'an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm'
Fear. A four letter word that packs a lot of punch. This little sucker keeps us trapped, playing small and giving up on our dreams. It convinces us of a distorted reality in which we are the victim and only 'bad' things can happen to us. The continual monologue of all things that could, would and will go wrong.
Within fear, there is no hope. No possibilities, just eternal darkness.
Recently I was presented with a choice, a profound experience providing me with the opportunity to step up and step into my dream, into my vision... into the unknown. To leave the safety of my comfort zone, the circle in which I had spent the majority of my life.
I paused for a moment to fully contemplate what it means to really feel fear. My stomach was in knots, my head was trapped on the spinning wheels of "What ifs", my breathing quickened and my heart raced. I had activated the dark side and she was on a mission!
"I don't deserve this!"
"I can't do it!"
"I don't know enough."
"I am not good enough."
On and on and on she went listing all the ways in which it wouldn't work, all the ways in which I would fail and all the reasons why I don't deserve good in my life. None of what she was saying had any truth to it. However, it was the loudest and strongest voice. My body changed. I became smaller, my voice quieter and I checked out. I disassociated from the feelings of worry, panic and fear. I became numb. In the feelings of nothingness, no decision was being made, no action was being taken. I was frozen.
After reflecting about that moment of frozen inaction, I realized a different approach. What if I feel? Not really ground breaking however for someone who avoids emotion at all cost it was a really big deal! Instead of checking out, escaping my reality through various means I will commit to feeling. To acknowledge what I am feeling? And where I am feeling it? And most importantly follow through on what I was going to do before I let the dark side stop me.
What a difference it made! Not only did the fear not last forever but I started to challenge a lot of core beliefs through different situations and the outcome was super positive!
When our fear voice is triggered, it is easiest to remember the word FEAR-
Feel it. Elevate. Action. Respond.
(Who doesn't love a good acronym!?)
Our first point of recognising the emotion, is seeing where the physiological changes occur within our body. Note where in the body you are feeling a reaction, "I'm feeling tightness in my chest". From there observe what the chatter is in your head, what are you thinking? From that label what emotion you are feeling "I am feeling tightness in my chest. I had the thought that I can't do this. I'm feeling fear!"
Then just breathe. Take a few deep breathes leaning into the fear. Soothing your soul. Calming your mind. Breathe into the fear.
Get bigger than your fear!! When we are in the midst of an emotion our body language changes. We feel fear, we turn inward, hunching over, crossing legs protecting ourselves from the perceived threat. Open up! Jump up and down. Shake your body. Stomp your feet. Be bigger than the fear voice inside.
Do it! Move forward in life and push through the resistance and do the task you fear the most. Create new evidence that you can do things that you are success. Note all the good things in your life, all of your achievements and all the positive things you have already created. Take note of the fear and push through. Do what you fear the most. Only then can you grow and learn as a human being. Only then can you step into your light and own your power!
Be kind to yourself. Speak with loving words. Understand where your fear is coming from and what you are believing about yourself to be the truth. Loving yourself heals. Compassion changes both yourself and those around you.
It can be a scary thing chasing your dreams. The fear of leaving behind what you have always known to embrace the unknown. When we push through fear we shred old beliefs, destroy past patterns and change limiting thoughts.
Feel the fear and move forward anyway. Acknowledge her, lean into the physiological responses, breathe deeply and do it! At the end of the day she is just a scared little child seeking reassurance and comfort. Provide her with loving compassion and firmly say "We are going to do it."