When it comes to achieving your goals and making your projects a reality, fear can be a serious obstacle on the road. This is true whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur.
I’ve talked about how to understand this type of fears before and I want to add that
dealing with fears building courage is a process. There’s no quick fix solution, it’s an ongoing work and it’s better if it’s done together.
Because fears don’t like to be spoken and in silence they grow like a tree.
But interestingly enough, we all have pretty much the same fears. In this post I want to help you to understand your fears – instead of fighting or avoiding them – so that you can take the first courageous step to overcome them.
An unpleasant emotion or thought that you have when you are frightened or worried by something dangerous, painful, or bad that is happening or might happen.
I want to invite you to sit for a moment and observe fear. This exercise is about acknowledging the fears that are already there and recognise the impact they have on you. Don’t worry, the goal is not to increase your fears, but to put you in touch with them.
Because if your fears control you, it means you are not really controlling them.
A CLOSER LOOK
Fear is that unpleasant emotion, created by a thought, that keeps you in a condition of worrying or even panicking. It can be based on the past or on the imagined future, it isn’t rational but the effect it has on you is real. Concretely, fear pushes you to do something or prevent you from doing something else, even if you know that it’s the right thing for you.
When fear is preventing people to achieve their goals, they tend to call it self-sabotaging behaviours.
But there’s no reason for you to sabotage yourself, isn’t there? If you were intimately convinced that what you want to get is good for you, there wouldn’t be any valid reason to avoid getting it, do you agree? So what is preventing you from going after what you want?
It’s fear and I want to lift up this idea that fear is your ally, that it’s actually there for you. It’s there to protect you from the imagined consequences of your actions. From what might happen. This is where it takes all its power from.
So your fear is there, it exists and you can look at it. You fear is a tree. You can sit there for hours and look at it, get familiar with it. This is what you’ll notice:
- It has roots. This is where your fear comes from and how it grows. It’s nourished by thoughts, past events, things you’ve been told, deeper fears related to a more intimate part of yourself. This is the deeper part of your fear and you can uncover it only with deep questions (i.e. the downward arrow technique, that I’ll explain in the next post).
- It has a trunk. This is the body of your fear. It’s done of all the things that confirm your fear. The stories you told yourself, the ones that others told you and that helped you to find evidence of your beliefs and reinforced the roots. The things you avoided doing because they scared you – and maybe still scare you today. The trunk is what makes your fear solid, built on knowledge and experiences, the way you experience the world, the way fears still play in your head or heart in the shape of stories. This is how you justify the lack of action when others ask you.
- It has branches. Fear is showing up in your life, in different aspects of your life and preventing you to blossom. It keeps you stuck on the branches and with little space for movement. It doesn’t allow you to go around and try things and test new plots of land.
So you fear is a tree and it keeps you in the same small plot of land, doing always the same thing, for all the seasons. You have goals and excitement and you see them turning into frustrations. Around you, other people have their own tree. They hide it, they try to get rid of it, they avoid looking at it. But it keeps them stuck in the same plot of land, doing the same things over and over, wondering how life could be different with more courage. And courage is just one step forward, it’s doing something even if you are scared. It’s moving one root to a new land, testing it, seeing how it is. And I want to suggest that you can do it, if you turn to your tree, look at it and understand it.
You’ll find that this tree has a positive intention – and that, surprisingly, it’s open to discuss about it.