- Fear is inevitable, especially with change and growth. Don’t try to be “fearless”, instead listen to your fears.
- Pushing away fear makes it persist more. Turn toward your fears, listen to them, see if they have any valid information.
- Fear serves a purpose. It can provide useful information and motivation. Don’t dissociate from feeling fear.
- Approach fears gradually. Take small actions towards scary things to retrain your brain that new things aren’t always dangerous.
- If a fear feels overwhelming, calm your nervous system before approaching the fear again. Attend to what the fear is trying to communicate.
Today we’re talking about fear. Now, fear is a fact of life. It happens to every single one of us.
Yet how many times have you heard you just got to be fearless, you just got to be fearless? Well, what if I were to tell you that you don’t actually want to be fearless? And in fact, fear serves a purpose. It it’s how you interact with fear and how you talk and dialogue with fear that makes all of the difference. So that you don’t feel stuck and static and paralyzed by fear.
And instead you can use it as information to inform your next steps and to understand what is right for you in your business, in your life, and in everything you want to create. So there are a few key things for you to understand about fear in order to move through it. The first thing to understand is that fear is inevitable.
And change, change in our life is inevitable. Right? One of my favorite Greek philosophers, his name is Heraclitus. I know I’m a dork.
I majored in philosophy in college. It was one of my majors. Heraclitus says you can only step into the same river once because the idea is that that river is always changing.
That river is always flowing. The only constant in life is change because every moment is new. Every moment is a new opportunity.
But here’s the thing. Change actually brings up fear. Our mind actually wants us to stay the same.
It wants us to stay in our comfort zone. It wants everything to be static and always, always similar and to be able to anticipate every threat at every corner. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
And so what happens is change is this ever present thing, which means that there’s always going to be a little bit of an edge of fear because there’s always going to be something new and different ahead of us on the path. So when the only thing you can depend on is that things are going to change and that things are going to be different tomorrow and you know that change is going to bring up perhaps these little edges of fear, what you can do is you can actually make friends with your fear. You cannot allow fear to become a stop sign.
And instead you can say to yourself, well, this is anticipated. Of course I feel fear. Of course I feel fear going into, I don’t know, this new yoga class where I don’t know anybody and I’m not sure if they’re going to be nice people or not.
Of course I feel fear driving across country on vacation and I don’t know if the roads are going to be really great, comfortable roads to drive on, whatever it might be. These fears are obviously not stop signs and they’re obviously just a fact of life. So understand that change brings up fear.
This is obvious when we come to these small little changes. But what happens when it comes to really big changes, right? Like when we’re going through a quantum leap like when we’re going through a quantum leap in our business, in our life, when we’re making really big changes or we want to make big changes. Well, it’s probably going to bring up a different degree of fear, a different level of fear, because the change that we’re experiencing is a different level than these small changes.
Like going to a new yoga class. Instead, let’s say we’re moving across country or we’re starting a new business or we’re putting out a new offer in our business. All of these things might be up leveling our income.
All of these things might be really massive shifts and really massive changes that require identity level shifts inside of us. That level of change can bring up a lot of insecurity, a lot of limiting beliefs, a lot of self doubt, a lot of fear. So what do you do when you have these great big giant changes ahead of you? Well, you have to understand that the fear is actually trying to communicate with you.
One of the core mistakes that we make when it comes to fear is that we believe that, like I said earlier, we should be fearless. So what happens is we shove fear off the table and we decide that fear has no place here. I’m going to ignore my fear.
I’m going to push fear away. Well, the way the subconscious mind works is that the harder we push something away, the more it persists in the back of our mind outside of our awareness and influences our behavior. That’s first of all.
Secondly, the subconscious mind sees the things that we push away as dangerous and then it reinforces that the things that we’re afraid of because we’re pushing away our fear are dangerous and our subconscious mind will stop us from achieving those things. So if we’re afraid of up leveling our income, if we’re afraid of starting our business, if we’re afraid of moving cross country, whatever it might be, but then we push that fear away and we push away from that thing, our subconscious mind will read that as that thing is really, really threatening. Let’s make sure that thing doesn’t happen and it will begin to self sabotage us in ways that we’re like, what the heck is going on? Why am I doing this? Why am I dragging my feet applying for a new apartment? Or why am I stopping myself from putting out offers? Or why am I not standing confidently in my new pricing structure or whatever it might be? We ask ourselves why we’re doing those things.
