Don't let fear stop youMar 22, 2022
Have you ever thought “I want to _____ But I’m scared I’d mess it up”. Or “I’m afraid of what I would choose.” or “I’m afraid I’d make things worse or harder”
If you have ever thought those things, you aren’t alone. Those are THE most common things I hear from my clients.
Here’s what I know…. If you are not doing anything out of your comfort zone, you aren’t growing. That’s why you want to eat your feelings. That’s why you feel unfulfilled. That’s why you feel discontent. That’s why you can’t stand up for yourself.
You’re in your comfort zone. But your comfort zone isn’t a place of comfort. It’s a zone of familiarity. And it can feel confining.
I want to acknowledge that there are times when you may need to stay in your comfort zone. Only you know when those times are.
But if you are trying hard to stay in your comfort zone ALL the time… it’s at the expense of your deepest dreams and desires. Sometimes it’s also at the expense of your self-respect. And staying in your comfort zone can make you resentful because even the people closest to you don’t how you feel or what you want. That makes you feel unseen, which can lead to passive aggressive behavior.
I want to acknowledge that it can feel hard and scary to consider a change. It’s not just in your mind, it’s in your body.
Your body is so trained and addicted to negative emotional vibrations that you are constantly assessing danger. Change feels like danger.
But is change what you have to be afraid of? Or is it possible that the REAL danger is staying in the same place wishing for something different?
When I was in the decision process of leaving a tenured position in a state where I was 7 years away from retirement there were a lot of reasons to stay. I was 7 years from being able to retire, I had tenure, I had roots and community, my home was beautiful and my neighbors were lovely, I was surrounded by friends and laughter, I loved my students and their families, I loved my colleagues.
And I knew that if I stayed there… I was done growing and if I stayed I would be counting the days and months to retirement.
That’s not how I want to live. So I took a leap. Well, that’s not quite accurate. At first I got curious. I let myself wonder, “What would it be like if….” As I allowed the curiosity to expand, I realized something. The fear of NOT following my heart and not changing got bigger than my fear of change.
In interviews with people in late life and people dying, there is one common regret. People wish they had had the courage to live authentically, to take more risks.
Fear of NOT changing got bigger than the fear of change.
Here’s what I know about fear.
You’ll never get the answer from thinking. Get into action. The moment you get into action, you’ll know what to do or what not to do.
For example, as soon as a hit submit on a particular job application, I knew in my bones it wasn't right. By contract, as soon as I agreed to interview at the position I eventually accepted I felt a sense of peace. Here’s what else I know.
Fear might still be present. Don't wait until you aren't afraid, just take one action in a direction of curiosity and see how it feels. If it feels expansive and light, that might be a good direction for you to go in! If you feel constricted, that's a likely sign you need to go a different direction.
I’ve been teaching for the last 6 years that by shifting the lens of fear, you can shift the fear. Fear is a very low vibrational emotion. By raising your emotional vibration you can think more clearly, make better decisions, and be more certain of what your next step should be.
To shift fear, try leaning into appreciation. What can you appreciate about your situation? What can you appreciate about a potential change?
Here’s the magic of appreciation. Appreciation lifts you up into higher emotional vibrations really easily. You feel better. And you know what? Everyone around you feels better, too.
Remember that you don’t have to see the whole staircase, you only need to see the next step. What is the next step for you?
I want to hear from you!! If you weren’t scared, what would you do? What would you try? Either comment or shoot me an email [email protected]