You think fear sounds like truth, and then you take action that comes from a lie.
But when you pay attention to how things feels in your body, you start to realize that truth lives in vulnerability and fear is a lie.
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.” - Brené Brown
The fear that spins round and round in your brain is not truth, but you live like it is.
Then you keep telling that worn out story because it’s more comfortable than the unknown.
There’s shame in admitting that, so you pretend that you’re fine, that you’re not really paralysed by fear. And you live, metaphorically speaking, in a dark and scary neighbourhood.
That’s what your head is – a dark and scary part of town, that no one in their right mind would choose willingly.
But you do, and years go by.
Your dreams fall by the wayside, and you settle for what’s known and secure.
Dreams are for other people.
And then one day someone asks, “What dreams did you have for your life?”
A wistful look appears, your voice softens and you speak long suppressed words.
I once dreamed of. . .
- writing a book
- becoming a singer
- owning a restaurant
- travelling the world
You give your head a shake, and laugh at your youthful desires.
What the fuck happened to those dreams?
I’ll tell you. . .
You stayed in that dark and scary neighbourhood far too long.
It’s time to get OUT of your head and back to living a life that feels good; a life that inspires you and makes you grin with satisfaction.
I’m not naively suggesting you never feel fear again. We’re hardwired to survive and fear helps us do so, but it doesn’t have to stop you from doing what you want in life.
Your freedom from fear begins with getting out of your head.
That’s what I’m reminded of in the Circle of Cohorts.
We forget that we all experience fear.
We forget and begin the cycle of judgment and make-wrong that keeps us stuck in a negative spin.
We forget that true fear for survival is rare.
We forget, and stay alone in our head in that very dark neighbourhood.
We forget, and think our fears are unique.
When the truth is, they are common to human beings:
- fear of failure
- fear of success
- fear of intimacy
- fear of being found out (impostor syndrome)
- fear of abandonment
Show me one person who doesn’t have one or more of these fears.
They’re common and ordinary, and not nearly as dramatic as you make them in your head.
And so the time has come to develop a practice to stay out of your head.
It’s tough, I get it. You’ve got years of conditioning telling you to be afraid.
Fear is usually accompanied by feelings of shame and vulnerability, and shame reduces you to the belief that it is the way it is, and there’s nothing you can do.
But here’s the first truth. . .
You are not stuck with your fear.
A Few Truths on Fear Busting
1. Name it, Claim it
Fear grows in the dark, so get it out in the open and get specific.
What exactly are you afraid of?
Failure. Success. Uncertainty. Abandonment. Intimacy.
These are the usual suspects, but they don’t actually say anything about what’s true for you.
What specifically are you afraid of?
Fear loses its grip when you name it.
What scares you about failure, success, etc.?
Claim it. Write it down. Share it with people you trust and get your power back.
2. Embrace Uncertainty
Fear shows up when you don’t know what to expect.
Which is funny because how sure can you be of anything in life?
You’ll never be 100% sure but you can soothe fear by doing your homework.
It starts once again, with clarity.
What exactly are you unsure of?
Now get to work: talk to people, research, ask questions, experiment, etc.
Research helps increase your confidence so that you can stay in action.
3. Ask “What if?”
Ever notice how effortlessly you “what if” yourself into a negative state?
You’ve spent enough time with the worst case scenario.
Time to go positive and look for the best.
If things turned out exactly how you want, what would you see, hear and feel?
Notice how it feels in your body; it doesn’t lie.
And then, go there more often please.
When I said YES to learning to scuba diving I was terrified, but as I imagined the best case scenario I knew I had to take action.
4. Give Up Your Worry
I know, I know, easier said than done.
But come on. . .
Worry does no good.
It is the biggest energy drain there is and the cure is simpler than you think.
Doesn’t matter what or why you’re worrying.
Just take one action. One action every day will lead to momentum.
Maybe the action is to meditate every day for 15 minutes.
Maybe it’s sharing your fear with a friend.
You can do this.
5. Say Something New
Seriously, if you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you’d have no friends. Who would stick around for that kind of abuse?
Start saying new things. Try on different phrases and notice how you respond.
Don’t just repeat tired old affirmations. Create new ones that work for you.
Write them down, experiment with them and pay attention to how they feel in your body. Tweak them until you discover a few that feel really good.
Fear usually shows up when you’re going after something important in your life. It’s a sign that you’re on the right track.
Using these strategies and getting the right kind of support can make all the difference to the results you produce in your life and business.
I know it’s scary, but sharing your fears is the key to breaking the paralysis that keeps you stuck in that dark, scary neighbourhood.
Find the right people to share with, “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” - Sigmund Freud
Over to you:
Share one fear that’s kept you from taking action on a dream.