And it’s because our subconscious mind is actually motivating those behaviors to keep us safe because we pushed the fear away. Now, I know this might sound totally opposite of what you’ve heard before, which is just ignore the fear. Push through it.
Just push it away. Be fearless. Well, it’s just not accurate.
As a former psychologist, I can tell you your emotions have value. And the more that you push your emotions away, the bigger they’re going to get. We have this saying in psychology that is what we resist, persists.
And so when you resist an emotion like fear, what you’re doing is you’re basically causing it to persist and stay stuck there. And then it gets stuck in your body, and it gets stuck in the limiting beliefs that you have, and it plays out in the back of your mind without you even realizing it. So what do you do instead? You actually need to begin to listen to your fears.
Now, I’m not saying that you stop yourself because of your fears. I’m not saying that you heed to your fears and you say, well, my fears are right. I’m just saying you listen to them.
Imagine your fears like a small child, a small child who is tugging at your skirt and saying, hey, pay attention to me, pay attention to me. That’s what your fears are like. You know, like with that small child, if you ignore that little kid, that kid’s going to like it louder and louder and tug harder and harder at your skirt till maybe your skirts around your ankles and they’re screaming at the top of their lungs, I kid.
But sort of fear is the same way. It’s going to persist, and it’s going to get bigger the more we ignore it. But just like that small child, if you turn toward it and you say, okay, honey, what is it? What do you need? What’s going on? And the kid goes, I found a stick or something, whatever.
And it’s not even that big of a deal. But they just needed to be attended to. They needed to know that they were worthy of attention and that you were aware of them.
And then they get quiet, and then they go along their merry way. The same happens a lot of times with our fears. When we turn toward our fears, when we listen to what our fears are trying to tell us, when we see if there’s any valid information, there anything to really be afraid of, suddenly the fears become a lot lighter.
They become a lot less persistent. They become like a mist instead of a fog where we can see through them and we can see the truth of the matter. Sometimes there are things to actually be afraid of, but more often than not, your fears are just wanting your attention.
And the moment you turn towards them and you listen and you go, okay, what is there to actually be afraid of? You realize that what it was that you were ignoring wasn’t actually that big of a deal to begin with. So, for example, let’s say you are putting out a new offer and you’re afraid that nobody wants it or that nobody will take advantage of it, or nobody will purchase it. And you’re ignoring that, and you’re ignoring that, and it’s getting bigger and bigger in the back of your mind.
And then you turn toward the fear, and you go, okay, what is it that you’re trying to say? Okay, what if nobody buys this? What if nobody’s interested in it? And then you sit with that for a moment and you think, well, it’s not the end of the world, actually. I’ll survive. It’s fine.
No big whoop. I can handle that. Suddenly the fear goes, oh, okay, well, now we can be quiet.
And now we can quiet down and really not have to nag you and not have to shout and yell to get your attention because you’ve addressed the elephant in the room. So when you tune into your fears, listen to your fears, it doesn’t mean that you allow your fears to stop you. It doesn’t mean you see your fears as a stop sign.
It simply means you are allowing space for all of you at the table. Because this is the key to really following our intuition, to really following our inner genius, to really creating a business and life that we love, that’s nourishing and nurturing, where we are the leader in our own lives and in our own businesses, is trusting ourselves enough to invite all of the pieces of us to the table, including our fears. And so when you can make space for your fears, instead of ignoring them, instead of pushing them off the table, instead of saying, I got to be fearless, you actually are creating an invitation to your authentic self that all of you is welcome.
Even the uncomfortable bits, even the bits that aren’t always convenient, even the bits that sometimes are a pain in the ass. Because let’s be honest, another thing to think of is fear actually serves a purpose. Sometimes there are things out in the world that we need to be afraid of, like a lion chasing us down or a car is about to hit us, and we need to be afraid, and we need to actually be able to leap into action.
