The work I do through coaching is all about helping my clients achieve their goals. Sometimes these goals are very specific (launch my business by X date) and sometimes they are more about finding clarity (determine my next career move to enable me to feel more joyful).
No matter what the goal is, there is one common thread that runs through every single series. There is one conversation that comes up time and time again, in many and varied forms…
How to move through fear.
It’s so common, in fact, that when I recently asked my beautiful email community what they wanted me to write more about, something that came up a few times was how to move through fear, overcome blocks and bust through the walls we put up around ourselves as shields.
While it’s different for every situation, here are 4-steps I use in my own life to move through whichever fear is in front of me at the time.
Step 1: Recognise the fear for what it is
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you didn’t move forward with something because you were terrified, but you told yourself it just wasn’t really important enough and that’s why you weren’t going to do it? Yep, me too.
Fear usually shows up when something IS important to us. Fear is only present because we care, so by ignoring the things we are most afraid of we often don’t move forward with the things in our lives that mean the most to our progression as humans #yeahiwentthere
For example…I once had a client who told me that they didn’t need to have a conversation with their boss about the promotion they so desperately wanted, because the promotion would ‘come when it was meant to.’ My client and I both knew that wasn’t true, and when she was able to recognise that it was only her fear talking, she was able to have the conversation because she KNEW it was what she truly wanted.
Which leads me to…
Step 2: Don’t give away your power to your fear
As humans, we usually talk about fear in a really negative way. It’s an ugly cloak that puts a shield around us to stop us in our tracks. We view it as something that hinders us more than it helps us.
When you think of fear in its most primal form, it is important to acknowledge that fear is actually here to HELP us. Fear is an integral part of our evolution and was given to us to help us recognise when we are in trouble. The fight or flight response in our bodies allows us to respond quickly in situations where it is needed. In its most basic, most required, form – fear is our friend.
Unfortunately, fear also loves our ‘ego’ (also often referred to as our mean girl or inner critic). So when we want to take ourselves out of our comfort zone and do something NEW and EXCITING, fear will tell us that we shouldn’t do it. Fear loves to keep us safe and secure, just as we are.
Something I like to do on a regular basis is thank my fear. I recognise that it is the job role of fear to keep me comfortable, however just because this is what my fear wants from me this does not mean this is my truth. Therefore, I lovingly thank my fear, but let her know that I (my truth, my soul, my REAL voice) is running the show and that I am going to be in the driver’s seat on this one. I’ve heard Liz Gilbert, the author of my favourite book Big Magic, refers to fear as our child within. We need to remind our fear that they are not “running the show” and sometimes it just needs to quieten down so that we can keep moving forward.
On that note…
Step 3: Move forward anyway
I really despise the term ‘fearless.’ The only people I’ve ever heard of who are truly ‘fearless’ are not the type of people I would like to associate with (read: psychopaths).
We all have fears. And for every ‘level’ we move up in our lives, business and work…there is always another ‘devil.’ From what I know in life to date, I do not believe that we ever get to a point where we are truly fearless.
So if everyone feels fear, what is the difference between someone that moves forward to achieve the things they want and someone that doesn’t?
They feel the fear and they do it anyway.
I know for me personally, the fear never goes away but at every level it absolutely gets easier. When I launched my business and shared it on my personal page, I was terrified people would think I was ‘silly’ and now I feel like the silly one for even having that thought! The first time I did a Facebook Live I was SO nervous, and now I love doing them so much. Coaching my first client made me want to vomit, and now being in session with a client is my favourite thing in the world.
There are two things to note with this:
- The fear remains every time I move forward, but it gets easier.
- The bigger the fear, the bigger the reward.
Step 4: Remain conscious
Treating fear as your friend and being aware of how fear shows up for you is important. What trends can you see? How does your body respond to fear? Does it keep coming up for you when you think about something you REALLY want in your life?
I now know that when fear, blocks or analysis paralysis shows up in my life that it is there as a little nudge that I’m on the right path. Fear is my friend, and while that doesn’t mean that it isn’t scary as F*$% , it does mean that I need to keep moving forward.
The reward will always outweigh the fear.