Why is it so tempting to slip into fear mode? Why not operate from a place of confidence and courage instead?
Lately, I’ve had many amazing conversations about fear, regret, confidence, and love.
A while ago, at a function where I was NOT expecting to have this type of deep conversation at all, one of the people there said something that I have heard so many people express in so many different ways before.
“I wish that I would have known, earlier on in my life, that sometimes you JUST have to make up your mind and GO for it. Decide and follow through.”
It’s easy to see things clearly in the rearview mirror. It’s easy to have regrets and wish that you would have known the RIGHT thing to do at the time.
But like they say, we can’t live life backward.
The “thing” that has us hesitating and not daring to make the decisions that could have shaped our lives differently, is fear.
We give away so much of our personal power to fear. We tend to think that we need to reason with our fear and that we need to obey its orders. We aren’t always aware that we are free to do what we want to do, even in the face of fear. We’d rather wait until it feels better, safer and more comfortable.
That’s how we end up feeling regrets later on in life. We play it too safe. We never expand our comfort zones. We never develop the courage to take action in the presence of fear.
Do you believe me when I say that there is one super simple instant solution to this dilemma?
Quit giving your power and focus to fear.
Just let the fear you’re feeling throw it’s little (or big) tantrums all it wants. You don’t need to engage with this at all. You’ll know (without needing to think about it) the difference between a real life-threatening fear and the fear that is present in order to keep you safe and sound tucked away in your current comfort zone.
To disempower fear in your life is a decision you can make. Today. Now. And follow through on. You can decide to feel the fear and not give power to it. You can decide to allow your actions to cure your fears. You can develop the habit of courage. You can refuse to let your life be defined by your fears.
There is no need to start analyzing fear, you don’t need to know where it’s coming from, you don’t have to trace it back to see if it’s true or false, you don’t even have to push it away. You just need to courageously act in the face of fear.
Confidence will follow. You won’t feel confident about doing something until you’ve done it a few times. You won’t feel comfortable about making new decisions and developing new habits until it’s done and has become your second nature.
It’s one thing to overcome the instant fearful instinct and ACT, and another beast to follow through. To wake up on a daily basis and continue to take action, to continue to stay on our new path, to stay in the light when the shadow seems so much safer.
I see this all the time when I coach entrepreneurs, I’ve done this myself too. They take bold and beautiful action, get mixed results (What?? No overnight success? Your live didn’t go viral? Your course didn’t fill up instantly?) and feel the urge to retreat, to go back into hiding, to rebrand, to rewrite their copy, to jump onto the next shiny object or take yet another course.
That’s where resilience comes into the picture. Stick to it. Follow through. Show the world that you believe in you.
So how do we do that?
How can our bold action that one time (our website went live, we put ourselves out there in social media, we offered our products to the world, we wrote our hearts out in our newsletters or blogs, we created course we believed in AND launched it) turn into us confidently moving in the direction of our dreams day in and day out? How do we tune out the noise? How do we deal with that one nasty comment we got the knocked us down? How can we push through personal setbacks like kids with flu or us down with a nasty migraine?
How can you NOT quit, pivot, rebrand, go back to the drawing board – but instead keep on keeping on?
In the words of Tony Horton: “Do your best. Forget the rest.”
I have a few suggestions on what it means to do your best:
1. Have a plan. When we know what our next steps are going to be, we are less tempted to stall, stop or hesitate.
2. Have accountability. When we have figured out how to feel that what we do matters, that it’s important, that we actually do need to follow through on our plans – and that someone is looking over our shoulders to see how we’re doing – we get shit done.
3. Make sure it feels like an essential goal. How is what you are working on (whether it’s your own personal weight loss, a business venture, a fitness goal, a financial goal or whatever goal you might have in mind) absolutely necessary? Can you trace this back to your most essential WHY, the reason you wake up every day, the impact you can have on the world around you as well as the impact you can have on the people you love the most? What will you accomplish when you’ve reached your goal? Make that an essential component of your life. This is where you can come back and fill up on inspiration and motivation on the days you’re coming up dry.
4. Seek to grow. What else is possible? Seek to uncover your own greatness. Stay curious and allow yourself to feel empowered. Make it a daily habit to connect to a power greater than yours. Meditation can do that for many. Spirituality has many gems to offer. Nature. Stargazing or even music moves people to their deepest core – and reconnects us to that power.
5. Build muscles. The stronger and fitter your body is, in a healthy for you way, the stronger our minds get too. When your body is capable of achieving more than you think it can – your mind begins to realize that it is capable of more than it thinks too.
6. Eat nourishing foods. Food will either build a strong body and mind – or it will break it down. Make the right choices for your body. It takes a bit of trial and error to figure out exactly what is right for each individual, and it’s worth engaging in your own personal research for that. What we eat is so absolutely crucial to how well we function. In order to be able to follow through on our goals and uncovering our greatest potential, we just won’t want to take any shortcuts here. They’ll cost us too much in the long run.
7. Set goals that matter. Celebrate milestones. Keep your long-term goals alive, and keep adding details to this vision. See it as already a part of your reality. Feel what it would feel like to live your dreams. Spend time feeling into your dream life every day. Keep moving in that direction.
What do you choose to decide to pursue today? You just have to make up your mind and go for it. Decide and follow through.
PS. If you are participating in the 52-week challenge, your challenge this week is to face a fear that is holding you back. You KNOW what you need to do – stop engaging with the fear that is holding you back. Just do it! I’ve got your back!