We don’t want to disassociate and disconnect from our ability to feel fear. As a former psychologist, I actually used to work in the Texas prison system, like, many, many years ago. I can tell you the only people who do not feel fear are psychopaths.
These are people who don’t feel emotions. When you dissociate, when you unplug from one emotion, you are essentially unplugging your ability to feel all of your emotions. So when you unplug from things like fear, I’m not going to feel fear or sadness.
I’m not going to feel sadness. I mean, don’t get me into the whole you got to be high vibe and positive all the time. Yes.
Do we want to be in belief and confidence and feel really great all the time? Yes. But it doesn’t mean we have to we have to make space for all of us at the table. When you unplug from these emotions that are perhaps less comfortable, what you’re doing is you’re actually turning down the volume on all of your emotions, which means that you have less access to the positive, beautiful, amazing emotions as well.
So you don’t want to unplug from your emotions. You just want to be able to have the skill to be able to navigate them without being overwhelmed by them or pulled under by them. An analogy I like to use with my clients a lot is we don’t want our emotions to be like the weeds in a lake when you go swimming and they wrap around your ankles and pull you under.
Instead, we want to be able to look down, see the weeds are there, and swim around them, have knowledge of them, have an interaction with them if we choose, and then swim along and not feel pulled under by them. So this is really how you can utilize your emotions for this quantum leap, is to understand that fear serves a purpose, that fear is just information that you can listen to or that you can choose not to listen to. And that when it doesn’t actually have anything valid or anything that you really, actually need to be afraid of, you can tell it to get in the backseat and that you’re going for a ride.
Right? Fear, get in the backseat. We’re going for a ride. You are not in the steering wheel.
Come on, let’s go. And this is how we get out of our own way to take action towards the scary thing. We essentially, when we do this over and over again, what we’re doing is we’re training our brain to perceive fear as something that we don’t have to be afraid of.
And I know that’s sort of a double thing, afraid of fear, but we don’t have to stop just because we feel fear, that doing something different isn’t dangerous, that fear doesn’t always indicate danger, that fear can sometimes just indicate information. And the more that we actually approach our fears instead of running away from them, the more we are training our brain to see new things change, quantum leaps, scary opportunities, as potential, as doorways that perhaps we want to walk through rather than a lion chasing us down, about to kill us. Because every time you back away from it, every time you back away from that fear, your brain is going to see it as a threat.
It’s going to file it in the threat category. Whatever it is that you’re afraid of and you’re backing away from, you’re going to reinforce it that it is not something that you want and your subconscious will do whatever it can to keep you in the same place. So you need to take intentional action toward those things.
And sometimes those intentional actions, the first one almost always is just to listen, just to tune in. So getting outside of your comfort zone, stepping into a quantum leap, it’s scary by nature, but that’s okay. You can do scary, right? We all like scary movies, or most of us like some scary movies on some level or another.
But stepping outside of your comfort zone is scary. The only thing that isn’t scary is being totally comfortable in your comfort zone. And guess what happens? There not a whole heck of a lot, because growth happens outside of your comfort zone.
The quantum leap happens outside of your comfort zone. And so you need to do this by degrees, by allowing yourself to look at fear, to converse with it, to step into it, to step towards it and not feel as though it’s something that’s telling you to stop, but also not pushing yourself so hard so fast that you overwhelm your nervous system. Now, if you’ve tuned into my other podcasts, you know that I talk a lot about the nervous system.
We don’t want to get into the fight or flight response where we’re so overwhelmed by our fears, we’re confronting ourselves with these huge fears that we shut down. That’s not what I’m saying here at all. What I’m saying here is we turn toward if it becomes overwhelming, we can go back and do nervous system regulation practices to bring ourselves back down, to ground ourselves, to calm ourselves, to calm our nervous system.
And then we can approach the fear again. There’s a whole process involved with this. It actually helps you create more wealth, abundance, and success in your business.
But at the baseline, what you need to do is approach and attend to what it is your fear is trying to tell you. And if you do that, that’s when everything changes.