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Two Types of Fear

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If there is one thing that can be said about the entrepreneurial journey (and really any journey that involves doing things you’ve never done), is that it is scary. Fear is a constant companion for anyone doing something new and I have been no exception to this rule.

The number one thing I have learned, in the year and a half that I have been running my own business, is that fear never goes away. It is always present and while it usually presents itself in a similar manner, sometimes it can sneak up on you unexpectedly.

This is what I have experienced in the last week or so. It started a few days ago with this feeling that I had a lot of excess energy in my body that I didn’t know what to do with. I am actively working on deepening the relationship I have with my body so I was aware of this shift but couldn’t give any language to it.

I then found myself, unrealistically and unnecessarily, thinking about dying specifically my own death. I am young and healthy. There is no reason for me to be thinking about my mortality yet it was periodically popping into my head unbidden.

I wasn’t exactly sure what was going until I remembered something I learned from Tara Mohr when I heard her speak during an online summit a few years ago. Drawing from the teachings of a Jewish Rabbi and the Hebrew language, Tara pointed out that there are two types of fear, Pachad and Yirah and they provide two different ways to think about fear.

The Two Fears

Pachad, explained Tara, is “the fear of projected or imagined things. It is the over-reactive, irrational fear that stems from worries about what could happen, about the worse case scenario that we imagine.”

Yirah, on the other hand, is “the fear that overcomes us when we suddenly find ourselves in possession of considerably more energy than we are used to, inhabiting a larger space than we are used to inhabiting. It is also the feeling we feel when we are on sacred ground.”

As I reflected on this, I realized I had been experiencing both types of fear this last week. Yirah was present because I have a deep certainty that the work I am doing now is my soul’s work. While it is still evolving and there is much of it that is unknown, I have a deep knowing that this work is my calling.

It is the thing for which my life has been setting me up and as I have said yes to this call, I have stepped into the arena and I am occupying a space much larger (and much more sacred) than any I have occupied before. My body was feeling the energy of this new space and responding accordingly.

At the same time, occupying this new space means a significant step outside my comfort zone on MULTIPLE levels. As such Pachad naturally showed up to try to keep me safely tucked inside that familiar place.

There are few fears stronger than the fear of dying and while I’ve never thought much about dying before, my inner critic clearly decided that my occupying this bigger space meant certain death for me. Pachad became her subtle tool for trying to ensure that I didn’t do this big, scary thing.

It’s been interesting looking back on what I was experiencing with this new perspective. Pachad trying to stop me, Yirah inviting me to step forward even more.

Your choice

You may find yourself with a similar choice before you. On the one hand, you have imagined all the terrible, awful things that could go wrong if you said yes. Yet on the other hand, you have a deep knowing that yes is the right answer.

Today, I invite you to lean into the invitation of Yirah. It is the pull of your greatness drawing you forward. Acknowledge that Pachad is present because ignoring it will only strengthen its resolve but decide that you are not going to let it stop you from stepping up or moving forward.

Here’s to you feeling the fear, doing it anyway, and rising into your greatness.

From my heart to yours,

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If you find yourself struggling with Pachad or knowing the difference between the two fears in your life, I would love to support you in clearing up the fog and moving past your fears. Click here to schedule a complimentary call with me today.

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