As you embark on your journey towards achieving your goals you will encounter resistance in many forms. In my experience all of these resistances can be traced to the root cause of fear. As far back as I can recall, fear has been with me in my life and has always played a protective role. It is built into our survival brain as a means to keep us safe.
When fear creeps up a normal reaction to it is to suppress it or embrace it completely. We suppress it by pretending it is not there or trying to numb it. Conversely, we can embrace it and accept that your dreams and desires are not feasible. Both of these reactions end up with you being paralyzed from taking inspired action steps towards your life/soul’s purpose. For these reasons, fear gets a bad reputation. I would like to offer a different perspective, what if you befriended fear?
As I embark on my journey as an EnterpreNurse, fear is a feeling that I visit often. I intuitively know that the only way to move forward in my journey is to embrace fear as a friend that can actually assist me on my quest.
What does befriending fear look like?
The first step in befriending fear is to not react to it, instead choose to become curious. When you first feel fear you must learn to recognize it. Name it order to tame it, as they say.
Here are some questions:
• How do you experience fear in or around your body?
• What thoughts, images, memories come up for you?
• What beliefs are associated with fear?
Next step, curiously explore the fear
• What does fear want you to know?
• Does this make sense to you?
• What is the worst thing that can happen if you do not listen to it?
Then, you challenge the fear with facts!
Here is where you get to take control and get back into the driver’s seat of your life and challenge the story that the fear is trying to sell you. Remember, FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. At this point, take the time to update the fear with the proof that you are successful and have accomplished goals. What I have learned in all my years of therapy is that the mind looks for proof of concept. When you provide your mind with the proof that your goals are achievable then that is what it will focus on.
Finally, thank your fears and offer an opportunity to collaborate
I know this part may feel strange at first. Wait, you want me to thank my nemesis, no thank you! Please bear with me. Fear is a protective mechanism to keep us safe. It is a protector that works very hard to ensure our survival. It does the job despite being viewed as the enemy. Take the time to acknowledge it and thank it for working so hard. Reassure it that you are here and that you are the expert of your life! At this time, offer it some time off and / or the opportunity to collaborate with you! This is the thing, we need fear to help us stay safe. We just have to keep it updated to what our abilities are in intuitively leading our actions towards the desired outcomes. Part of this journey is strengthening that trust in your intuition. As a result, fear will be more at ease and will in turn start to trust you!
Befriending fear in action
Here is an example of how I befriended fear.
I experience fear as a flight reaction. My face gets red, my heart rate goes up, I get a knot in my stomach, and want the ground to swallow me whole. I feel the anxiety build up and I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I become hypersensitive to those around me and edgy. I get a flood of thoughts about how my idea is not good and selfish. When I first thought about opening my own business this is what came up for me “are you freaking kidding me, what is wrong with you?!?!? We have gotten this far by sticking to a profession that is safe! We have a roof over our heads, we have food on the table, and live in a safe neighborhood. We are able to safely budget because we know what our bi-weekly paycheck looks like. We have a retirement account that ensure we will not end up like the lady we worked with in the super maker that could not retire. We have health benefits, flexible spending account, and paid time off!” The belief is that the only way we can survive is to stay put and kiss this crazy idea of being an EnterpreNurse goodbye!
In the next step, I reflected on what Regina (yes, I named my fear to tame it) wanted me to know. Regina was concerned with our ability to survive and how not to revert to our previous state. She takes pride in our ability to be independent. The thought of depending on others for a source of income is not safe. As I reflect on this, Regina’s thought process does make absolute sense. 20 years ago I would have done anything to be where I am now, safe and sound. The worst thing that can happen is I launch my business, it becomes successful and I am not enough to sustain it.
I then challenged the Regina with facts! This was true 20 years ago! The fact is I am a successful woman who has made multiple career changes and has sustained them. I have accomplished every goal that I have set for myself. I do have a “safe” career until someone decides they no longer need me. As an EnterpreNurse I am able to have my own insurance, retirement, and can choose what days to work. I am divinely guided and have an amazing team that I collaborate with. We have many options, all of which do not compromise our safety: we can work full time in current role and run coaching business as a side hustle, we can work part time in current role and part time in coaching, we can go back to working three 12 hour shifts and run business full time, we can take a leap of faith go full time in business and have a few per diem gigs. The options are endless. I showed Regina all the client testimonials that prove that I am good at what I do and share success stories from other coaches.
Finally, I thanked Regina and asked her to collaborate with me. I ask her what does she needs from me? I choose to collaborate with her in developing a plan on how to move forward together.
Doing the work
Befriending fear is not a one and done. What I have experienced in my journey is that fear does appear from time to time, however its effects are short lived. I am able to quickly go through my process and move forward. Other times, I sit with the discomfort of surrendering to the idea of being ok with not being ok. I lean into the discomfort and trust that it will pass. I have an understanding that fear is a human emotion that does not define me. I choose to be courageous in my quest.
My challenge to you
What would you do if you knew you would not fail?
Think of a time you dared to dream and fear stopped in your tracks.
Revisit that scenario and try this approach.
What comes up for you?
Remember, you are powerful!
“Do one thing every day that scare you”- Eleanor Roosevelt
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”- Neale Donald Walsch
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway” – John Wayne
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fear”- Nelson Mandela