The only way I know to conquer a fear is to, quite unfortunately, face it head on.
Yes, I know you know that. And I know it's so much easier said than done. But I have been kind of terrified of many things in my life, many of which I have faced head-on and have seen how that takes the power right out of those fears.
And we all know that feeling after facing the things that scare us- it's invigorating! We feel surprised by ourselves! Proud! Grateful! Energized!
Yet the how part is incredibly hard. Just how are we supposed to muster the get-up-and-gusto to look our fears right in the face?
That's the opposite of what our minds want- they're saying, "What will they think of me? What if I fail? What if I can't handle it? Nooo, it's scary!"
But somewhere below our always havin' some sort of excuse, over-analyzing brains, lies our intuition.
You may feel it in your heart, you may feel it in the pit of your stomach, who knows, you may feel it in your feet! But the more we listen to the what-ifs in our heads, the further away we get from the heart-throbbing, belly-tingling intuition that KNOWS, you got this. You can do this. The place that knows what you're capable of, and what you really want for your life.
So the HOW part of facing your fears, for me, becomes:
STEP 1: Prepare. Do the research, do the practice, get organized, have all your ducks in a row. Know it, own it, be prepared to rock it because, there's a high likelihood that you will.
STEP 2: Envision it. Imagine yourself doing it, speaking it, creating it, facing that fear! Play the whole thing in your head how you hope it will go, from start to finish- just like an track athlete runs laps in his head before the race- envision yourself doing the thing that scares you and being a-ok.
STEP 3: Reconnect with your intuition. Once you're prepared, it's time to take a breath, get out of your head and back into your body where your intuition lies. Because if you can better connect with your intuition, you'll be your own encouragement, your own source of motivation, you'll be able to do the things that scare you because you trust yourself, you know you're going to be okay and you know you want this for your life, scary or not.
So when the fear starts to kick in and anxiety is rising- find your breath. Find some stillness. Connect with your deep down self. Find movement. Create! Dance! Sing out loud! Go outside!
The what-ifs are always going to be there, but if you can free yourself from them just for a moment to connect back to that place of knowing, of inner trust, of faith in yourself, you'll realize that no what-if is strong enough to hold you back from pursuing your dreams and facing whatever fears come up along the way.
"Ultimately, we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom."
- Marilyn Ferguson
Trust yourself. You're braver than you think.
PS: if you'd like more support in facing your fears and other mean ol' mind gremlins, there's one week left in our special deal for The Catalyst course, before we open up registration to all- join our inner circle today & receive our special discount tomorrow!
This post by Bronnie Ware, about the regrets of people as they are dying, really stuck with me and pops into my head sometimes, perhaps when I need to remember it most. Bronnie worked in pallative care for many years and was with people during the last 3-12 weeks of their lives- she noticed some recurring themes in what people regretted most as they reflected back on their life.
Can you guess what the most common regret of all was?
I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
So many of us get stuck in what is comfortable, what we think we "should" do or what's best for everyone else around us- but you have to consider what's best for you, too.
What's the back of the mind dream that you find yourself longing to bring into reality? What do you wish you could change in your life? What do you feel passionate about? What is calling to your deepest, truest self?
And what's stopping you from doing what you know you need to do to start turning those dreams into waking, breathing, real life?
Well, I have an idea. Maybe it's fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of change, because it seems too big, because it seems too impossible, self-doubt, nagging perfectionism, feelings of guilt, laziness and procrastination, waiting for the "right time", feeling like you already "missed the boat", because you're too young, because you're too old, because of one circumstance after the other, because you can't "find the time".
I know all these feelings very well, because I go through the gamut of them each time I try something new, each time I make an effort to hone in on what really fulfills me the most. I could easily let my mind talk me out of making any changes.
But once I start to move, to act, to progress towards wherever my passion is driving me, I start to feel engaged. Enthused. Invigorated. My motivation, determination and will start to kick-in and I suddenly feel supported by my own mind in that, together, we're gonna make things happen!
And it's not because the fear, doubt, guilt and everything else went away, oh no. It's because in the MOVEMENT, the ACTION, the DOING of the things you know will bring you closer to your dreams, you can suddenly see those dreams as achievable, realistic, within reach.
Suddenly, YOU CAN DO THIS and no matter what the critical voice in your head has to say otherwise, YOU WILL.
Taking action gets you out of your head, out of your own way, and lights that little fire within your gut that will help keep you focused on your goals to take you where you want to go.
We all deserve to follow our passions and live a life with no regrets. A life true to ourselves, one that feels rich, whole and happy.
Think about your life right now- what is one unfulfilled dream that you'd later regret not acting on? And what's the FIRST STEP you can take to help bring that dream down into reality?
