Finding What's on the Other Side of Fear
A while back I was on a call with a woman who was toying with the idea of starting her own business. While she definitely wasn’t ready yet to take the full leap into entrepreneurship, she was dissatisfied with where she was and knew she wanted something to change. But when she thought about possibly taking some serious action to make that happen, she spoke of lacking the confidence to follow through. But what I realized was that what was REALLY going on was that she was afraid. And it was her FEAR that was keeping her stagnant. As we spoke, a lot was revealed, but one thing that was addressed was her feeling alone, as if she had nobody to support her and to help her be accountable.
As we talked through her situation, what was going on, and where she wanted to go, we were able to get her some clarity around her next steps. In fact, she left the call saying “I feel great,” as she knew what the next right steps were for her and was able to take action on them. And because we talked about what her path forward would look like, she had determined that her next steps were not only actionable but totally achievable…and she didn’t need any accountability other than her own to get them done!
You see, once we are able to let go of our grip on our fears, we open up space for clarity to enter. Rather than being consumed by worries of things that may never happen, we can instead dedicate our mental energy to discovering what we want, how to get it, and the actions needed to get us started.
In her book “Playing Big,” Tara Mohr talks about two Hebrew words for fear and what they represent. While I won’t go into detail about what she says (but I encourage you to check out her book, as it is amazing!), the gist of what I took away from it and want to share with you is that yes, there’s the “fight or flight” fear that comes up when we’re truly scared of a real potential danger…but there’s also a different kind of fear. And THAT fear tends to come up when we are doing something important, something that matters to us, something that is scary NOT because it is bad but because it is new and fresh and out of our comfort zone.
So next time you’re feeling fearful, ask yourself: Is there REAL danger here? If the answer is yes, then you need to do something about it. But if the answer is no, I invite you to dig a bit deeper. Look at the source of the fear. What aspect of it is “scary” and why? How is it out of your comfort zone? Why is it something that’s important to you? The more you can dig into those feelings, the better able you’ll be to see your fear objectively…and to realize that it is NOT really a problem, but rather an indicator that perhaps you are embarking on something great, something major, something life-changing.
When I decided to start a business, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. And it was scary. Many days it still is, as I know that if I don’t keep showing up for myself, my clients, and my community, it could all go away tomorrow. But I pushed ahead in those early days, and I push ahead now…because the work that I do and the need I believe it meets in the world is worth putting myself out there!
When I started my Facebook group, The Women’s Growth Circle, I was terrified. I wondered if anyone would join. I wondered if they’d see value in anything I shared. I thought “Who am I to lead a group of powerful, brilliant women?” But I started it anyway, because it was the kind of community I wanted to be a part of, and I have been a firm believer in the motto “if you build it, they will come” ever since I watched “Field of Dreams” as a kid…and that motto has served me well. Each time I get positive feedback about the group, I am SO grateful that I took the leap to start it!
The first time I stood in front of a large group of strangers to give a presentation, I was petrified. I was afraid of saying the wrong thing, afraid of messing up, and afraid that I would make myself look bad. But I did it anyway, because I knew I had to…and now standing up in front of large groups and talking is something I do with ease…NOT because I naturally love it…but because I no longer fear it!
Do you notice a theme here? Feeling unprepared, feeling unworthy, feeling unsure…but showing up and doing it anyway. Because you see…the people who take risks and put themselves out there aren’t immune to fear; they just focus on the VALUE on the other side of it. Because THAT is what helps you push through!