“Everything you want is on the other side of fear”- Jack Canfield
Fear is one of the known universal emotion. Fear is natural. We all have experienced it at some point of time in our lives. Fear of life, Fear of death (while I am personally uncomfortable with this term), Fear of Loneliness, Fear of losing someone, Fear of darkness, Fear of love, Fear of not being a great mother, Fear of Failure, Fear of doing something for the first time, and the list can be endless.
Fear is one of the most important emotion we as humans experience. It is one of the vital response we get in any kind of emotional or physical danger. It set’s a kind of alertness so that we are well prepared in advance. Most often we associate fear with negativity. Something that you were not expecting as part of the results and you get worried as you are not prepared to face it. Let’s look at another perspective i.e. Fear can also be positive. Now you must be thinking about how is that possible. We as humans are hard-wired to be in the state of “fight or flight” mode and this is often when we sense a threat in any part of our life’s like work, social, family etc. Let’s go back to the positive intention of fear here, what I mean is fear forces us to focus on areas of our lives that need our attention, be it a problem in the workplace, a bad relationship that needs to be addressed. Most often we let fear stop us from taking the necessary steps to achieve our dreams, goals and passions. Isn’t it true? What if I say feel the fear, experience it and do it anyway? Do you think you would want to attempt to do this? I have done this so many times in my life and I can be honest here yes, it has not been easy but the results have been amazingly beautiful. To cite one such example. I did quit my corporate job after 15 long years, a steady substantial paycheck to start my own Venture. It wasn’t easy, the decision wasn’t easy, yes I was scared and even anxious, I had sleepless nights. Not many were happy with my decision. Now when I think of it I have no regrets and this is the best decision I have ever taken for my career.
I am sharing a few of my experiences how I faced it and I am sure it will help you in your journey.
Firstly, we need to understand what are we scared of. Identify that first. Second, ask yourself why are you fearing? Is it because you will be out of your comfort zone. Isn’t that quite natural? Whenever we are out of our comfort zone or out of our regular routine it brings some kind of uncertainty in us. The secret here is we can feel fear but still move forward. Unless you don’t attempt how would you even experience it if it’s good or bad. Fear is not going to go away from our lives. Let’s accept and get aware of this fact. Instead, acknowledge that fear exists but at the same time don’t let it stop you from doing some great things in life.
The next question is are you willing to be friends with Fear? Did you know most of the good stuff is on the other side of fear? Success lies outside the comfort zone. I am sure you must have heard about this. It’s merely not a saying but it’s true if you are willing to be friends with Fear. By doing this there is a confidence boost. Have you ever experienced it? Personally, if I have to give my examples I have come a long way. A girl (ok don’t raise eyebrows I am a Women) who had public fear, couldn’t even think of going on a stage and today I am delivering webinars, workshops in mass volumes. How did I really do that? The only thing I thought was I need to make it happen and I was willing to be terrified and do a faceoff with my Fear. The results are in front of you. I am a successful Trainer and a Coach running my own business. Continuing to do a lot that is outside my comfort zone. Now it’s in my DNA to face off with fear and achieve results. I do want to make one point here, most often we are fearing not about the situation we are in but the outcome. As I had said earlier we often associate it with negative outcomes. It’s equally true fears are self-created. For example, I want to speak to my boss about my promotion but I fear he would say no and give me negative feedback (my personal experience while I was at corporate).
My First Learning isWhat I have learnt from my experiences is that Managing fear is a skill and we have to learn so that we can grow. One important thing to know is when fear takes over our lives it keeps us small and keeps us stuck and can paralyze us. Do you want to? Ask yourself? Or do you want to achieve and break the glass ceiling?
My Second Learning, instead of not attempting at all break down the risk in smaller chunks and figure a way out to achieve what you want to achieve. For example, if you are given to handle any new project and you fear you don’t have enough skills instead of saying I don’t want to do the project pick up the skills and learn it and eventually master it. This way you will be able to move away from the fears and you will be ready to take up bigger challenges.
Once someone had said to me 9 years back “Take the Leap”(still haven’t forgotten and I live by that). This was my third learning, Leap of Faith which I took and this was during my corporate days. Quitting a stable job and joining another new firm wasn’t easy because I had to work from home and I was unsure how would I manage as I never before had experienced how it is to work alone, manage all by yourself, working virtually etc. Yes, I was nervous and scared yet took the chance as I knew if I didn’t act, the opportunity would be lost and I was not willing to. I trusted myself that I would sail through. Today when I look back I am grateful for that experience as it really taught me a lot to handle all by self which I am currently using in my current Venture. I am far more equipped to do it which otherwise I would have possibly struggled. My fourth learning from fear is that there are no failures but experiences. Take that chance even though you are terrified and scared. It will definitely land you to shore. Even if you fail the difference is that the next time you start with experience and not from the scratch.
Just do It anyways. This is my Fifth learning. It’s like what worse could happen so let me just do it. Instead of living in fear get over it and do it. What pleasure one would have lived at the edge. I have lived there in my past for so many years and I realized when I asked a question to myself “How is this even helping me? What are the positive intentions of my own beliefs and fear? Will I pass this on to my loved ones? When I started asking the right questions I got the right answers. It’s like you ask dumb questions and you get dumb answers. This is why most often we feel stuck and don’t end up doing what we are really meant to. If you are still thinking I would recommend Just Do it anyways. If nothing more it will at least help you move forward from where you are and not keep you stuck and have some beautiful experiences and the next time you start you are not starting from scratch.
“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”–Henry Ford
Do share your comments and experiences.