Secrets to Scaring off Your Fears for Good
With Halloween right around the corner, I have been filling my free time binge-watching scary movies and taking walks through various suburbs around my parents house in New Jersey enjoying the - unfortunately, lame - decorations… (Is it me or was Halloween way better 20 years ago? I feel like people don’t do it up like they use to…)
On one of these walks I started to think about the the major things I have feared in the past few years:
Leaving a steady paycheck to start a business in a new field
Giving up my apartment, my home, to live a life of immersive travel
Putting myself “out there” on the internet - which I have religiously avoided up until now
Each of these things I feared, unpacked, and then jumped off the proverbial cliff to see where it would lead me. I don't regret any of them because each of these have paid off in ways I couldn’t even possibly have imagined before taking the leap.
When I announced that I was quitting my job to start a business and rotate my location quarterly I heard a lot of “I wish I could do that”. This was sad AND frustrating to me because, really, unless you have some extenuating circumstances, anyone can do exactly what I did. This is one of the reasons I went into business - to empower people to follow their own dreams and their vision of what they want their life to be.
Forget quitting your job to start your own business to travel the world (this is certainly not the path for everyone) I’m talking about staying put because you are afraid to move forward. You pine over the dream without ever going after it because your thoughts paralyze you in quicksand, sinking deeper and deeper the more you squirm around.
As Lewis Carroll (the author of the Alice in Wonderland series) said , “In the end… We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”
OR, as Lucas from Empire Records (only one of the greatest movies of all time) put it, “I do not regret the things I have done, but those I did not do.”
I have lived by these words (Lucas's, not Lewis) since I first saw this movie at 11 years old. (If you haven’t seen it, go watch it right now - that’s an order.)
So, how do we go about shutting up these fears rattling around our brains in order to go after what it is we desire?
For one, talking through your fears rationally helps to put them into perspective. Once you know what is holding you back, and why, then you can figure out how to overcome it and move forward.
Fear is an emotional reaction that is meant to keep us safe, but often times the things we have evolved to fear are the things that will help us grow to our fullest potential (and are more psychological than physical).
Think about a something you've wanted but have never gone after.
Now, think about what is holding you back?
Fear of the unknown
Fear of failure
Fear of looking stupid
Fear of not being perfect
Fear of being judged
There are really so many options, the list could go on and on.
So, let’s try a little exercise:
I’m going to ask you some questions and I want you to really think about the answers and write them down:
What is it you really want?
What is your driving force behind this? (your "why")
What is holding you back from going after it?
What about this triggers you?
What will you loose by not going after this goal?
How does not going after it help you?
More often than not we are fearing the unknown, which is silly when you think about it because you have a 50/50 chance of cutting yourself off from some amazing experiences. All because you are allowing yourself to be held back by fear of what could or couldn't happen.
Here are some things to think about if you find yourself paralyzed by fear
Drill down into your “why” - Truly understanding why you want something and where the desire comes from can be just the thing you need for that kick of motivation to finally go after it.
List out the pros and cons - A classic strategy. Not only will you have a solid, logical list of reasons to back up why you should go after what you want but if the pros don't outweigh the cons, and you still have the instinctual urge that you want this thing, listen to your intuition and go get it!
Don’t see failure as a bad thing - My current motto is “fail fast, recover quickly”. Failing is just a part of life, there is no avoiding it if you want to learn and grow and flourish. It is in our nature to learn from our mistakes, so if we live our lives constantly in fear of making a mistake we are going to be walking on eggshells which is lame and stressful and gets us nowhere.
Stop caring what others think - Take it from me, this is not serving you in any way. If you are holding any part of yourself back because you are afraid that you will be judged for anything (whether it is your looks, your intelligence, or anything in between) you have to just stop. You are living YOUR life. You are only doing yourself a disservice, not that person.
Stop waiting for permission - I didn’t realize how many people, grown adults, are still “waiting for permission”. If this is you - who are you waiting to get permission from? Why do you need their permission? I guarantee you they have no idea you are waiting on them.
Don’t stay on a path because you thought it was the path you should be on - Life is long and we naturally evolve along the way. Sometimes what you wanted at a young age, or thought you would want at this age, you end up not jiving with. There are so many other paths to be on. PLEASE, there is no reason to stay where you are just because it is where you have ended up. It is never too late to make changes. I believe this so strongly that if you fall into this category I will give you a session on the house. Just reach out to me here
Have a plan and supporting systems - Having a plan to follow gives you a timeline and tangible actions to take that get you closer to your goal. When going after your goal seems difficult or impossible, you have a solid plan to refer to with everything mapped out and systems in place to help support you on your journey, making it harder for you to fail (although, as we know, failure is just a learning opportunity).
If you are serious about your goal, I challenge you to do the above exercise and then come up with a plan to move past your fears and start working towards it.
After all, “… the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” - Franklin D, Roosevelt.
And remember, if you want support on your journey overcoming fear and taking the next steps, I am always here for you! Click here to schedule a Complimentary Discovery Session where we can explore how to move past your fears and get the results you are after.