We all feel fears. It’s inevitable. But I’ve learned some ways to use fear to my advantage and I want to share them with you.
When I ask my clients (and friends) what their biggest fears are, they generally fall into a few categories:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success
- Fear of ridicule
- Fear of harm or death
Some of these fears are useful. They keep us from putting ourselves in physical danger. They help us to know when we’re “unsafe” emotionally. And they remind us of our fallibility.
But sometimes our fears go into overdrive or they get transferred to things and experiences that aren’t a life-or-death threat. In those situations, fear doesn’t have to hold you back. It can actually be your friend.
Here are some things you can learn from your fear, so that it can help propel you forward rather than keeping you stuck.
1. Fear is trying to tell you something. Fear is a messenger. When you feel fear, if you pay attention, you might learn something new. Often fear is simply telling you that you’re outside of your comfort zone.
Want to know what else is outside your comfort zone? Growth. Learning. Expansion. If you can see the potential benefits that are waiting for you, you’ll be more motivated to keep going, despite your fears.
2. Fear indicates your focus. It tips you off to what you’re centering your thoughts on. You tend to feel fear when you’re focused on the negative possible outcomes…the fearful “what ifs”. What if I fail? What if my heart breaks? What if they laugh at my idea?
If you can pay attention to those things you’re focused on, then you can begin to shift your focus to what you really want…to the positive “what ifs” rather than the negative ones. What if I give a presentation that helps others change their thinking? What if I start a heart-led business and it changes even a small corner of the world? What if I love with all my heart and see it transform me and those I encounter?
Do you feel the difference with just a small shift of your focus?
3. Fear can fuel you. If you think of fear (and any other emotion) as energy in your body, then you can choose how you harness that energy. Instead of allowing that energy to become anxiety or nervousness, you can choose to feel it as excitement for something new and different.
Fear doesn’t have to hold you back. You can us it, coax it and walk with it. It’s YOUR emotion. You can choose what you do with it.
Make it your friend and let it keep you moving toward your dreams.