There’s been so much written lately on how you should handle your fear. Some say you need to bust through it, while others claim you have to feel it and just do it already.
I’ve dealt with anxiety throughout my life and at times, I’ve been able to psyche my way through it, but FEAR…oh boy.
It took me a long time, but once I learned to accept the fact that fear will always be a part of my life, it’s been much easier for me to move forward towards my goals and dreams.
I'm not gonna lie, fear can still rear its ugly head, especially when I want to try something outside of my comfort zone. To soften its grip, I like to picture it as a strong but skittish horse.
It stands there proud and tall, pins its ears back, and stares me down.
I’ve seen that look before.
Fear is sizing me up. (Click here for the Western Whistle)
Like the horse whisperer who gains the trust of their horse by using extreme patience, my inner wisdom knows that now is not the time for me to metaphorically grab a halter and rope and try to corral my fear.
Because my daughter has been riding horses most of her life (that’s her in the picture above) I’ve been around horses long enough to know that it’s best to stand still, get centered, and let them come to you. Side note: sugar cubes help.
You too can do the same when you're feeling fearful about stepping out and trying something new. Stand still. Get centered. Become a fear whisperer. How? By making friends with your fear. Keep in mind, fear is a survival mechanism and its job is to protect you. Thank it and take over the reins.
I had a client who was contemplating going back to school and getting her degree. As excited as she was about starting school, she also felt paralyzed with fear whenever she thought about taking action. She feared not being smart enough, she feared being an older student, and she feared she would fail.
No wonder she was having a hard time taking action towards her goal.
During our coaching session, I had her close her eyes and take some deep breaths to center herself. I then asked her what would be one simple step she could do that week towards her goal that would feel comfortable, but also productive. She decided she would visit the school’s website and research the program to find out what the requirements were for her to enroll.
Once she completed that small step, she felt confident enough to contact the registrar’s office directly to schedule an appointment to meet with the Academic Advisor.
I’m happy to report that she will be starting school in the fall and is looking forward to her new career.
So the next time you're thinking of starting something new and fear rears up on its hind legs, get still and stay centered. The key is to take small doable steps that won't spook and/or trigger your fears.
I get it, change can be scary, but it can also be exciting! Use the adrenaline rush to your advantage and let it take you on the ride of your life.