One of the strongest emotions and one that can stop you dead in your tracks is fear.
Don’t get me wrong: Fear is a good thing. It is designed to save your life – when you are in real danger. And that’s when things get tricky. Not only does fear show up when your life is threatened, it also shows up when you are in no danger at all.
It will be there when you want to do something you love, start a business based on your passion, or find the relationship of your dreams. That’s when fear shows up, right next to excitement. And it can be so overwhelming that you will want to run the other direction and go hide under the covers.
How can you deal with this? What can you do when fear gets so strong that it threatens to stop you from pursuing the life of your dreams?
Being stopped by fear happens all the time and is one of the single-most reasons why so many people stay in jobs they hate, endure relationships that drain them and don’t listen to their heart. This is what you can do:
Pay attention: Are you in real danger right now? Is this a ‘good fear’ that is designed to alarm you when you are in a life threatening situation? Or is it the sort of fear that comes in when your life gets out of the comfort zone? Making this distinction is a crucial first step in dealing with your fear.
Do it anyway. If it is the second kind of fear, the fear of change, realize the feeling of discomfort it creates and keep going.
Have a plan of action. The main thing about fear is that it will stop you from taking action and put you back into your head. Having a plan is essential to staying focused and move forward. If you find yourself worrying about everything that can go wrong, check with your plan and take the next step. Pick up the phone, write a to do list, call your support team – stay in action, no matter what.
I remember once driving to give a speech and my fear got so overwhelming that I started crying behind the wheel. I was supposed to talk in front of 600 women and I was terrified. But, hey, they were waiting and the only way to go was forward. That was a good thing.
Take small steps: Go easy on yourself and take small steps that are just exciting enough to keep you going and that are small enough not to overwhelm you. Moving forward is key.
Have a support team: This is one of the most important factors in creating change. Have someone that has your back. This can be a spouse, a good friend, a small team of like-minded people, or a coach. Whenever you get stuck, call for support.
Take time to celebrate: A lot of times fear shows up when we are exhausted and overworked. Keep a healthy balance of action and relaxation. Taking time to celebrate is easy to forget. So many people start a business just to become their own worst boss. The beauty of having your own enterprise is that you can design it any way you want to. Have fun, play hard and take time to celebrate.
Good luck and remember, fear is not your enemy, it’s part of the game. Turn it into your best friend, the one that shows up every time you are on the right track to living the life of your dreams.
As always, thank you for reading.
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Photo Credit: The 5th Ape via Flickr under a Creative Commons License