It’s happened to you more times than you’d like to acknowledge. Yet it’s taboo to speak about so you are left to deal with it on your own, in secret, and without support. Or if you are actually brave enough to talk about it, often it will be minimized, dismissed, or not understood.
I’m talking about being caught in the grips of fear.
Yet you put on the mask that says everything is fine, wonderful, and perfect. And you know exactly when you are in its grasp; your body is a perfect mirror of the terror playing out in your mind. Your throats get tight and scratchy, your stomach develops that tight ball of a knot deep in your belly, and your breathing quickens and heart rate soars as your whole being senses your impending doom. Those are the times when you are so overcome by fear that you create beautifully elaborate reasons (excuses) why you can’t or shouldn’t do something. “It’s better that way,” you tell yourself. But it’s just a trick your mind is playing to keep you stuck where you are. Deeply rooted into your comfort zone.
Fear is such a powerful thing that it can keep you up at night as you fret about all of the “what ifs?” It starts out innocently enough, as a cautious investigation of something new or different. But often you can hear the whispers of a full-fledged fear coming on strong. What I’m learning is that our biggest growth often comes in the form of those things that we want to do but are afraid to do. The deepest part of ourselves knows the true value of that thing that has gotten us so worked up; that’s why we keep returning to the idea of it. The other part of ourselves, however, wants to keep things the same because we are safe in the known, even if that known life causes us pain or prevents us from achieving our goals.
So we have a choice. There is always a choice.
We can choose to cling tightly to our self-imposed restrictions or we can choose to feel the fear and do it anyway. For me, I’ve decided that I can’t hold onto fear any longer. Yes, there are moments when it comes that I feel paralyzed with uncertainty, but I decided awhile ago that I simply can’t hold on to it any longer. It doesn’t serve me well.
It’s like my Breakthrough Event in August. For so long I’ve felt the calling to lead a 3-day experience that will change lives. The kind of event that causes you to become a different person than the one you were when you first came… The kind of event that helps you to realize where your boundaries are being breached so that you can create better relationships with your family, have greater peace with your kids, and less stress at work… The kind of event that makes you realize all the ways you’ve been getting in your own way and sabotaging your success. The kind of event that you leave having the desire and energy to change your life for the better because you know who you really are and what you want out of life.
But I felt like I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t know enough, or that if I would put myself out there in the biggest of ways it would flop. I allowed my fears to hold me back.
Then something amazing happened. One day I decided that I wanted more. I decided that deserved more and that I had a big purpose of helping people to believe in themselves, and I wasn’t doing anyone any good by being fearful and holding myself back. Of course I still have those fears that will pop up now and then, especially when I put myself in a position to be vulnerable, but I’ve learned I can’t hold on to them. They are too costly in every way imaginable.
I’ve also learned that I don’t have to be embarrassed by them or keep my fears secret. That’s why I’ve decided to be so open with you lately about stepping out of my own areas of comfort, and be more vulnerable with you. We’re all in this together, right? I hope it inspires you to do the same.
Apparently it’s also helped my daughter as well. Over the weekend my daughter had her first swimming lesson. Her response to her fear about it was inspiring and one that I will remember as I move forward with my own encounters with fear. I hope you will take a moment to watch the below video. She has such great wisdom and insight.
Wishing you all the best as you unlock your potential and experience your possibilities.