Time and again I see people hesitating, putting things off, delaying their hearts desires, all because they are afraid of failing. I, too, know this feeling in my own life. Fear has the potential to stop us in our tracks. It often keeps us spinning our wheels in terrain we’ve outgrown. It keeps us stuck in what we know no longer works. It’s convincing. And, often, it causes us to shrink.
Fear can be paralyzing. The default response to fear is running away, or suppressing it, and this reaction delays our plans even further. We often try pushing it away, pretending it’s not there while we secretly hope it will go away soon. In the meantime, these behaviors of suppression and ignorance are keeping us from the very thing we want: accomplishing our goals.
Remember, fear is natural. It’s a perfectly designed instinct that helps to keep us from danger. However, our job is to discern whether that danger is real or merely an indicator that something is outside our comfort zone.
What would happen if we stopped trying to get rid of fear and instead learned to change our approach to it? What if it’s not something to conquer or overcome? From my experience fear changes form but never truly goes away. The magic lies in letting it be and then choosing how you will relate and respond to it.
I am here to remind you that you are bigger than your fear.
There is another way to relate and respond to it. It’s an approach that puts you in the driver seat and allows you to choose powerfully in the face of fear.
Here’s how to change your relationship with fear and keep it from driving your life.
Changing this relationship is vital to realizing our dreams and deepest desires. Think back and make a list of times in your life where you stepped forward in the presence of fear and found something greater on the other side. If you can’t find any of your own, ask others. I’ve been breaking through my own fears over the past week and can think of countless times that taking the step forward instead of holding back moved me closer to something I want and taking action was easier than I had imagined in my head.
When I work with clients in my “From Surviving to Thriving” program, I encourage them to identify the fear and get curious about it. Feelings can be messengers and if we can approach them with curiosity, we will notice an immediate shift in its impact. We need to start asking ourselves why we’re feeling the fear or anxiety in the first place.
Need a good place to start? Take out a notebook and answer these questions:
- Where in your life is fear stopping you?
- What’s the story you are telling yourself?
- Is this story helping you or keeping you stuck?
- What is your ideal outcome or bigger picture desire for this area of your life?
- What responses/actions align with your desire?
- Choose just one action and take it today!
Remember, you’re not alone. We all deal with fear.
Last week I traveled to a business retreat and bumped into this exact kind of moment. The moment where I had to make a split decision about who was in control….me or my fear.
On the flight to the retreat, I engaged in small conversation with the gentleman sitting next to me. Before we left the plane, I felt an internal nudge saying “give him your card”. The fear said “that’s crazy!”, and in that moment I paused and thought about what my bigger desire was. My bigger desire, even bigger than my fear, was to impact people’s lives. And so, I took a deep breath and handed him the card, explaining that if he ever needed a life coach, he could reach out to me.
He took my card and replied, “I’ve always wondered about life coaching. Could you help me change my life?” Wow! The moment I have been waiting for – a connection and a reward for taking control of my life instead of submitting to fear and uncertainty.
We have since talked and there is an opportunity to not only impact his life, but others he leads and works with. This would have never been possible if I hadn’t made that split-second decision to honor my bigger mission. And now it’s your turn. What are your “bigger desires”? How can you take fear out of the driver’s seat and take charge instead?
If you would like some help working through these steps, a strategy session is perfect for you. Click here to schedule your session with me.