One question I get asked all the time is, “How did/do you just go for it and not let your fear of failing, looking like you don’t know what you’re talking about, going broke, or the never ending list of ‘but, what if’s…?’ keep you from what you want?”
And every time I have to laugh before I respond. I wasn’t born with extra confidence. I don’t have less fear than anyone else. I’m not extremely extroverted, in fact I’m fairly introverted. And, I don’t have a trust fund to fall back on if my decisions go wrong, especially my biz decisions.
What I have been really good at? Creeping. ;)
Don’t worry, I’m not peeping in your window. What I mean by this is since I was little I’ve always closely watched other people who were successful in areas that I wanted to experience and achieve – from romantic relationships to financial freedom to entrepreneurship. Hello, current Shark Tank obsession.
It saves a lot of time and gives me a lot wisdom.
And when it came to others acting in spite of fear, it, I realized three things…
- Fear wasn’t really as scary as everyone was making it out to be… and as scary as the sweaty pits and shaking voice my body can convey. It’s just an emotion and sensation to tell us to pay attention to something (a lion chasing us or something new that requires courage).
- I can feel uncomfortable while stuck in a place I don’t want to be OR I can feel uncomfortable moving towards what I desire…why not get what I desire?
- It’s not people who have less fear that are happier, have more freedom, or achieve more…it’s people who figured out how to take action in spite of that fear that lead to fully lived and loved lives.
That left me with the big question of “but, how?” HOW did they take action? Here’s a system that never fails…
4 steps to act in spite of fear
>>> STEP ONE. Expect it.
Until the day we die, we will experience fear. It’s not going anywhere. If we an expect it, welcome it, and anticipate it, it shifts the entire way we experience fear. For example, when I’ve gone to haunted houses. I expect to be scared, to have things jump out at me, and to feel my fear of what could come next… but there is a sense of excitement and adventure. However, if I’m walking in the woods and I’m feeling uneasy and I’m not anticipating a squirrel to jump out of the shadow…I can be terrified. If we can expect that fear will come and simply welcome it as a natural response in our lives, it loses its power on us.
>>> STEP TWO. Feel it.
It’s when we numb out (shopping, food, sleep, social media, etc.) and avoid that fear, it becomes much bigger than it really is. If we expect it, welcome it, and then let ourselves actually fully feel the fear and the uncomfortable sensations in our body, it usually dissipates in 7-9 seconds (that’s research supported, yo).
>>> STEP THREE. Voice it.
Say out loud that you feel fear. The split second you voice it, it loses some of its power over you. Tell someone else (that you value) about it and it loses even more power.
>>> STEP FOUR. Act in spite of it.
Uncover every possible first step you could take to move in that direction and then take 1 small step at a time. Want to move to a new location but afraid it could ruin your bank account and happiness? Start researching potential places you could move to and create space for possibility. CHOOSE to take action.
In the comments below, let me know one fear that keeps you paralyzed and and how you can start to expect it and welcome it.
P.S. This post is part of Kimberly Riggins’ BossLady Blog Tour highlighting stories and tips from women who own their way of doing business, listen to their intuition, collaborate instead of compete, and give generously. Yesterday, Racheal Cook from the yogipreneur.com shared her delicious tips for “how to start…even if you don’t think you’re ready” and tomorrow we get to hear from Allison Braun of The Business Joyologist. So fun, right?