When you read the word in orange below, notice what you feel in your body and emotions, and what thoughts you have.
What happened for you? Did your stomach clench? Your shoulders tighten? Did you start having an avalanche of thoughts?
Fear comes up a LOT in my work with clients. Fear comes up for me, too! It has to, because I regularly choose to do things that scare me. I do this because I’m deeply committed to my own growth and expansion.
Growth often happens in decisions and choices that scare us, especially in the beginning. Avoiding it can feel safer, but it also robs us of adventure, excitement and expansion.
Plus, when you’re doing something big (or something that feels big), any unresolved gunk you have will get confronted. That’s when you start feeling it in your body and hearing the negative chatter in your head.
Trying to get anything accomplished when you’re feeling this way can be like trying to walk in cement boots. Every step takes so much energy and determination!
We label this feeling “fear”, but that’s like looking at a mountainside and describing it as “green”, or at the ocean and calling it “blue”.
Looking more closely at the mountain, you’ll see that not only are there hundreds of shades of green, there’s also brown, red, yellow and silver. In the shadows you’ll see blue, purple and black. It’s never simply “green”.
When you feel scared, look again. Do you also feel excited? How about sad? Are there bits of happiness, relief and gratitude?
Don’t try to deny the fear. That will only push it underground and keep it locked in.
Acknowledge the fear without giving it extra energy. You can do this by using one of the most powerful of all words – AND.
“I feel scared AND excited. Nervous AND relieved. Sad AND empowered.”
Then, keep focusing on the excitement, relief and happiness. Again, don’t push the fear away. Instead, breathe into ALL of what’s there for you. As soon as you notice the different hues of your feelings, you open up new possibilities for yourself and action gets easier.
Next time you feel afraid, ask yourself what else you feel, too. And what else? And what else? Your world will immediately start to take on more depth, more joy and more possibilities.
The world needs you, just as you are. When you’re stopped by fear, we all lose.