If you’re waiting for your fears to go away, you’ll be waiting a long time.
A common misunderstanding about being “fearless” is that it involves having no fear. However, I have yet to dissolve all of my fears and I consider myself to be fearless all the time.
So what does it mean to be fearless?
It means that in the face of fear (sometimes a lot of it) you go beyond it. Fearful thoughts pop up in my head all the time, so what I do to go beyond them is change the way I relate to them.
First, I look at my fear as a healthy and normal sign that I’m alive! Fear (feeling afraid or having doubts) can be a good indicator. It can mean you’re challenging yourself, stepping outside of your comfort zone, or doing something that really matters to you. These are all good things.
Fear arises when we feel uncomfortable. It’s one of the ego’s ways of trying to “protect” us. This is great if you’re in real danger, but most of the time your life isn’t under any real threat. So the fear and doubt your ego projects is just there to try and stop you from taking action against some imagined threat(s).
Fear, if you let it, will keep you in the stands. It will keep you small and convince you it’s best just to stay where you are (in your comfort zone). So how do you get out of the stands and onto the court participating in the game of life?
Next time you’re faced with fear, thank it for showing up. Evaluate whether you’re in any real danger. Chances are you’re not. So let your fear know you don’t actually need any protecting right now.
Then, get curious about your fear. Don’t engage in judgments about it, for example, make it mean that you’re not good enough, there’s something wrong with you or you don’t have what it takes. Don’t try to suppress your fear either. Instead start investigating – what’s the payoff for not taking action? What are you gaining from letting your fears or self-doubt run the show? what is it you’re really afraid of? Does your fear stem from a past experience? Are you projecting a certain outcome onto the situation? Do you have a magic crystal ball that’s showing you your future, exactly what will happen if you take this action?
The truth is, you nor I have any idea what will happen. So why not declare for the best! Because the truth is, you really have nothing to lose. The only certain outcome we have in life is death. Sorry (not sorry) for going there, but it’s true. That’s all we know for certain. Some day, not sure when, you are going to die. Everything else is uncertain, up in the air for creation.
So whether you were thinking about telling someone in your life how you really feel about them, starting your own business, or thinking about talking to your boss about the new role you’d like to take on this year, get curious about what you’re really afraid of happening. Chances are you may be afraid of feeling hurt, afraid you might fail, or afraid to take on risk.
But so what? Will these things kill you? Of course not! What do you have to lose? All your fear is trying to do is protect you from feelings that may be uncomfortable and to keep you “safe”. So if your life isn’t in danger, go ahead and do it.
Taking the time to check-in and get familiar with what you’re really afraid of instead of suppressing it or ignoring it will help take some of the weight off. You’ll likely notice some of the same fears always coming up, so you’ll learn to stop taking them so seriously and you’ll start having more fun.
Going beyond your fear keeps you in the game working towards what you want. You become an active participant in creating opportunities for yourself. You’ll start that business, you’ll tell that someone you love them, you’ll start setting boundaries, or maybe start making more time for yourself. The possibilities are endless.
Because all that lies beyond your fear is pure possibility. Possibility is where creation, authenticity, and opportunity live. It’s where magic exists.
If you’d like to start taking action in the face of your fears and start living from possibility, I encourage you to get in touch and work with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll be in action fearlessly in no time!