Here is the funny thing about fear — it really has great intentions. Fear lives within us in order to keep us safe and protected. Ultimately, it just wants the best for us! But what fear doesn’t understand, is that living within our comfort zone, isn’t always in our best interest. Sure, we might encounter less stress, less heartache, and way less failure…. but we will also encounter way less LIVING.
Many of us understand that fear is holding us back from achieving our goals and living out our best lives, so what makes it so hard to overcome?
Our biggest problem lies in the fact that we have an incredibly difficult time separating ourselves from OUR fears.
Our personal fears tend to feel like a complete expression of who we are. We mistake them as a part of our identity and how we function in this world. The good news is, we can change those beliefs! Our fears are just a combination of thoughts and feelings that we can CHOOSE to identify with or not. It is completely possible to rewire your brain and build new habits that more align with your desires (it’s scientifically proven!).
This fact has really resonated with me as I prepare for one of my biggest life transitions — closing my chapter as a full time teacher. For so many years of my life, I have let fear take the driver’s seat. Dictating what decisions I was going to make and stopping me from taking risks. Most importantly, fear continually stopped me from listening to my intuition (that “gut feeling”), which is one of the greatest gifts we all have.
Iwas tired of living my life listening to the voice that kept me stuck and afraid. What would happen if I chose DIFFERENTLY? What if I chose to listen to my intuition instead?
Elizabeth Gilbert has a quote, “I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit.” And you know what? I couldn’t agree with her more. I had been carrying around so many limiting beliefs about myself, (most of them stemming as far back as childhood!), and it was time to get clear and face my own “shit.”
For years I had created all of these false stories around who I was and what I was capable of. It was time to begin letting that all go. It was time to finally look fear in the eye, and as uncomfortable as it was going to be, choose to live through it.
Now, I am not saying that I have conquered the art of living through my fear, and honestly, I’ve just begun! There are bound to be many twists and turns in this new transition of my life that are going to bring up a lot of old baggage. But, I have learned a few tricks along the way.
below are 3 ways I’ve learned to acknowledge and get cozy with my fear, as oppsed to letting it run the show.
1. Get clear on your goals
In order to move past your fears, you must get clear on WHY you want to do so. What are your goals and why do you want to achieve them? What will you accomplish, obtain, and more importantly… what will you feel like when you reach them?
Imagine what achieving your goals will help you do and who they will help you become.
Envision your best life and your “picture perfect world.” Imagine this until you are so amped about this version of yourself that you actually start to feel the excitement running through your body.
Now, trust that you have the power within you to make this happen. Because, you do.
2. Take Small Actionable steps
You don’t have to go quit your job or immediately move across the country to achieve your goals. Let’s think small. I’ve found that the majority us like to think in black and white scenarios:
I’m successful OR I’m failing
I’m happy OR I’m sad.
I’m financially fit OR I’m broke.
What happened to the middle ground? Just because you haven’t moved passed your fears (yet…), or you haven’t achieved your goal (yet!), doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
Let’s look at the big picture and break it down into more manageable, task-oriented, steps. Make a list! What are a few tasks you can accomplish this week, this month … or even this YEAR… to move towards your goal?
I’ve found that taking baby steps is much easier when working with your fears. Here are some of the baby steps I took along the way:
I began reading more books/listening to podcasts that aligned with my new values.
I started a journal to help express my thoughts and dream up my goals (and connect to my intuition).
I started connecting with women who inspired me.
I decided to launch a podcast.
I enrolled in a program to become a holistic health coach.
I started a blog!
I slowly began taking on clients.
I began hosting wellness and podcast events in my city.
It wasn’t until almost 2 years later that I took the leap to change careers! And guess what — you can take even SMALLER steps than the ones I decided to take. Make it work for you.
Or, go ahead and quit your job and move across the country … it’s your life after all 😉
3. learn to thank and appreciate
This is the hardest, but most beneficial step.
Fear is never going to go away, and it’s a good thing, too. Like I mentioned earlier, fear is here to protect us and keep us safe. We WANT it to be with us when we need it most, it’s just that the majority of the time, it tends to overact to the situation.
It’s time we say, “thank you, fear, for everything you’re trying to do for me. Thank you, for trying to protect me and keep me safe. I see you and I hear you. But, you don’t get to run the show anymore.”
There comes a time when you realize you’ve spent way more hours worrying (about things that may never happen) and way less time enjoying the beauty of what already is. And the beauty of what COULD be. And take this from a girl who has lived in fear for a long time — it’s just wasted energy.
Life is all about energy, and I truly believe that from the bottom of my heart. If your energy is spent feeding the fear, than fear you will attract. It’s what you will be looking for and it’s what your brain will expect at every turn.
Rather, if you spend your energy embracing your potential, envisioning your goals, and taking actionable steps — the lens in which you see the world will begin to change. I know this from experience.
What we focus on grows! So seek out opportunities that feed your soul and make you happy. Appreciate and thank fear for what it is and it’s good intentions, but remember you always get to make the final call.
So what is it that you have been dreaming up and wishing to do? How can you begin to break though your fears and take action on your goals? I would love to hear in the comments below!
What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson