Facing our fear of the unknown
The one thing, the most important thing, that I have noticed on my journey with fear, is that bravery, not fearlessness is what has moved me forward. My willingness to practice courage and find strength in my vulnerability, helped me to de-mystify fear. Not to become fear-less but to fear fear less; to see it more clearly, to understand it’s purpose. Without fear forcing us to question our decisions, we may miss crucial details that increase our likelihood of success. The process is to question each fear and get to it’s root. This is not about over-analyzing, simply about finding that balance, that tipping point where we feel the fear and do it anyway.
I believe in myself and I also know that one of the skills most needed when fear arises is discernment. “Is this something I need to concern myself with? Will dealing with it, managing it, giving my time and energy to it, serve me and my goals, my highest self?”
The purpose of fear
Fear presents us with many scenarios, alternatives, ideas to ponder; some of which may be of value. And running through each thoroughly, to figure out which will help and which won’t, in the hope of doing away with all fear, is a option…it’s simply not one that will move you towards what you want. Because we get caught up entertaining not only the fears that have been presented to keep us safe, we also give credence to the fears that will keep us small and in doing so we stall ourselves and become stagnate there contemplating our every move.
The courage to pick through each fear your ego throws at you, taking some and leaving the rest, has a few layers of value to it. Yes, you move more quickly in the direction of your dreams because you are maximizing your time and energy by only addressing concerns that will ultimately keep you moving forward AND you begin to build a positive relationship of trust with your ego!
By addressing the valid concerns your ego presents, you honour the part of yourself, who’s only job it is to keep you safe. By releasing the pressure this part of you feels to “do it’s job”, it can assuredly step back knowing it has been seen and heard and you can step forward with confidence, knowing that by listening and giving attention to that part of you, you are able to continue knowing you are fully and wholly present.
When we disregard and dismiss all that our ego shares with us, in our attempt to be fearless, we disconnect from a part of ourselves. And it, feeling the disconnect, will push harder to be seen and heard. Resulting in a potential battle within you, sabotaging any possibility of greatness (been there…done that…done with it!)
The power of discernment
Practicing discernment, quickly reflecting on the power and intention and potential for growth that resides in each facet of fear, and therefore clarifying whether or not it is designed to keep you small or keep you safe, is just that, a practice. Believing in your worth and value, believing you deserve the greatness you desire is paramount. And keeping that belief out in the forefront of your mind, using it as a filter, you can pass every thought your ego presents, accepting what you decide will keep you safe and move you forward, and reject any fear that you recognize has been designed to keep you small.
Therefore your capacity to discern between small and safe is ultimately the skill you are looking to master. Engaging in reflective practice, asking yourself the questions that will help you to discern and decipher your fears, categorizing them small or safe, neutralizing your need to play out the “what if’s” on every single f’n scenario, over and over again…slowing and/ or stopping your progress.
“Will believing in, and allowing this fear to have time and energy, keep me small or keep me safe and allow me to grow?
Often it is a matter of our ability to believe and see things differently that brings forth our skill to discern. Our ability to see beyond our own limiting beliefs, by asking some simple questions and willingly answer them without the presence of fear.
When facing something new a goal, role or opportunity that will kick your ego into high gear, ask yourself these questions…
- Has anyone else ever done what it is I want (am about) to do?
- Did they too overcome obstacles?
- What were they willing to do that I have yet to do?
- Did they too have fears? What might they have been?
- Is it possible that I, like them, can overcome my obstacles, my fears and achieve success?
- How much do I want this?
- What will achieving this goal mean to me?
- What will I have (or not have) once I achieve this goal?
- Would I be willing to be uncomfortable for a short period of time in order to reap these benefits?
- What will my life be like in 12 months if I decided to take action towards my goal now?
- What would my life be like in 12 months if I decided to not take action towards my goal?
- Am I ok with being stuck here for another 12 months?
- The last time I conquered my fear of the unknown what exactly did I do? What steps did I take? Define in detail.
- My safety is important and my growth is essential, how am I willing to balance my need to stay safe with my desire to be successful?
- What one thing could I do today that would allow me to safely grow? List 10 possible actions. Now list 5 more.
Can you give yourself permission to see your fears through your discerning eyes? Are you willing to work with your fears that are there to keep you safe and dismiss the ones that were designed to keep you small?
The relationship with your Self
The positive relationship you build with your ego, your self, will re-inforce your discernment pattern. When you give your time and energy to certain types of fear, the more you will see of those types of fears. Meaning that where you put your attention matters. Focus on addressing the fears that ultimately lead to your growth and you will find that over time you train your ego to believe that, in order to get your attention, to be seen and heard, it needs to play by your rules.
Fears that keep you small will only continue to be a problem if you choose to give them your time and energy. Soon you will realize that they are no longer yours and your ego will stop showing them to you and they will stop being a problem. Doesn’t that sound spectacular?!?
Filtering my fear
Recently I have been running up against the fear that “I won’t make enough money”. And initially, when I contemplated moving from a salary job to entrepreneur, that fear was all encompassing. It consumed me and kept me stuck for years. With the support of my coach, I asked myself many of the questions listed above and begin to decipher whether or not this particular fear had any value…I asked myself “Is this keeping me small or safe?”
What I discovered is that the answer is both! Allowing this fear to consume my time and energy and a lot of space in my brain, I gave it permission to spin me around in the negative circle of “What ifs”, allowing it to keep me small. Not until I began to question my limiting beliefs about money and my capacity to earn, it did I realize that I had the potential to turn this fear from a stop sign into stepping stone.
Yes I have a fear that I won’t make enough money and I don’t allow that fear to keep me small and stuck. I now use that fear to keep me safe. By challenging myself to gain new skills, put myself out there, believe in my worth, do the scary things every day that push me out of my comfort zone. You see, my safety is dependent on having enough money to continue living my great life…and that is my goal to live the life I want. I don’t rely on my fear to keep me moving forward I face towards my goals and am drawn to them and in order to do so I needed to acknowledge the value my fear had in order to move through it.
What fear do you need to filter
Move towards your goals by addressing and honouring the value of the fears that were designed to keep you safe. Safe does not equal small. You can reframe your fears and give them new meaning…a purpose. My fear of not enough money led me to investigate how things work, learn what I can do, meet new people who can help me and ultimately help me to become more successful. By using my power of discernment to filter out fears designed to keep me small and those presented to keep me safe I have been able to confidently jump into the unknown!
Have you been thinking about what fears have been showing up in your life?
Wondering how you can kickstart your ability to discern between small and safe…and how you too can reframe your fears as opportunities?
Learn the skills and strategies you need to confidently face the unknown!