Fear is excitement without the breath. Here’s what this intriguing statement means: the very same mechanisms that produce excitement also produce fear, and any fear can be transformed into excitement by breathing fully with it. (Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap)
Who knew? Fear is excitement without the breath. Now, we can all take a step back and face our fears because it’s actually excitement…Simple! My work here is done. Can you sense my sarcasm already?
I cringe every time I hear myself saying “Get out of your comfort zone” and funny enough I’ve realised I say this a lot (not a hypocrite I swear!). I guess it’s just a concept so embedded in us that it has become yet another overused cliché. I have a theory that we don’t apply the most obvious things on a daily basis because we clearly “know” them so well, hence, there’s no need for them.
When I first started writing my articles and newsletters I was so scared. I had postponed for years and years because …”Who am I to give advice?” “What if people won’t like me anymore?” “What if people will judge or ridicule me?” “What if I am not enough?” (wasn’t even considering that no one will read my posts at first except my friends and family haha). And these are just a few. I am pretty sure if you’re a 100% honest with yourself you can relate to at least one of two of those fears but maybe in a different context.
As a recovering perfectionist, it took me years to overcome this fear of not being ENOUGH (don’t get fooled, I am still working on it!). Nothing I ever did was good enough. Till one day, last year, when I had this epiphany: “If I am not good enough now, I will never be because all I am doing is procrastinating and being afraid to show up as myself. Thus, I am not progressing and I am stopping myself from becoming my best version. If am not enough now will I be enough when I am 50?” I highly doubted it.
This was the catalyst to challenge myself as often as I could and take micro bravery steps every day to overcome my fears. And here’s a few things I found helpful:
First you need to be AWARE
It’s very easy to think that you are your fears and your experiences but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You are not your fears, you are the awareness that experiences it. What’s one thing you’re afraid of right now in this moment? After you create this awareness, you need to identify and get curious about your fears. Get specific, look at the pictures in your head, listen to your inner GPS: What’s scaring you? What’s happening exactly? Where do you feel fear? What generates these fears?
(I.e. It can be that you’re feeling shame, you’re scared of being judged, ridiculed, you’re afraid to show up with authenticity as you think no one will like you, you’re afraid you won’t achieve your goals, you’re afraid of failure etc.)
Once you established this, all you can do is focus on the now, this is the only moment that exists. You have no control over how the future is going to develop and sure as hell can’t change the past. Realise that what you have now, where you are now it’s exactly where you should be. You can grow and expand from here, provided you allow yourself to experience the now for what it is.
Practice gratitude, daily!
I find that practicing gratitude on a daily basis changes your perception on life dramatically. If you constantly focus on the lack, the scarcity, negativity, it is very easy to get disconnected. Once you start practicing gratitude on a daily basis you will realise that you already have the tools within. Say you’re scared of trying a dance class or yoga class. If you focus on being grateful for having the opportunity to try it out in first place, for having a body that will allow you to do that, you will instantly become grateful.
Start looking at reasons you’re grateful for in every situation that is scary at first. Download my “Practise gratitude” freebie here and start reaping the benefits of this practice today. I promise you this is one of the most powerful practices and if you incorporate this into your daily (even weekly) routine, it will save you so much unnecessary suffering.
Journal your fears
Once you release your fears out in the Universe or put then on a piece of paper you will realise that some of them might be so silly it will make you laugh. You might have others that require more work but you are creating the awareness which is the starting point. If you don’t release these fears, you can become so caught up in your negative thoughts. As you know our minds like to trick us into believing that our fears are actually true. Instead of throwing yourself a pity party, share these fears especially with like minded individuals that are willing to listen and help. It will bring new perspectives and will help release those preconceptions, judgements and anxieties.
I remember I felt a sense of huge relief when I shared some of my fears as I have realised I am not alone in feeling that.
Read & Watch
Reading a good book, watching a great Ted Talk, motivational video, movie, documentary, all show us the power of example. Particularly if you’re watching something that is based around a certain fear you might have. It will show you that other humans like you and I who are not better nor worse than you and I were able to achieve amazing things. This will reinforce the belief that you too can achieve anything provided you’re willing to take micro bravery steps every day to overcome your fears.
Let go and surrender
Let go. We humans are all control freaks right? We just want to control everything plus we have a ton of expectations. Accept and love the fact that it is what it is and where you are right now is the exact place where you should be. Trust that the universe has your back and it’s supporting you every step of the way and once you want to take the plunge and overcome your fear, you will be supported. The support might not come in the form you’ve expected it but you are always supported. Recently, I got recommended a great book on the topic which so far has proved to be a super insightful and helpful read.
Train yourself to be positive
The easiest thing you can do is to imagine the negative right? Have you ever tried to flip it over when fear strikes? Instead of thinking: What if I fall? why not consider What if I fly?
I understand this might be the hardest thing to do especially when we are really really scared but need I remind you: fear is excitement without the breath? What if you can become the best in the world at what you do? What if you can positively influence the world around you? I dare you: Visualise it! How does it make you feel? Are you still scared? Take a deep breath so you allow yourself to feel the excitement.
You need to understand that fears are just fears. They are mostly created by our own imagination to make our reality seem scarier than it is. Simply put, it’s very comfortable to use fear as an excuse for lack of action. Once you start taking incremental steps, overcoming your fears will seem a lot easier. They will become weaker and you will feel more confident and brave with each each step you take. I also like to imagine the worst case scenarios and let me tell you this: once you paint a mental picture of that and release it, you might even laugh about how silly it was! Plus, in my experience so far worst case scenarios are not even close to what you pictured in first place.
So what’s one action step you can take right now to overcome one of your fears? (type it in the comment box 😉)