And if you'd like some support on getting moving towards your dreams, The Catalyst course might be just the spark you need!
Remembering to breathe when you feel stressed out- that's one of the things that has made a huge, lasting change in my life over the last year or so, and is partly to thank for a big shift that happened inside myself.
I was having major issues with stress and anxiety and felt so off-balance and frazzle-brained for many years, without even really realizing it. I mean, I knew I felt unfilfilled way deep down inside, but I couldn't figure out what it would take for that feeling to go away, and didn't even necessarily think it was possible.
I got so used to living in a state of constant overwhelm, so used to having all these negative thoughts floating around in my brain, that it began to feel like that was just me. Just who I am and how I deal with things.
Luckily, I was wrong about that. Seriously wrong!
Over the last year, and last 6 months especially, I've been able to shift my way of thinking so much that I feel like a whole new person. Like I was given another shot at this "life thang" but this time, armed with the tools I need to stay grounded, more focused and find a whole heckuva lot more to be happy about.
The catalyst for change, for me, was really just a realization that struck me deeply. I had an "aha" moment of sorts that made me see that all this stress, sadness, frazzledness and indirection was not me and not how I have to operate in this world.
I suddenly realized that I had been looking in all the wrong places to find the answer as to what would really fulfill me, when the whole time I had the power to find fulfillment within myself.
And so do you!
That's why Jen and I have dubbed our upcoming e-course, The Catalyst course! Staring this March, WE want to be the spur for change in YOU- the spark you need to create a real, lasting shift into a life that feels more fulfilling and whole.
We're going to share all the tools, new ways of thinking and support that we've been putting into real-world use to affect changes in our own lives. This is practical, realistic stuff that you too can incorporate into your life to reduce stress, clarify your goals and direction and help turn those pipe-dreams into a awesome reality.
Are you sitting on the edge of making a change? Waiting for a chance or opportunity to come your way? Dealing with a transition in your life or business that you could use some support with? Or just ready to feel stressed-less and a lot more happy?
We'll help you get there- we cannot wait to share all that we have planned with you!!!
Check out full details on what The Catalyst course is all about, and if it sounds intriguing, be sure to sign up for our "inner circle" list- next week, we'll be sending out a special FIRST DIBS registration offer at a nice DISCOUNT, to newsletter subscibers only!
Instead of making resolutions we know we won't be able to keep that will leave us feeling guilty or bad about ourselves when we break them, Jen and I started thinking of the New Year as a chance to really reflect and refocus on the things we already have in our lives that make us truly happy.
Because if we can focus on the happy and find doses of goodness in each and every day, then we'll be setting up a foundation of gratitude to carry with us in everything that we do, including all the great big intentions we have for our great big futures.
But we're also realistic and know there will be days with failures, worries, bubbling insecurities. Days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed or have an interaction that leaves us grumbly. And when we get stuck in negative thought patterns on days like that, it can seem downright hard to think of anything that could make us happy, shift our attitude or pull us out of those funks.
So, we decided to make a list. A list of happy-making things in our lives.
The simple, everyday smile makers.
The surefire pick-me-ups and attitude-changers.
All the little things in life, that we can access at anytime, that make us feel elated, excited and at ease.
We wanted something tangible that we could use to help keep our perspective aimed towards positivity. I'm working on turning my scrawled list above into a painting so I can hang it on the wall and see it each and every day.
Then, on my best days, I can look at the list and see all that I have to be grateful for and really how easy it is to find happiness in everyday.
And, on my kinda crappy days, I can DO as many of those happy-making things as it takes to lift my spirits and help me see all that I have to be grateful for, and really how easy it is to find happiness in everyday.
See how that works? ;)
So, this year I'm just going to focus on my happy. And I have faith that in doing so, I'll get exactly where I want to go and enjoy the ride much more.
What are all the little things in life that make YOU happy? And how much happy do you let into each day? We encourage you to create your own happy-lists to hang up, or keep close, as a reminder of just how many things there are in life that allow you access to your joy. Fill each day with the things that fill you!
**I'll share my happy-list painting on our facebook page once it's done, and we'd LOVE to have you share some things from your list with us over on facebook too!**
I've been planning, plotting and pining. Resting, relaxing and recharging. Easing into 2012 with a head full of ideas and I think, maybe just maybe, the mojo I need to see them into fruition.
That's what I'd like this year to look like for me- plump full of fruition. Fulfillment. And lots of fun along the way!
Wishing you all a 2012 full of new discoveries, fear-facing and the mojo you need to see your ideas into fruition, too. (I'll be here to help with that last part, if you need it :)
There is so much good to come. Just you wait.