I meditated this morning, as I do most mornings, and what came up for me was FEAR and how it is causing me issues with what I want to accomplish and give to the world.
So, what is fear, and why can it be so debilitating?
The only fears we humans are born with, no matter our society or culture, are the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. That is it, really. I didn’t make this up. "Google" it–we learned all the other fears along the way. My biggest fear is that no one really likes me. I am ok at first, but somewhere along the way, I either try too hard to be a part of the "in crowd," or I just really don’t have what people want to be around. I keep thinking that I have moved on from it, that I have grown from it, but I keep finding it stuffed in a corner of my psyche and it flares up its ugly head and becomes the beast in the center of the room! According to Psychology Today, “Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger that has been pivotal throughout human evolution, but especially in ancient times when men and women regularly faced life-or-death situations.” But really is the fear that I am unliked a life-or-death situation? No, it is a limiting belief about myself. And that is what fears truly are, just those limiting beliefs that we have about ourselves, our world, and are our dragons hiding in the darkest corners of our minds. For me, it is a combination of the common mental obstacles that I put in my way of making progress or taking action; fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of rejection. These fears can become our excuses for not moving forward. We can use them as a way of staying stuck in the “safety” of our comfort zones.
So, how do you identify fear?
For me, it is that little voice in my head that says things like, “You’re not good enough,” or, “You don’t deserve this.” It’s that feeling of self-doubt and insecurity that creeps in and tries to hold me back. I call it “Nanette” and when she speaks I say, “No No Nanette!!” It may sound crazy, but because of my fear of rejection, that is exactly what happens–I am rejected. That is the Law of Attraction, and that is how it really works! When you are afraid, your mind automatically goes to the worst possible outcome. You see yourself as not being good enough, not being liked, and ultimately alone. What you need to do is change your focus. Instead of thinking about all the ways that things could go wrong, start thinking about all the ways that they could go right. My favorite Jack Canfield quote, “What if it does work out,” I keep on my desk front and center to remind myself that it is ok to have everything I want and more! I am likable and have lots of amazing friends in my life that really truly like me and would follow me to the ends of the earth.
4 tips for dealing with fear
1. Acknowledge the fear and then move forward anyway. 2. Dig down and find the root cause of the fear and address it head-on. 3. Use affirmations and positive self-talk to help reframe your thinking and ease the fear. 4. Visualize yourself succeeding in spite of your fear. The first step is to acknowledge that you are afraid. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually an important step in overcoming your fear. Once you’ve acknowledged that you’re afraid, it’s easier to move forward despite the fear. I am afraid of Rejection—I name it, I claim it, and I release it to the wind!! I am afraid of Success—I name it, I claim it, and I release it to the wind!! I am afraid of Failure—I name it, I claim it, and I release it to the wind!! The second is digging down and finding the root cause of the fear. This can be tricky, but it’s important to get to the bottom of what is causing the fear. Once you know what the cause is, you can start to address it head-on. This step may need to be done with a trusted friend, a coach, or a therapist. No matter how you choose to really dig down, remember you are not alone, and there are many resources available to help you deal with whatever comes up for you. For me, I lost the magic of believing the world loved me for me when I was repeatedly sexually abused as a child. I have spent longs hours in therapy learning to navigate this and while I may still have fear I know that it really stems from my limiting belief about myself due to outside influences but now that I am aware of it I have to take 100% responsibility for my beliefs about me going forward. I am responsible for my fear of Rejection—I name it, I claim it, and I release it to the wind!! I am responsible for my fear of Success—I name it, I claim it, and I release it to the wind!! I am responsible for my fear of Failure—I name it, I claim it, and I release it to the wind!! The third tip is using affirmations and positive self-talk to help reframe your thinking and ease the fear. This means replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, instead of thinking, “I’m never going to be good enough,” try thinking, “I am good enough.” I am loved and I love—I name it, I claim it, and I release it to the wind!! I am successful and abundant—I name it, I claim it, and I release it to the wind!! I am okay no matter what happens around me—I name it, I claim it, and I release it to the wind!!
And finally, the fourth tip is to visualize yourself succeeding in spite of your fear. See yourself doing what you’re afraid of and succeeding. This will help build your confidence and ease the fear. Visualizing can be a tremendous help in overcoming fears, and I am very good at it, but not everyone is, so here are a couple of tips. 1. Find a picture of you or someone else doing what you want to be doing. Keep it on your computer screen or start a vision board * for more on vision boards, check out my Pinterest page. 2. Close your eyes and find a memory of something you did that brought you Joy. Any joy, big or small, and hold that memory in your mind for as long as 3 breaths. Do this 3 times a day for 3 days. Then anytime your fear rears its ugly head, just bring this memory up and revel in it. The joy will outweigh the fear. I find joy everywhere in my life—I name it, I claim it, and I dance with the wind!! There you have it, four tips for dealing with fear. Remember, fear is nothing more than a mental obstacle. It’s something that you can overcome if you’re willing to put in the work. So don’t let fear hold you back from living your best life! The next time you find yourself feeling stuck or held back by fear, remember that you have the power to move through it. Acknowledge the fear, find its root cause, and then take action in spite of it. You are the director of your own life and no matter where you are in life, you have a choice: to stay in your comfort zone or to push through to the other side. It is your story. You get to choose the beginning, middle, and end; write it the way you want it to be. Until next time, no more blame, shame or guilt, only love, joy and grace Kristin