Aww, that abrasive, shocking “F” word – FEAR. It’s plentiful now isn’t it?
It’s in our bed at night swirling in our heads as we try to sleep. It’s with us as we are driving in our car, walking down the street, about ready to enter that boardroom, schedule the routine check up, walk out on stage, pick up the phone.
We all have a relationship with fear. It’s impossible not to. Yet so many of us, myself included, try to run from it, get stuck in it, or full-on fight it. For me, I’ve experienced all 3, although being paralyzed in it has been my most common reaction.
It wasn’t until recently that I have slowly learned how to inch my way through fear, tip-toeing, careful not to wake it up….more on that in a minute…
Fear of failing.
Fear of being criticized.
Fear of being judged.
Fear of people talking behind my back.
Fear of being on video.
Fear of knowing what people REALLY thought about me.
Fear of my loved ones dying.
Fear of me dying.
Fear of not reaching my potential.
Fear of not making enough money.
Fear of not seeing the world.
Fear of saying or doing the wrong thing.
And the list literally goes on, but you get the point…
Fear lives and thrives in the ego mind. The “oh fuck! What is Rachel going to think and say to her friends if I fumble over my words or say the wrong thing?!”
The “Shit! What if fall flat on my face, gain 10 ponds, lose a finger and can’t pay the rent?!”
These are the kind of thoughts that the ego and fear just love. They eat it up like candy! And one fearful thought feeds another. And these were the kinds of thoughts that were going through my mind as I jumped into my latest vulnerability venture – teaching yoga at a community college.
The first week leading up to class I was anxious and fearful as hell. I kept thinking:
“Who the hell do I think I am?! I can’t teach a yoga class at a community college! I have NO experience compared to so many other teachers. What if the students just stare at me blankly and hate me?? What if I get fired because I suck so bad?! Oh shit! What if I rip my pants?! Or fart?! I am NOT cut out for this. What if I hate it?! I am so nervous! What if they can tell how nervous I am?? What if I sleep through my alarm and miss class! I’m not good enough. I need to learn more. What were my references thinking recommending me?!…”
and again, it goes on and on.
My mentor and amazing Manifestation Mom Jen Pastiloff said something once that really hit home. She said “Get out of your head. It’s a bad neighborhood.” And you know what? She’s right. The fearful, egotistic chatter and banter of the brain only feeds into the fear and worry and anxiety. That conversation I was having with myself about teaching yoga – that was a bad neighborhood.
The heart is where the truth lies.
So here’s what’s helped me tip-toe through the fear, and my hunch is that these baby steps will help you too 🙂
TALK TO IT
In order to move through the fear, you have to acknowledge that it is there. Literally, have a conversation with it. Look at it dead in the eye and tell it whose boss. We cannot change what we don’t acknowledge (Thanks Dr. Phil). Speak your fear out loud. Give it a voice, but don’t give it a seat at your dinner table.
Here’s what you can say:
“Shit! I am so scared right now! I feel like there is so much at stake for me and I am terrified of ______. The fear is tangible. I see you fear. I can feel in my body how scared I am. But I know I am safe. I know this fear is showing up to protect me. It’s here to defend me and keep me comfortable, but I don’t need to be defended. I trust myself. I know this is super uncomfortable but I can handle it. Thank you for showing up fear, but right now I am choosing love instead.”
TAKE THE EASIEST NEXT STEP
I learned this from the wonderful Jenna Teague. Don’t fall into the false belief that you have to do something drastic and over the top in order to move through the fear. You don’t. Ask yourself what the easiest next step is, and then take action. Do it! Just as a fearful thought begets another fearful thought, one small step in a positive direction begets another positive step.
There are two choices and two emotions – fear and love. Love is the exact opposite of fear and when you choose to live from a place of love, fear cannot exist. Do not forget that love is your innate state of being. Everyone has love in them and it can be accessed at any time.
If this whole “fear thing” has really thrown you for a loop and you are really feeling stuck, get support. Fear is often equated as shame – it’s hard to admit that you are scared. But once you speak it and give it a voice and receive support around it, the shame and embarrassment and fear will start to dissipate on their own.
Wanna chat about your fear? Schedule your free 30-minute Clarity Session here.
How does fear show up in your life? What is your relationship with fear? I want to know!!! Let me know in the comments below!