In last week's blog post, I explained that there were real 'truths' behind your excuses you have in staying in a bad situation. Well, those truths can be used to describe any excuse you use for pretty much anything, to a degree. The very first truth I listed was FEAR.
In this blog post, I'm diving deeper into FEAR and helping you to reframe it for any situation. Let's get started...
We’ve all heard it said:
Overcome your fear. There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.”
Well, what if you can’t? What if you’re one of those people who are paralyzed by fear?
Fear can and will stop your growth, take over your mind, and have you believing in a story that just may not be true. Whether it is public speaking, presenting to executive level management, starting a business, asking for a promotion, negotiating a salary, going on interviews, or even transitioning your career, fear can cripple you and talk you out of many great opportunities. Fear will keep you playing small and cozy in your comfort zone because fear does not like change.
For many years, I was crippled by my fear of failure and rejection. I wanted growth but I was too afraid to do the things that would take me to the next level. I tried to DIY my fear and ‘overcome’ it. Total FAIL. The more I tried to ‘overcome’ fear, the more anxious I became and the more crippled I became of this ‘monster’.
Until one day, I read somewhere about re-framing how I felt about failure and rejection. Once I re-framed my thoughts about failure and rejection, I had an ‘aha’ moment. I could re-frame my thoughts about what my fear really was and where it came from. I realized a fundamental truth; once you stop resisting your fear, it becomes smaller, it has less power. So I stopped resisting that monster. I felt the true emotion of my fear and really interpreted what it meant for me. This is such a personal exercise.
I even took it a step further. I humanized my fear. I looked at the things that I would talk myself out of because of my underlying ‘fears’ of failure and rejection. I’m naturally a very self aware person so I dug a little deeper to try to see how I could move forward because my logical mind knew that there would be no dire threatening consequence if I did those things that I was holding back on doing and getting. I realized for me, that it was my younger self trying to protect me from what it thought of as humiliation. I was subconsciously trying to protect myself.
And thus, the struggle between logic and emotion. So I decided to give my emotion a face. I humanized her. I saw her for what she was. My younger self. Yes. She was the 13 year old Jackie who wanted to protect the adult Jackie at all costs.
What did I do to get past this? I held her. I hugged her. I took her by the hand and said,”Girl, it’s gonna be alright. I won’t let you go. You’re safe with me.” I became the adult that she needed. So today, rather than resist her and push her away, I take her with me in uncertain circumstances. I let her know that I am the adult and that she is the child and she will not ruin my chances for greatness because she’s scared. She holds her breath but I breathe. I breathe deeply for the both of us.
I know it sounds a bit wacky but this has worked for me for many years now. Am I still fearful of certain things that I want to do? Absolutely. Am I still fearful of speaking in front of large groups? Absolutely. Am I still fearful of ‘putting myself out there? Heck yeah! But guess what, my fear knows that I will not let her run my life and make decisions on my behalf.
I am not ‘fear-less’, yet I am not ‘fear-full’. I am an adult. I am THE adult. I am bigger than my fear. I am determined to move with my fear. I will no longer make my fear larger than the thing itself.
Are you ready to take your fear by the hand and move into your greatness?
If you like my Insights of Success blog post, could you please share it? Post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or simply share the article with a fellow colleague who needs some help. I’m on a mission to help more women be successful, and it starts with exactly this kind of knowledge. -Jackie