Have you ever had something you really wanted, you initiated it, planned for it, worked for it, and then when it started happening you suddenly thought, “Oh no! What have I gotten myself into? Is this really going to work? Can I do this? What was I thinking?”
Do you feel like you’re the only person who does this?
Believe me, you’re not.
This is what I often hear from clients:
- I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t know if I really want to do this.
- I’ve put all this time and energy into creating this, and now I don’t even know if I want to do it!
- What made me think this was a good idea??
The good news is, you’re just feeling afraid.
When we step into something new, our old stuff comes up. That’s a great thing – not always fun (I know!), and still great. It’s an opportunity to release the gunk, to move forward with greater clarity and commitment.
So often, though, when we get afraid and the doubts come up, we make it mean something, things like:
- I shouldn’t be doing this.
- I’m doing something wrong.
- I’m a bad business owner/parent/partner.
- I’m the wrong person for this.
- Someone else would do it better.
- I should just give up.
Having old stuff come up and feeling scared just means that old stuff is coming up and that you feel scared. That’s all
Everyone feels scared sometimes. The question is, what do you do when you’re scared?
In my Clear Your Fears group, the first session we do is on our reaction to fear. Here are some of the reactions people have noticed in themselves:
- I seem to INSTANTLY go into avoidance. Any fear seems to tell my brain to run and quickly find some distraction, rather than allow myself to feel the fear.
- I feel alone, apart.
- I feel shaky and insubstantial, on high alert.
- I feel hopeless and that the situation is hopeless.
- There’s a buzzing in my ears so I can’t hear.
You can imagine how things like that stand in our way – and how good it feels to let go of it!
The biggest thing about feeling scared is that you pull in, contract. You make yourself and your world smaller.
When you’re creating something new in your life and are focused on growing, contraction is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.
So what can you do?
The first thing to do when this is going on for you is to stop.
Stop rushing to the next thing.
Stop berating yourself and judging yourself.
Stop trying to figure out how it’s all going to end up.
Stop distracting yourself.
Stop making yourself wrong for feeling this way.
Now, take a breath and let it out. Focus on breathing out a little more air each time. Let the inhale happen naturally, and then gently squeeze your lungs.
Okay, now check in with your body. What are you feeling? Where is there tension? Where is there tightness? Pay attention to your breathing.
Don’t try to change anything, just notice it. Be aware of it. When you do, you’ll probably start breathing more slowly. Just let it happen naturally.
Get a sense of how big you feel right now. Picture your body as a container and you – your spirit, your awareness, whatever makes you you – as a cloud or a light. Close your eyes and see if you’re filling your entire body – your arms, legs, hands, feet. If not, try gently focusing on your hands. Can your light/cloud move into them? Don’t try to force it. Just see if it will.
If it doesn’t, just relax and breathe. Tell your body how much you love and appreciate it. The more love you feel, the more you expand.
Once your cloud fills your entire body, see if it will go beyond it. Again, do this gently, easily, playfully.
Love yourself as you feel your fear. Sometimes the reason we feel alone is that, in a sense, we’ve abandoned ourselves. By this I mean that we’ve stopped feeling our love for ourselves. When we judge ourselves and tell ourselves harsh things, it’s like we cut ourselves off from us.
So instead, reassure yourself. Tell yourself you’re okay. That this is okay. Lovingly remind yourself that everyone feels afraid sometimes. It’s okay.
Try it now. Close your eyes and say those things to yourself – aloud if possible.
I’m this big and more.
Do you feel yourself expanding? Do you feel how much more spacious you are inside?
Try this the next time you have the feeling of being in over your head. You already are this big – and more.
The only question is, just how big will you allow yourself to show up in your life?
Thank you so much, I could relate to what you are describing on a very deep level. It seems a wonderful tool to use in tough situations! Step 5 was a revelation for me: we feel alone because we’ve abandoned ourselves by cutting ourselves off from ourselves, from feeling our love for ourselves…wow. That really resonates with me. Thank you!