When I signed up with my first business coach, I did it because it scared me in all the right ways. I was clear that underneath the fear was also a feeling of excitement of what was possible, and I knew that with the techniques I have (which I teach to my clients), I could handle the fear.
So fear was no longer an excuse not to do it.
And yet, fear is a big reason people don’t do things. We interpret fear as a stop sign, and say to ourselves, “I would do this, but I’m scared.”
Often, fear is just a way of having us be aware, and it’s not a stop sign.
Come Into the Present
A lot of my clients have fears that served them or their families at one point in time. For example, a common fear is of standing out and being noticed. In older times (and still is some modern situations), that’s a reasonable fear because of the circumstances.
I work with my clients on moving back into the present. I help them understand on a deep, deep level that it’s okay now. It’s okay to be noticed, it’s okay to stand out. They are safe.
In this way, they can go from saying, “I would do this but I’m scared,” to saying, “I’m scared, and I can do this.”
Fear + Oxygen = Excitement
In large part, fear is a feeling. Feelings aren’t logical, so we can often feel conflicting things at once. You might want to go to the movie… and you might want to stay home. It doesn’t always make perfect sense.
In the same way, you might also experience feeling scared and excited simultaneously, or scared and hopeful, or scared and energized. Unfortunately, when those two feelings are tied up together, the fear often makes it difficult for us to access the excitement or hope or energy.
Fear is all about the past or the future. You’re afraid of what might happen or that something from the past will happen again. This means that if you stay in the present moment and take things one step at a time, they will look quite different.
If you think about it, when something does happen, you’re just dealing with that. You may expend a lot of energy being worried there will be a fire in the kitchen, but if a fire occurs in the kitchen, you will deal with it in the moment.
So when you’re feeling scared, remember to keep breathing and add oxygen to the equation. Allow yourself to be more grounded. Soon you’ll start to feel your excitement. You may even smile.
Learn to Say “And”
I talk to my clients all the time about using the word “And” instead of “But.” When you say “But,” it’s like putting on the brakes.
“I would be this BUT I’m scared.”
When you say “And,” it enables forward movement and you can embrace all of it.
“I’m scared AND I’m doing this.”
I worked with a client recently who was scared she wouldn’t be able to create enough money in her business to make up for other income that stops next year. The fear was keeping her from moving forward.
During our session, she realized, “I have all the tools I need for this. I can stop myself, and I don’t have to. I’m going to be helping a lot more people. The more I do, the happier I am and the bigger my account.”
The thought of making money went from feeling overwhelming and scary to being exciting and fulfilling.
At the end, she said, “I choose to live my life from who I was born to be.”
When you release or move past the fear, it’s incredibly energizing. Now you have access to the other emotions that were caught up in the fear.
What was a fear that you needed to let go of, or move through, and how did you feel after you did it? Leave a comment below to share your journey.
Thank you for an insightful post… I like the thought of having a few quick tools in my back pocket now when those nasty little fear gremlins creep up. I especially like the “and” idea!
Not too long ago, I had a horrible fear of speaking publicly. I was at a convention of sorts and it was an open question mic kind of thing with a celebrity of sorts taking questions (actually he was a QB for the Seattle SeaHawks). The mic was being passed around by the coordinators and I raised my hand quickly, got the attention of the guy with the mic sneaking down the aisles. A few minutes passed as I secretly prayed he forgot about me, then suddenly the mic was being passed down the seats right into my sweaty palms. I had an immediate physical sense of fear take over my body from head to toe. But, I took the mic confidently, stood up, asked my question and I actually am still alive to tell the story. 🙂
Hi, Andrea –
What a great description of how it can be to bravely step into something and then immediately want to draw back as the fear comes up! I love it!
Congratulations on being scared and speaking up. And now you have the experience of speaking publicly AND living through it. 🙂 To actually experience ourselves as something sinks in on a cellular level, rather than the brain-deep “I think I can do this.” Previews of an up-coming blog. 😉
Nice to see you here, Andrea. Welcome.