Do you feel paralyzed when it comes to making a decision because of fear? Have you stopped yourself from doing what you desire due to fear of failure or what others might think?
If you have (and we all have) read on to find out how to get to the other side of the fear that holds you back, and instead use it to empower yourself.
Why Do We Experience Fear?
Think of fear like your inner protector, fear says things like ‘don’t step out in front of those cars, avoid the side of the street with the dodgy lighting and don’t go into that building alone’. Many of us should say thank you to fear for guiding us intuitively away from possibly deadly scenarios.
Unfortunately fear often perceives not-so-serious things as a threat. Should I apply for that new position, begin writing my long dreamed of book, take up ballet? To these possibilities for growth and fun fear sticks its head up (where there is no danger) and says ‘nope, better not, that could be dangerous’. Ouch! Why does it have to be so overprotective? It seems that fear doesn’t recognize the difference between mortal danger and an opportunity to gain new experience, create and grow; bottom line – fear hates change.
How to Work Through Fear?
Firstly you should not let fear make decisions for you on any of the following things: love, creativity, passion, interests. Leave physical (and sometimes emotional) dangers in fears hands, but nothing else. I’m not recommending you put yourself in harms way, definitely not, but you can’t say ‘no’ to your heart or your inspiration because you fear change, failure or judgement.
Fear of Change – In order to go after the light of inspiration you feel, you must accept that change will occur. Change is the only consistent and guaranteed aspect of our world and growth can only come through change. Our fear of change often occurs because of perceived obstacles such as those concerning money or time. To work through this fear become aware of any possible obstacles before you and make a plan that suits your needs. If focusing on your inspiration means you won’t be working full time hours anymore, then a potential obstacle is a smaller income. If that’s your obstacle, work on some strategies to overcome this; for example you could take on a casual night job or do some freelance work on the side. This may allow you to have time for your passion without the fear of overdue notices on your bills.
If your life is made up of ‘could have’s’ or ‘should have’s’ then you will realize you had all the opportunities life offers and chose none.
Fear of Failure – Sometimes it is the fear of failing at a new project that stops us from beginning at all. I won’t encourage anyone to be naive and follow the slogan of ‘what would you do if you could not fail’, because yes sometimes projects, ideas or inspiration can fail. What you need to ask yourself is what defines this as a failure or as a success? There is a common belief that if a project doesn’t receive fame or fortune it is automatically a failure. That is a lot of pressure to put on your present inspiration. Do you really need to become a millionaire for your novel to be ‘successful’ or is the act of putting it out there and sharing your inspiration what you truly, deeply desire for it? What story do you tell yourself? Move past your fear by questioning how you define failure and success.
Your excuses are just the lies your fears have sold you. – Robin Sharma
Fear of What Others Will Think – We have all at one point in our lives worried that our actions toward our dreams, or our very dreams themselves would be laughed at, belittled or seen as an attempt to rise above convention. There is no joy gained through making or not making your decisions based on how others perceive you or the expectations they place on you. Work through this fear by reminding yourself that you are not your work or your creation. Do not allow your sense of self to be defined by what you do, even if this includes something wonderful you’ve created. Wayne Dyer sums it up perfectly when he says that other peoples opinions of you are none of your business. You do not have to accept the limitations of others; mentally send them love and then release the invisible hold these opinions have.
5 Ways to Move Past Fear:
- Mentally talk yourself through the fear to what is real. This ‘threat’ is just a thought not a fact. And even if it did come to pass ensure you have devised a supportive back up/side plan.
- Be in the present moment. When you are mindful, right here, right now you will see there is no danger in this moment, the only moment there is. You are safe to create, change or become something new.
- Affirm fearlessness, Louise Hay has some excellent affirmations for overcoming fear. Say ‘thank you’ to fear; ‘I hear you but your services are not needed. I am safe’.
- Meditate and allow yourself to draw the opposites of fear in: safety, peace, inspiration, enjoyment, fulfillment.
- Embrace your fear. Allow yourself to feel it, accept it and then move through it to the other side.