You may be wondering why I speak so often about fear, as I have done so quite a few times now. The thing is, fear is such a big part of our thought process that sometimes we overlook it all together. We may be so accustomed to our fears that we let it run our entire lives. This happens to so many of us and then we are left looking back with regret.
Why should you go for your dreams and conquer fear, no matter how hard? Because if you don’t you will regret it and regret is so much worse than failure - trust me. Don’t live your life wishfully thinking, act and act now. In the end, you don’t want to look back and say to yourself ‘if only’. Live your life with the goal of having no regrets.
So, with all that in mind, you may be asking yourself how to overcome fear and make your purpose overcome your fears. Well, I went back and collected a few points I covered in a much larger conversation on my podcast Succeed Against The Odds on this very topic. If you want to hear more on this issue, I highly recommend checking it out. As for now, here is my list of ways to make your WHY bigger than your FEARS.
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Continued from Pt 1.
I’ve previously discussed, although it sounds off, how fear is not the enemy. We are now taking the conversation one step further. See, another misconception surrounding fear is that it is a one-shoe-fits-all feeling. We often think that we fear failure and that’s it. This isn’t entirely the case. You may have a fear of failing but there can be different tangents that you must delve into first before you can truly conquer the odds. Fear needs to be analyzed and understood before you can overcome it.
Essentially, there are different facets to fear. It can take different forms that ultimately serve the same purpose: keeping you too afraid to follow through with your dreams. Which fear is holding you back from following your passion and fully achieving your BIG goals? What scares you from taking a step forward towards your potential?
First and foremost, if this topic is something you’d like to really dive into at length, I actually discuss it much more thoroughly on my podcast Succeed Against The Odds. If you’d rather the extremely condensed version, I’ve compiled a list of potential tangent fears you may be neglecting.
Is it the fear of success?
I hear this one all the time and yet it still confuses me. If it is, ask yourself this question: if you were 100% sure that you would succeed, would you still be afraid? The answer is probably, no. This means that the fear of success is a ruse. It is not the fear of success but rather all the stops in between the present and the future. This is normal. Once you’ve had a little success, you will be expected to continue having new successes. This can be overwhelming at times but it is also worth it. Just as you got to the first level, you will definitely get to the next one.
Is it the fear of change? Of leaving your comfort zone?
This is a tough one for a lot of people but you have to remember that nothing exciting happens in the comfort zone. One thing I have personally learned in life is that you must push through and exit your comfort zone because it is holding you prisoner. Yes, fear can be comfortable. It may not be feel safe and good in the moment. However, that comfortability can also act as a shackle to your current life. You can never step forward and do something incredible if you are shackled behind your comfort. Trust me. The two cannot truly live harmoniously.
Is it fear of abandonment or rejection?
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “do what you feel in your heart to be right for you'll be criticized anyway.” This quote changed my life. It is true that regardless of what you do and who you do it with, there will be someone out there who doesn’t agree. There will always be those who judge others. If people are going to judge you anyway, you might as well go for what you believe is right. Follow your gut, follow your dreams, not what someone else's expectation of you may be. Those who stick around are worth having around. Those who leave, well, they probably were not your true friends to begin with.
Or maybe it is a fear of being judged.
If you think you aren’t good enough, it’s time to stop telling yourself that lie. The truth of the matter is that no one has it all figured it out. No matter how far ahead of you others may be, they do not have it all figured out either. You are good enough to start and you will become better as you continue working on whatever it is you need to improve. Take it step by step, no one is a master when they first start out. Get out of your own head and just begin.
At the end of the day, you must truly unpack your thoughts and feelings. You must reflect on what it is that is holding you back. Yes, you don’t want to fail. However, perhaps there is something else going on. Perhaps you have a specific tangent fear that you are not addressing. Regardless of the case, remember this: if replace the word failure with “lesson” or “experience”, you will gain a whole new outlook on life.
Can you imagine if when you were a baby and learning to walk, you stopped when you first fell down? We are born resilient, we are meant to get back up.
So, which type of fear is holding you back?
