I recently watched the movie Aquaman for the first time. Near the end of the movie, Arthur is about to do something that will potentially be life-changing for him. His mother looks at him and says, “You’re afraid.” It’s a statement, not a question. He confirms his fear and her response is, “Good. Now you’re ready.”
I love that scene because it is a reminder that fear is not always a bad thing. In fact, I firmly believe that, apart from our lives being in danger, fear is almost always pointing us in the direction we need to go. I’m now adding fear might also be a sign you’re ready to do the thing you think you cannot do.
Most people don’t see it that way. Most people see fear as a sign they should NOT do something. And when it comes to making a change, more often than not, fear paralyzes people. It causes them to choose what is familiar and comfortable instead of risking the unknown.
Here’s the thing though, ALL of the magic in life happens outside your comfort zone. You can stay safely inside of it, where you can predict exactly what is going to happen. Or you can choose to face your fears and learn how to take them with you as you change.
Managing fear during change is not easy but waiting for the fear to go away is not going to work. Fear is never going to go away. You have to learn how to make friends with your fears. Learn how to take them with you because they’re a sign you’re doing the right thing.
Here are 4 steps for managing fear as you navigate change.
Acknowledge the fear
It begins with admitting the fear is there. In the Aquaman scene, Arthur had to first acknowledge he was afraid. Arthur is a BIG GUY. The fact he was afraid could easily have been embarrassing. But in acknowledging it he could face it.
Pretending it’s not there won’t make the fear go away. You can’t outrun or out-maneuver your fear. You must begin by admitting it is there.
Question the fear
Change often means an essential framework in your life will shift and that can feel unsettling and even life-threatening. This is why, after acknowledging your fear, you have to figure out if the fear is real. Is your life really in danger? More times than not, the answer is no, which means the fear is your North Star. You have to move in the direction of the fear and take it with you.
If your life might really be in danger, then you have to assess if the risk is worth taking. If it is, then you’ll want to have a plan for mitigating those risks. Most times though, there is no true risk, which means you’re ready for the next step.
Get curious about the fear
The story your fear is telling you is never the real story. To uncover the real story, you have to get curious, and this is where journaling can help you. Imagine your fear is a person, grab pen and paper, and ask your fear, “what do you want me to know?” “Why are you here?” Write the answers that come up for you. Stay out of judgment as you write and the truth will present itself. Uncovering the truth will help you find your way forward.
Take your fear with you
Now that you know what’s happening behind the fear, you can choose to take it with you. This means, admitting you’re afraid. It means acknowledging that everything your fear is telling you will happen could actually happen AND still choosing to do the thing anyway. This is what feeling the fear and doing it anyway looks like.
You must do the thing you think you cannot do. It’s the only way to embrace the courage living inside of you. Yes, it’s scary and it’s hard, AND…you can hard things. I know this is true of you because I believe this is true of all of us.
Now, I’d like to hear from you. How is fear holding you back? What have you been avoiding because of fear? How can you begin to baby step your way forward?? Let’s talk about it.
Here’s to you facing your fear and rising into your greatness.
From my heart to yours,
P.S: If you are feeling paralyzed by fear and would like support, let’s talk. Click here to schedule a complimentary call with me today. On the call, we’ll look at what’s standing in the way of you achieving what you want and what it will take to move you forward. Schedule your free call today.