valuable information? If so, how can you use that to serve you in a more positive way?
Recognize that we don’t have to be fearless in order to move forward.
Despite any fears that may be telling you to do otherwise, create a plan for how to move forward DESPITE any fears.
Want to dig a bit deeper on these steps? My inbox is always open😊