“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” – Henry Ford
So you want to do something amazing with your life, huh? You’re tired of being asleep behind the wheel and ready to kick things into high gear! Well what keeps getting in the way? If you’re like most people there is one major factor that keeps you spinning your wheels but going nowhere. You just can’t seem to push past your fear! You’re afraid of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into the unknown possibilities that are ahead of you! Fear can paralyze us from doing what we really desire or taking action when we know it would help us create what we want.
“This is all you have. This is not a dry run. This is your life. If you want to fritter it away with your fears, then you will fritter it away, but you won’t get it back later.” – Laura Schlessinger
Don’t let fear stop you from living the life of your dreams. Here is a six step process to get back on track when fear appears.
Name it and claim it
In order to deal with any feeling, whether anger, stress, or fear we must first recognize we are feeling that way. When we acknowledge our emotions we can take responsibility for them and respond accordingly. To help you identify that you’re feeling afraid or anxious make a list of cues for these feelings. What sensations do you notice in your body? What are you thinking and how does your behavior change? Are you avoiding what you’re afraid of? Name your feelings and take responsibility for how you respond.
We all feel afraid and unclear about what to do sometimes. When this happens it’s okay to take time and slow down. Put on the brake and pull over for a minute. This doesn’t mean you have an excuse to stay stuck, but it’s okay to give yourself a chance to process what is going on and what you can do. The point of this to prevent reacting and doing anything hasty or detrimental to the results you want. Slow down, take a deep breath, and tell yourself you can do it!
Find out where you’re at
Once we acknowledge our feelings we can start to understand them better. We can grow our awareness about what is triggering our fear and learn those not so helpful ways we tend to react. Do a little check in with yourself? A check up from the neck up if you will. What are you thinking about the steps you want to take or the goals you have? Are there some limiting beliefs getting in your way? You don’t have to have all the answers or know how everything will unfold, but you should do what is most important to you and that will make your life better!
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” – Francis Chan
If you notice that your fear or anxiety got you off course, having a way to return back to the state of mind you desire is key. Use positive counterstatements or specific affirmations that can get you focused on the results you want and help you move past the negative thinking or worry. Another helpful tool is to use deep breathing to calm your body and get yourself in a more relaxed and confident state. When you get off course the important thing to do is learn how to regulate your state of mind so you don’t get discouraged and give up. Get focused and do what you need to do.
Put yourself in drive
Alright, now it’s time to get in motion again. You checked in with yourself and got yourself in a more positive state of mind. Now, it’s time to face your fear!
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”- Martin Luther King, Jr.
I know you’ve heard this before, but the problem is many people aren’t willing to do it. A great way to push past fear is to take action; to do what we feel uncomfortable doing. Be courageous and drive forward in the direction of your dreams, even if you don’t know exactly how you will reach the destination.
Get your **** together
I don’t want to be harsh or insensitive but you need to be in charge of your own feelings and reactions. There are certainly situations where fear and anxiety are important to notice and listen too, but most of the time our fear is limiting and counterproductive.
“There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.” – Andre Gide
Don’t wallow in self-pity or allow your fear to be in the driver’s seat. Have faith in yourself and process. Get it together and move on. It doesn’t help anyone to stay stuck in your fear. Fear, doubt and anxiety are not going away, but you can learn how to shift your relationship to them. What do you do to push past fear? What would you add to the steps?
“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.” – Steven Pressfield