Usually when we speak about fear it is in a negative tone. In fact, the phrase “the importance of fear” may seem paradoxical when put in the context of achieving your goals. Yes, it is true that fear can have a powerful hindering effect on you but that is not to say that it is inherently bad. In fact, fear is crucial as you can use it to guide yourself on the pathway to success.
You may be thinking to yourself, ‘what is she talking about? Fear is the enemy and should be treated as such... right? Well, not really. Fear is essentially just another emotion we feel - it keeps us human. What we actually need to do is accept our fear and harness it. Too often I see people and businesses that are crippled by fear. Their potential is stifled. Numerous goals are abandoned. It is disheartening to witness. If you ask me, trying and failing at something is much more courageous than simply letting fear allow an opportunity to pass. If you try something and it doesn’t go your way, at least you can say you gave it a chance. You can even use the experience as a lesson and tweak certain elements so that next time you try it, you can succeed. But not trying at all? That’s when failure really takes shape. Think about it this way: if you were not a little bit afraid of failing at your dreams, would they really be worth your time? Exactly. So go for it! Go for your dreams in spite of fear. If you don’t, you will regret it and regret is so much worse to feel than failure - trust me.
Fear is something I personally deal on a day to day basis. For the first time ever, I recently spoke openly about my agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that can affect people in different ways but is essentially a fear and avoidance of places that could potentially cause someone to feel trapped, panicked, or helpless. In my case, it manifests in a fear of open spaces. If I allowed it to, my agoraphobia could hinder me from doing my job. A large part of what I my job is made up of travelling to different locations and speaking with people about overcoming their obstacles and gaining success. With my phobia, however, sometimes I find myself fighting off a panic attack when I am in new places, very open new spaces. Although these two topics may seem a tad different, the central theme is the same: fear has the power to disable you from achieving anything. You have the power to stop it from doing so.
One video I really admire stated that a hospital study once asked 100 patients on the brink of death what their biggest regrets were. It should not come as much surprise to know that nearly all of them reported regretting not the things they had done, but what they had chosen not to do. If things don’t work out the way you wished, that is experience and experience equals success. When you allow yourself to give into your fears, you are cheating yourself from what is already yours in the first place! Don’t live your life with wishfully thinking of all you could do. In the end, you don’t want to look back and say to yourself ‘if only’. Live your life with the goal of having no regrets.
When you are given an opportunity or stumble onto a new potential path, evaluate how you feel. Afraid? Maybe this opportunity could change your life and propel you to your dreams. If the answer is yes, take the chance. Use fear to evaluate which opportunities mean the most to you and then act on it. After all, if you are afraid, it probably means that this is important to you and if it’s important to you, you owe it to yourself to try.
I would like to hear from you. Which fear is holding you back from moving forward in your life and/or in your business?
I had the fun opportunity to share my perspective on personal branding with Susan Friesen, CEO of eVision Media. I hope you get some insights from this short interview that includes thunder and bloopers.
Click HERE to watch video
Here is a part of me I have never openly shared. It's not something I like to talk about. It makes me feel very vulnerable to share so publicly. Why am I sharing then? I suffer from agoraphobia. Phobias of any kind can really affect quality of life and work productivity. For some it is so severe, it is debilitating. People who suffer from agoraphobia may experience it in different ways. For me, it is the fear that there's no easy way to escape or get help when in a very open space that 'appears' detached from the rest of the world.
This video was shot yesterday in Grand Junction, Colorado. Fully surrounded by mountains. The perfect setting to trigger a panic attack in this situation.
Applying the following three SIMPLE techniques have helped me tremendously deal with the situation. Any of these three on their own work. When applied together they work like magic.
So I share them here with you hoping that it will help you if you deal with a similar situation.
If you find this video helpful, feel free to leave a comment.
Why it is important to take time for simple pleasures, especially when you are very busy.
This was such a fun interview!
Judi Ruth Meredith asked me some tough questions...
Written by Francesca Anastasi
For quite a long time, I have been wanting to write about this topic. It keeps coming up in conversations I have with other instructors and performers, as well as appearing in discussion groups on social media.
This is a repost from my other blog which I am moving here now