What would you accomplish or experience if fear, anxiety, and worry didn’t get in your way?
In my January 2022 article, I talked about how to use fear and self-doubt as a beacon that calls you in the direction of your heart’s desires. Today, I want to talk about taking that a step further and actually using it as your friend.
Imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t talk yourself out of trying new things… if you weren’t afraid of sharing more of who you are… if you weren’t worried about what “they” will think.
I’ve spent most of my life worrying and being fearful about things that weren’t ever going to add value to my life. I thought that I had to be more courageous and confident to accomplish more in my life. When I couldn’t muster up the bravery needed to do the things to reach my goals, I muted the cries of my heart. I settled for lesser, easier, less daunting goals. I thought that I shouldn’t feel fear if I was going to do big things. I had to condition myself, and take small steps so that I felt just, maybe, slightly uncomfortable.
As I have studied other folks who have achieved, one person that caught my attention was Laird Hamilton. He was a big wave surfer and the best in the world at it. Now, he HAD to be courageous and fearless! Then I read a quote of his where he said,
“Fear is the most common emotion in my life. I’ve been afraid for so long – well, honestly, I can’t ever remember not being afraid. What you do with that fear makes all the difference.”
What are you doing with your fear?
Fear can be a useful tool in your journey. A few fear facts:
- Fear is a fantastic motivator
- Fear drives attention
- Fear is trying to tell you something
- Fear is far too often based in imagination
When you want to do something big, something important, it takes energy. Fear is a great source of energy. You can take your most primal drive for safety and security and turn it into the energy needed to do amazing things.
When you want to attempt something new, it is going to take a lot more attention. You are going to have to focus on details that, when you become more proficient, will be more automatic. But for now, you need to attend to these matters. When something scares us, the hard part is NOT paying attention to it. This is terrific! Attention usually takes a LOT of energy. With fear, it happens automatically. This is huge because now you can focus for free!
In our attempt to avoid the feelings of fear that are so uncomfortable, we miss the message. You see, it isn’t fear that is most uncomfortable. I believe it is our attempts to avoid the fear that causes us the most dis-ease. You can develop an awareness of your fear. Where do you feel it in your body? What does it feel like? How would you describe it? Spend some time not focusing on it with your mind but feeling it in your body. Once you put your focus on the sensation of fear, it dissipates. It may seem counterintuitive, but give it a try. This kind of direct focus and attention to the bodily sensation can dissolve the sensation.
And lastly, the fear in your mind. Laird Hamilton, who I quoted earlier, also said, “Once you start confronting your fears you quickly realize that imagination is greater than reality.” When you only confront your fear in your mind, your imagination expands the fear making the ant of uncertainty look like a lion of terror.
Confront your fears. Make this a daily practice. It doesn’t have to be the monumental fears that you confront every day. Start with a small one. By taking the time to come face-to-face with it, you will force your body to recalibrate and the next time you confront something similar it will evoke a smaller response.
I remember the first time I wrote a newsletter and hit send. I was terrified. Who would read it? What kind of response would I get back? Would someone point out how stupid I was? Would they call me out on social media as an idiot who doesn’t know what she’s talking about?
None of that happened and even if it had, it wouldn’t have been nearly as bad as what I imagined in my head and felt in the pit of my stomach. Besides, do I really believe people think about me that much?
I want to encourage you to
speak your truth,
share your gifts, and
pursue the desires of your heart.
And, while you’re doing that use all the fear that your brain musters up to provide you with the compass, energy, and focus that you need to make it happen.
I believe in you!!