During a recent group coaching session, I asked my clients the following questions:
- What is one fear you are wrestling with today?
- How does this fear feel physically in your body?
- Is there a time of day that triggers this fear into high gear?
- If this fear didn’t exist, what would you be doing differently?
I’ve been asking questions like this to hundreds of clients over the years. And while the answers to question one always differ, the answers to the others are typically the same.
Fear show up physically: as tightness in the throat, shoulders, and chest. Increased heartrate. Shortness of breath. Racing thoughts.
It shows up at the time of day: when the clients are taking part in self-care (working out, unwinding with a loved one watching a movie, taking a shower), when there is a lull in the workday (what have I missed?!) or in the middle of the night when our bodies are supposed to be restoring.
If the fear didn’t exist, clients would: delegate more, unplug, say no, celebrate daily wins, trust their intuition, and put their daydreams into action.
One client admitted that her self-care sessions are actually just focused time to worry about all of the plates she’s got spinning in the air. Her realization? “I cannot let fear allow me not to enjoy this time.” I couldn’t agree more.
Here are three easy ways all of us can push through our fears so we can start doing things—whatever our Question 4 things are—differently.
- Expect realistic outcomes. Did you see the finale to This Is Us where they play a game called “worst case scenario?” Understanding your worst-case scenarios helps weaken the power of your fears. Try writing down realistic outcomes. Then review that list. What is the worst thing that could happen? Can you live with it?
- Observe your fear, don’t fuse with it. For me, I think of fear as a cape. When I feel it paralyzing me from making progress (or invading my self-care time, which I need to make progress in all areas), I visualize taking the cape off. I look at it and acknowledge that it’s there, but I don’t put it on. I block out a time when I can address that fear and be done with it.
- Call upon your track record. Remember that you’ve felt fear before, and you’ve conquered it. Dial up what you learned from past successes to take the next step forward. You’ve got this.
If you haven’t answered it yet, I challenge you to answer Question 4 now: If fear didn’t exist, what would you be doing differently?
Whether it’s making a bold career move or simply scheduling a massage, I encourage you to weed out your fears so you can relish your life.
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