Sometimes, nothing quite sums up exactly how you feel better than a four letter word. You know the kind I’m talking about.
Or do you?
No, I’m not referring to the charged expletives you may find yourself shouting while stuck in traffic and you’re late for a meeting, or when your dog eats your fresh-out-of-the-oven chicken dinner. I’m talking about a different kind of four letter word. But, it still packs a powerful punch and can actually debilitate and sabotage you.
Can you guess what it is?
It’s often referred to as F E A R.
Fear can stop you in your tracks and fill you with self-doubt. It can rob you of your confidence and prevent your progress. It can undermine your dreams and steal your thunder. When it comes to moving forward in your life, fear is rarely your friend.
Now obviously, I’m not talking about the fear you experience when a car suddenly cuts you off on the highway or you lose your kid in the grocery store. That kind of “fight or flight” fear in certain situations makes sense and is perfectly normal. I’m talking about the kind of fear that keeps you from reaching your full potential. It’s that voice in your head that keeps you from taking action to create the life you want.
It’s critical not to downplay the power of this kind of fear. Although the emotions attached to it may not be as immediate or have the same intensity of the kind of fear driven by the “fight or flight” response, its effects are equally, if not more impactful.
How many times have you found yourself shying away from exciting opportunities, ignoring your passions or hobbies, or stuffing down and dismissing your deepest desires? What was the base cause that led you to do that?
F E A R--Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of being judged or criticized, fear of standing out, fear of success, fear of rejection. Regardless of what you fear, it’s holding you back. It’s preventing you from reaching your highest goals, whatever they may be.
So enough is enough! It’s time to take back your power. It’s time to regain control of your life, point yourself in the direction you really want to go, and then kick it into high gear. Here’s the 4-step guide for how:
1. Acknowledge it: Awareness is the first step toward action. Simply recognizing that fear is behind whatever is holding you back, is great progress. Once you have identified the fear, and understand why you feel it in the first place, you can confront it head-on. Suddenly, you’ll experience a kind of role reversal, and the fear that once controlled you, you will control.
2. Label it: Say it out loud. Give it a name. Call it what it is. For example: that voice in your head that screams don’t apply for the new position because you won’t get it anyway, you likely won’t succeed at the interview, you can’t compete against the other candidates, and on and on is: “Fear of Failure”. Getting your fear out into the open takes it out of you and puts it “out there”, where it can no longer harm you or hold you back. By labeling it, you disarm and weaken it. This can be incredibly empowering the next time you face that particular fear. Once you recognize it for what it is, you can confront it much faster and move on to bigger and better things.
3. Challenge it: Just because you have allowed fear to overcome you in the past, doesn’t mean history has to repeat itself. You do have a choice. You can challenge it. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Literally create that scenario in your mind. Imagine what the absolute worst case would be if you decided NOT to listen to your fear. Then do whatever it is you’re afraid to do. I’d be willing to bet that whatever you imagined is far worse than what will actually happen.
4. Just do it: The ironic thing about fear is, once you confront it, it tapers away. So just do it. Take action and confront your fear. Infinite opportunities and possibilities wait on the other side.
What is your biggest fear? Don’t let whatever it is stop you. Challenge it, and then commit to taking the action to reach and fulfill your highest goals. I assure you, you won’t regret it.
Glory B's unifies all of what I love most—the earth and its natural elements like stone and wood; the creative arts, whether through the written word, or photography, or paint; and helping others to make the world a better place.