“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” -Helen Keller
We hear a lot about how fear stops us in pursuit of our goals, feelings of unworthiness and doubt in our abilities to achieve in terms of time, money and health. I often see however that where it stops us the most, I’m talking paralyzing fear, is in pursuit of what we want out of our lives. When we’re faced with a big decision or life altering choices that fear can hit you like a wrecking ball, those things you didn’t plan for (doesn’t the universe know I like sticking to my plan?!!). It’s when the path leads you somewhere you could have never expected or you’re faced with giving up the life you know for the life that awaits you.
First off – It’s so important to keep in mind that every step and person and experience in your life was right, was part of the grander scheme of things. Every experience taught you a lesson and more clearly defined what you truly want out of life. Let that statement wash over you, notice how much lighter it feels, the knowing that “this is all part of becoming”. There’s no need to feel the weight of “I should have done something different”, you couldn’t possibly have done something different, you are never off your path.
Sometimes opportunities present themselves in ways you didn’t expect, this can be good unexpected like accidentally bumping into your future spouse randomly at a coffee shop but it can also mean getting to what you truly want is going to take doing something hard or will involve you having to change in some way, like having to decide between staying in a long relationship that you aren’t fully satisfied in or braving the dating game and just having faith it’ll work out for you. Which lets face it we could all work on our faith muscles.
Fear will tell you anything it can to keep you “safe” (avoiding physical and emotional discomfort) think of fear like the devil that sits on your shoulder, whispering sweet lies into your ear about how if you stay here you’ll be safe, if you don’t rock the boat it’ll be better for everyone. On the flip side the angel is Source/God/The Universe, call it intuition if you’d like but whatever you call it it feels like that gut feeling, that pull to something, it’s the little voice that says you deserve more, more is available for you.
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. – Suzy Kassem
The first step to overcoming fear dictating your decisions is to keep in mind: We suffer more in imagination than in reality. Read that over and over again! You will always make it worse in your mind then it actually is.
The next step is you get to strengthen your faith muscle by doing small things you are confident in, things that might scare you but you know with a little effort and support you can overcome. Take small steps. For example, if you’re mildly afraid of snakes, go hold one at a pet store! Even if you only do it for 1 minute you will be teaching your unconscious mind that you can overcome fear. If you have a crippling fear of snakes, not a good place to start. Start with things you know will be hard, but you also know you can overcome. Everyday find something that scares you and take action, no matter what the thing is you decide to take on, it doesn’t matter because you are working with the laws of the compound effect.
*The Compound Effect – A strategy of reaping huge rewards from small, seemingly insignificant actions. You cannot improve something until you measure it.
Finally, stop beating the drum of anything that makes you feel doubt. Beat the drum of things that make you feel encouraged. What I mean by this is that you need to start looking for things/thinking of things you already feel encouraged about thus focusing your attention on what you have already overcome or on small victories that make you feel proud of yourself.
Get in front of the fear by correcting the doubt before you have it. Practice your belief in yourself on things that are easy to believe until the practice of positive expectation is just your practiced chronic nature, then when the big stuff rolls through your life it is just your natural instinct to overcome, handle it and move through the fear.
I’ll leave you with this, how are you going to come to feel your invincibility when clearly there are things you have never done?
Do not be afraid; our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift. -Dante Alighieri