Fear is a pretty universal emotion. All of us have that little voice in our head, telling us what we should or shouldn’t do based on fear of what someone else might think; or how someone might respond; or how things might change based on our decision. I believe fear is a huge obstacle for a lot of people trying to get unstuck. Here are 4 ways you can fight fear or as I like to say, learn to dance with it, using the acronym F.E.A.R.
F = Feel It and Do It Anyway
Feel the fear and do it anyway – from my Life Manifesto
In our bodies, fear is protective response designed to keep us out of harm’s way. As such, it isn’t always a bad thing to feel fear. There are times, however, when fear misreads a situation and thinking it needs to protect you, it causes you to avoid something that you really need to step into. In those moment, you have to make friends with your fear. Get curious about what’s really going on. Spend some time trying to figure out what’s behind your fear and then decide if what your fear is telling you is legit. If it’s not, then do your thing because fear is not serving you, it is only holding you back.
There are times, however, when what your fear is saying is valid but deep down you know you still have to make a move. For those times when you can’t get rid of the fear, you have to take it with you. Do what you have to do despite the fear and in the doing you just might discover that what you feared is not really as big of a deal as you thought it would be.
E = Embrace Failure
“Failure is an event not a person.” John Wooten
I believe failure is the thing people fear the most. It is often seen as a negative thing but the truth is if you are not failing, then you are not trying. If you are not trying, then you are not really living life to the fullest. Failing doesn’t mean you are a failure, it means you have been taking risks and stepping outside what is familiar and known and there is nothing bad about those actions.
Learn to be comfortable with failure. See failure as a stepping stone on your way to your goals. Don’t allow your failures to cause you to step back, instead march forward more confidently because of them. As John Maxwell encourages, learn to fail forward. See failure as a friend and the voice of fear will not be quite so loud.
A = Acknowledge What Is True
“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”Mark Twain
When fear is screaming in your head it can be hard to know what’s true and what’s a lie. You feel like you’re in a dense fog, unable to see anything around you. When that happens the best thing you can do is silence fear’s screaming voice with truth. Truth acts like a light piercing through the darkness of your fears. Remind yourself of what is true and right.
When I find myself in this place, I make a list. On one side are the things my fear is telling me, on the other are all the things I know to be true. This simple exercise has helped me move through more moments of fear than I can count. Know what’s true. Hold onto truth at all cost because it WILL clear the fog eventually.
R = Remember You’re Not Alone
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” Donna Robert
Fear isolates, it keeps us nestled in a cocoon too afraid to break out. Reaching out to your support team helps remind you that you are not alone. Name the cheerleaders in your life. Find the friends or family members who can help you remember who you are when your fears cause you to forget.
It doesn’t have to be a lot of people either. You don’t need a large inner circle, and actually I would recommend that it be small. But know who belongs there and then reach out to them when fear comes knocking.
Fear doesn’t have to be the enemy nor does it have to take you out. You can stand up to it and you can win the fight. Put one of these tips to use the next fear starts talking and watch it retreat in your head and heart. You got this!
From my heart to yours,
Which of these dance steps resonate most with you as you face your fears?