BRING ON THE FEAR ::
Want a serious breakthrough: then bring it on
Stepping up to a new life, taking on a new accountability or a new perspective, can be challenging. It is natural for anyone who has been stepping into a new life to experience fear (or, what might actually just be excitement!) but it doesn’t have to leave us doubting and worry filled, paralyzed to take action and unable to move.
Fear comes up when you are about to do something really big and brave. What you are up against may not seem so big to others around you, but to you this one decision, opportunity or action is fraught with years of emotion and anticipation. You have built it up so huge that now it feels that nothing you do will be good enough or cool enough or even just okay enough to pass.
We have all done it, built something up to be so much bigger than life it seems overwhelming or unapproachable. Fear has an important role in these cases; it is an excellent indicator that we are about to break through one of our own preconceived ideas about life. Being afraid lets us know we are truly alive and living our life fully, we are experiencing all the emotions of life, not just ones that are pleasurable or make us feel safe.
Resisting or ignoring fear often leads to more fear, worry and stress, adding fuel to fear’s flames. Leaning into it, using faith and other resources, can help you soften it and move on, taking on a new approach to that big life. Which one will you feed, fear or faith? According to neuroscience, the more we continue to do something, the more it becomes hardwired in us, like a habit. Fear doesn’t have to be habitual.
Here are 3 options to face up to fear, lean in and establish a new productive path for those feelings. (Tweet that!)
Most of my life I have actively tried to avoid discomfort, pain, suffering. Of course this applies to fear as well. The physical, and emotional sensation of being afraid is uncomfortable. My heart quickens, my stomach turns, and I’m a mess of emotion. But once I understood more about fear, I saw that I could recycle that fear, using its own energy to move out of its grasp.
Fear doesn’t have to be something negative. Flip the switch and use all of that extra energy for good (Tweet!). Get moving. Exercise, sweating, taking action can often be all you need to release fear from you body, letting it out as excess energy you don’t need.
Giving in to fear by ceasing and running for safety under the covers actually breeds more of it. Once you have re-patterned your response to fear triggers you’ll be able to skillfully keep your body from sounding the alarm of fear. But even if the alarm is triggered, just keep on with your daily routine as is, have the fear, but just don’t give it any attention. Fear is basically a 2 year old having a tantrum, sometimes the best thing is just ignore it. It passes and all is well.
No one wants to have fear as their BFF, but you can understand that it has value and purpose. It’s trying to tell you something, are you open to listening? I know when I feel fear I am on the right track.
I think of fear much as I do exercise. As much as I have learned to really enjoy exercise and how it feels to challenge my body, I always want it to stop while I’m in it. I feel this overwhelming urge screaming inside of me to stop. Quit. Not complete it. Everything inside tells me you are in pain and you should therefore stop it now.
But with the expertise of my dear friend and trainer, I have learned to challenge that voice inside. You got this, your body is so strong, come on, just one more. I know you can do one more. And she is right. When I believe my muscles to be fatigued beyond the point of one more push or up dog, I seemingly pull through it and achieve the success of one more push up.
Crazy thing is, 5 mins later, I don’t even remember the pain that was so dire and all encompassing. I just demonstrates how powerful our self talk is, and the talk of others around us. When we believe we can, we can. When others believe in us, we start to as well.
So, bring it on. Let fear be your compass, pointing the way to that big, bold life. (Tweet it out!)