Have you ever failed miserably at something?
We all have.
Immediately after failing, did you feel courageous, empowered, uplifted, and grateful?
Failing most likely left you angry, bitter, frustrated, or resentful.
You either prepared yourself for battle to prove your strength and worthiness, or you hightailed out of the situation refusing to ever take that type of risk again.
I know this cycle all too well. I've allowed fear to control me most of my life.
I always felt like I wasn't wired to have it all. In many ways, I didn't just fear failure, I felt like a failure.
I comfortably hid behind the "failure not worthy to have it all" label and avoided anything that pushed me beyond my comfort zone and beyond what I believed I was capable of achieving.
And so I buried the voice of my intuition and half committed to any dream I had.
My dream therapist career faded before high school graduation.
My goal of transitioning from paralegal to lawyer halted right before law school.
My freelance graphic design business fizzled as more innovative designs beyond my comfort zone became the industry standard.
Some may argue this proves a lack of realizing my zone of genius. However, I knew better. Fear of failure dictated my life and bullied my dreams.
When the gut-wrenching pang of fear grabbed me around the throat, I punched fear and ran. I scurried to board up any dream that once brought an abundance of joy and hope.
Fear convinced me that my true self could never come out to play.
But as I began to reflect on fear's role in my life, I stopped believing fear's goal was to sabotage my life. I realized fear was attempting to slow me down to be certain I was making sound decisions.
By using a few simple techniques, I became more comfortable with fear and began to use it to help guide my life's path.
Fear is not an enemy. You don't need to conquer it.
When fear arises, our first reaction may be to cower and run away. And if we don't want fear to dictate our lives, we feel so much pressure to "conquer" it.
The truth is, we don't need to conquer fear. We just need to sit with it. By sitting with fear, we end the internal battle within ourselves that prevents us from moving forward.
You can begin to sit with fear by taking five minutes to sit with yourself as you are. Focus your attention on the sensation of your feet on the ground. Inhale. Exhale twice as long as your inhalation. Instead of fighting any emotions that arise, observe them as they are.
Fear paralyzes us for a reason. It has a voice that craves to be heard
Many say we shouldn't allow fear to paralyze us. It's up to us to power through. I feel that fear is telling us to sit our butts down and be certain our actions align with our true intentions.
A voice resides in fear that wants to be heard. However, her communication skills aren't always the greatest. That isn't a reason not to stop and listen.
Use journaling to begin to listen to fear. Spend two minutes journaling your thoughts. Start with the phrase: "I
am uncomfortable and/or fearful right now because:"
Use the answer you receive to help you find certainty.
Fear deserves comfort, not condemnation.
Moving forward is an inner collaboration of all the parts of us. No part of us should feel unheard and left behind.
Fear is not a mean troll standing in the way of your goals and desires. It's a scared version of you wanting to know that everything is okay.
Spend two minutes comforting the scared version of you. Journal your thoughts, beginning with the phrase: "Dear Fear, I see you and hear you. I understand your needs/concerns as:"
Listening to fear opens the space for the next best step.
Allowing fear to feel heard and understood calms and quiets her concerns. This allows us to hear our wise inner voice.
After you listen and comfort your fear, allow your wise inner voice to write you a plan. Begin with "Dear
[your name], the next best step for you right now is:"
Allow fear to set the pace of your lifelong dreams
Our relationship with fear shapes our level of comfort in discomfort.
By taking 10 minutes to sit with and listen to fear, you will begin to make decisions more aligned with your dreams. You will respond to uncomfortable situations with more grace and acceptance.
And you will no longer see life as a constant struggle, but rather a grand opportunity to be guided by both fear and hope one step at a time.