Fear can stop you dead in your tracks.
Fear can make you:
- stay firmly planted in your comfort zone
- accept less than what you know is possible
- compare yourself to others
And, this list goes on…
To be fair, honoring some feelings of fear can be beneficial. For example, that feeling of fear when you KNOW you’re putting yourself in harm’s way. Learning how and when to pay attention to your gut when it gives you clues about a fearful situation is definitely a good thing.
What I would like to talk about is that fear that keeps you stuck. It’s possible, you may even realize there isn’t any true reason to be fearful. However, this is how you feel, and it affects your ability to move forward.
Although I list the following 3 tips as separate items, I have found, for myself and many of my clients, these three tips are tightly coupled and working through them as a “unit” may yield the best results.
1) Collect data
One of the biggest ways to shift out of fear, can be to have proof that whatever causes you fear, really isn’t all that scary. For example, when I decided to get certified as a Soul Level Animal Communicator®, I was afraid I couldn’t really talk with the animals. I believed someone needed “special powers” to do this type of work!
One way I overcame this fear was to find a few people who currently did animal communication and met with them to find out what it was like to do this type of work. I created a couple of questions before I “interviewed” them and made sure I asked these same questions to all of the people I spoke with.
I also participated in a few webinars with Danielle MacKinnon (the woman who eventually became my instructor) to see what animal communication was really like. I even attended a weekend workshop so I could experience it first-hand, before committing to the entire certification program.
After talking with the people who were already animal communicators AND having a few personal experiences, I had enough data collected to quiet my fear and I was able to move forward.
2) Find a way to shift your mindset
Personally, for me, this one is the hardest one to do.
I think back to when I was considering leaving corporate. I was not in a good situation. I had been thinking about leaving for
sooooo long. I just knew there was something else I was supposed to be doing. And, fear kept me there.
What was I afraid of? Although there were numerous reasons I stayed; however, the biggest fear was my mindset around money. I had developed a belief that people in corporate were the only ones who could have financial independence.
I worked on tip 1 above and collected lots of data to prove this mindset wrong. And, it still didn’t budge.
Then, with my coach, I played the “what’s the worst that can happen” game. This is where I stated all my fears and my coach’s response was something like “so what…what’s the worst that can happen”. The outcome of this game for me was to realize I really could handle all the situations my fearful brain came up with. I might NOT want any of these situations to come to fruition and I could handle it, if one of my fearful situations showed up.
3) Make a plan
Uh-oh…there’s that word, PLAN! For some people, it can strike fear into your heart all by itself! Personally, I love plans!
The quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. seems very appropriate in this situation as we talk about making a plan. He says:
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
The point is as long as you have defined the outcome you want, making a plan for taking the first step can really help to eliminate your fear.
You can even negotiate with yourself by telling yourself something such as, “I’ll just take this one step and see how it feels.” If this works for you, then keep using this one step approach. Before you know it, you will have covered a whole lot of ground!
And for those of us who love plans and want to have a more detailed plan in place, take some time to create the high-level components of the plan. Please understand that you don’t have to know it all and the plan will probably change (even dramatically!) after you get further down the path. And, more importantly, don’t allow the creation of the plan to be a convenient excuse to feed the fear and stay stuck.
Getting out of our own ways so great things can happen can be scary, there is no question about that. The flip side is to think how incredible it will feel once you have kicked fear to the curb and you are able to shout from the rafters, “I did it!”