‘I see your fear, and it’s big. I also see your courage, and it’s bigger, we CAN do the hard things.’-Glennon Doyle
I believe that fear gets too much airplay.
It has become a common word in our language and fear is almost always related to negative contemplative thoughts that are replaying in our minds too often.
In fact, we build a vision of fear in our future even though it hasn’t even happened yet!
It might be because we hold much of our past in our minds and refuse to let go, which prevents us from living in the moment because we are scared.
Fear isn’t always awful or scary thoughts – in fact, most fear is bad management of our own mental faculties.
I believe we have more powerful capabilities than we think or give ourselves credit for.
Fear can become a moment of wild emotions.
In the past, I have experienced fear when I was feeling overwhelmed.
It was so easy for me to get caught up in the negativity.
It is as if my brain was designed to hold on to negative things.
In the past I would fear:
- Being judged by others.
- Speaking up for myself.
- Public Speaking.
- When I didn’t understand a concept, business process or an accounting problem.
- Making a mistake.
- Making decisions.
I actually created stories in my mind about fear and made them bigger than they actually were.
But I have always been interested in how to combat fear.
To not let fear hold me back from my goals, dreams and serving as my highest self.
In order to gain the tools and mindset to manage and crush my fears, I have studied high performers and successful people over the years.
These people (regardless of income or career choice) developed a resilience or hardiness in the face of fear.
Their perception of fear is weak and does not get any airplay when they are creating, innovating, researching, planning, or completing complicated tasks and activities.
In fact, the things that frighten most people are crushed by their courage to recognize the fear and dissolve it from their mindset almost immediately.
I can’t tell you how many times, I was afraid to do something and for years I avoided or ‘played small’ when confronted.
Through my own personal experience and decades leading others in large and small organizations…
I learned, there are 2 kinds of pain:
- Loss Pain.
I believed that if I went ahead and did this “thing”, I would experience loss.
In other words, I would lose something in the process – something I cared or had a passion for.
For example, what if I lost:
- My job.
- My status.
- My relationship (personal or work).
- My business.
- My connection with my partner.
- A steady paycheck.
- My reputation.
- All I’ve worked for.
As a result, I would usually quit…
Because I made a list of reasons not to move forward. So, I stagnated and lost momentum.
‘We can be our worst selves when we are afraid. Or our best, bravest selves!’-Brene Brown
2. Process Pain:
The process of changing or looking at things in a different way is hard.
Process pain is fearing how things will go, during the process of change, learning something new, giving something up, or building a new business, career, or relationship.
Process pain can be debilitating because you freeze and do not move forward or try something because you feel the process to get it is too hard or scary.
SO, WE DON’T CHANGE!
For example, people who want to quit smoking are not thinking about the positive effects on their health and wallet.
They are thinking about the process of quitting like withdrawals, frustration, anxiety, and being in social situations.
Or the person who is trying to change their diet…
They do not think about feeling better or having more energy.
Instead, they dread the process of having to shop differently at the grocery store, cooking differently, and starting to exercise.
In both of these scenarios they fear the process, so they stop or don’t bother.
So what can we do???
We need to stop thinking about losing something or the process it takes to fulfill our dreams, goals, and aspirations.
We need to train our minds to break through the fears that are holding us back from achieving our own personal greatness.
My book recommendation this week is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s called Fear Less by Dr. Pippa Grange.
She teaches us that by starting to live with less fear, we can find our real passions and deeper fulfillment.
Her simple manifesto enables us to replace stress with courage and connect with the people around us on a far deeper level.
The book can be purchased on Amazon using the following link:
‘Fear is not real. It’s the product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is real. But fear is a choice.’-Will Smith
Here are 4 Proven ways to SILENCE FEAR:
- RELEASE YOUR ATTACHMENT TO OUTCOMES.
One of the real reasons we don’t do things that frighten us is because we are afraid of:
- Being Judged.
In other words, we are afraid because we are attached to the outcome.
We become scared that the outcome may be no better than when we started at the beginning of the process.
That we may go through the pain, time, challenges, and sacrifices, and nothing changes.
But, if we constantly fear the outcome, we will never change.
Part of the maturity and mastery of life is to stop focusing on the negative outcomes.
Instead, transform your thinking, dreaming, and visualizing on those things that are powerful, good, and satisfying, fulfilling, and joyous.
For example, if you have decided to quit smoking…create and voice affirmations daily.
- I will finally be able to feel good again!
- I will become healthy!
- I will have more money!
Or, if you decide to live a healthier lifestyle and change your diet…these affirmations are critical to crushing negative outcomes:
- I will feel fit!
- I will have energy!
- I will live longer!
- My visits to the doctors will become less!
Start to think about all of the positive outcomes as a result of that change or taking on that new challenge.
When you start to master your mind, you will have the ability to flip the negative and focus on the gains and joyous and positive outcomes.
2. CONFRONT YOUR FEARS ON PAPER
Take out your journal.
Write down what is preventing you from moving forward:
- What would happen if I went ahead and did that scary thing?
- What would you have to learn in order to move forward?
- What is stopping me from moving forward with this task/activity/challenge/new way of thinking?
- What do I need to do in order to overcome that fear?
- What is stopping you from moving ahead?
I find the biggest breakthroughs happen when I write my thoughts down.
This act of expression and capturing your thoughts will help with self-awareness when it comes to fear.
‘To me, fearless is not the absence of fear, it’s not being completely unafraid. To me, fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, fearless is living in spite of these things that scare you to death.’-Taylor Swift.
3. BE COMMUNICATIVE
I believe that communicative people become very resilient.
People who communicate with trusted friends, mentors, and coaches…
Who open their hearts and share their experiences…
- Their struggles
- Dreams, and aspirations
Are able to process, discover and begin to understand their feelings and emotions.
People who can summon the courage to talk about things that are uncomfortable often find empathy for their own voice.
Through authentic expression and emotional openness, we can learn to release fear and negativity so that it does not have control over us.
‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.’-Nelson Mandela
4. EMBRACE THE MESS:
As humans, we aspire to be fearless.
Remember that the things you now find easy, were once really hard (i.e., public speaking, writing, driving, speaking up for yourself, presenting an argument or approach to management, etc.).
If you want to become fearless, remember that every master was once a beginner.
Progress is messy!
But, you have a choice…
You can spend your best days paralyzed by fear -locked into your current thinking and live a life of regret.
You can embrace the mess.
Do things that frighten you knowing you aren’t always going to get it right the first time or even the second time.
I understand that fear is a real emotion and can paralyze people from living their best life.
So be honest with yourself and ask… What is holding me back from living my full potential (i.e. in life, income, career, or relationships)?
Remember to use your journal and record your current state of fear and what is holding you back.
The moment you start doing the things that scare you, you start taking your power back!
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I sincerely wish you the best on your journey to enhance your life!
George Andreas, Founder