Oh, that dreaded 4-letter ‘F’ word!
And NO, I’m not talking about that one ~ get your head out of the gutter!
I’m talking about FEAR.
Fear seems to be all around these days.
While presenting at Achievers this week (we had so much fun!), during a partner breakout on powerful conversations, what came up most often as to what holds us back is fear. Fear of failure, fear of looking bad, fear of getting it wrong.
In a recent yoga class, the instructor was talking about the power of leaning into, and eventually letting go of, our fears.
And while having the pleasure of watching ‘A conversation with Ellen’ the week before last while in Calgary, one of the points of conversation that stuck out the most was the one on fear.
‘It isn’t even REAL!’ she shared. And then began to share the acronym, saying fear is simply:
And on the contrary, the only thing that IS real, she said, is LOVE.
The problem is, the majority of us out there – myself included – still experience fear.
It’s what holds so many of us back from playing bigger in our work (going after that promotion, raising our hand in that meeting), and playing bigger in our lives (learning that sport we’ve always wanted to try, committing to saving for that dream vacation)
Yes, I have fears. Boy oh boy do I have fears!
I’ll jump right to the biggest ones…
I’m afraid I’ll never get married. I’m afraid I won’t be able to have children. And I’m afraid I will die with too much potential still in me.
But here’s the thing I’m starting to realize. NONE of those are real ~ and as long as I focus on them, who’s to say they won’t become reality?
So if fear isn’t going anywhere any time soon (because it isn’t!), it’s time to use our fears and learn some new strategies to take on in spite of them.
1. Look at your fear as an indicator of where you need to spend your energy and attention
Now I don’t mean I want you to spend your energy on the fear itself, instead I‘m inviting you to focus on what IS in your control. If you’re afraid something is going to happen, it likely means you want the opposite to happen. And if one is possible, the other is also equally as possible! If you’re afraid of never reaching your potential, have you defined what that potential is? Have you set a small goal that is in alignment with your bigger vision? Whatever we focus on, expands. So let’s do all we can to ensure our biggest fears do NOT become a reality.
2. Look at your fear as your friend
In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Big Magic’ she speaks about ‘our dear friend fear.’ She calls it her friend because in her world she’s recognised whenever she’s about to embark on a new creative journey, her friend fear is there, whether she wants it there or not. So, she’s taken to inviting it along for the ride. She even gives it the seat in the car, but ensures she NEVER allows it to sit in the driver’s seat.
3. Look at your fear as way to measure your growth
If you’re feeling the fear, chances are you’re thinking about taking action, or are already in action, towards something that makes you uncomfortable. How exciting is that! After all, the magic always happens outside of our comfort zones. And nothing big ever happens without first pushing through the discomfort. So if you’re feeling the fear, chances are you’re growing!
‘Anything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.’ ~ George Addair.
And it’s true.
So, what do you REALLY want?
And how can you take one small step today, in spite of your fears, to get closer to making that one thing a reality?
I’m committed to helping individuals and organisations push past fear in order to live their biggest lives, both at work and at play. If you’re curious to see how I may be able to support you or your organisation, let’s set up a time to chat!
Happy Friday, and have a FAB weekend!