Fear is JUST an emotion
Did you know that as humans we actually only experience 5 different emotions?
Five emotions that we MUST express. Because as humans if we don’t express them, we stuff them.
And stuffing emotions is dangerous ground.
The five emotions we feel are grief, envy, fear, love, anger.
What I find with many of my clients is that they feel ashamed to release and feel many of these emotions. They are always apologizing for their tears.
And when we stuff the emotions, they become incredibly difficult to work with.
These emotions become extremely difficult to work with when they are neglected, and stuffed. When they are stuffed they often become STUCK.
And stuck emotions never lead down a path to anywhere good.
As children we are taught often times to stuff our emotions.
Perhaps you were a little child and you were not raised in a loving environment. Often if we are not allowed to express love at an early age, we either become incredibly possessive or we are not someone who is able to receive love. Think about someone who cannot receive compliments. There is VERY strong possibility they were never taught to receive love and so they can’t accept love.
One of the emotions that I see most with my clients is fear. Fear is the emotion that holds people by the throat. It chokeholds them and holds them back from every dream they ever considered pursuing.
Now, before I explain fear a little bit, I am also here to say that everything you feel inside of you is REAL.
Feelings are never right or wrong-they simply ARE.
Judging our feelings brings guilt and shame into the picture and those are definitely two emotions that will never help you accomplish all the things you were meant to do in this world.
Here is what women who want to chase their dreams and pursue their purpose MUST understand about fear if they want to accomplish their dreams.
FEAR IS JUST AN EMOTION.
That’s it. It’s JUST an emotion. It won’t kill you. It won’t harm you. And it actually serves a really amazing purpose. It’s just something to notice-evaluate what it’s saying to you and then keep moving.
But for most people fear is a HUGE stop sign. They perceive it as a sign to stop and not move forward.
Fear is just a yield sign-slow down, evaluate, figure out what’s going on and then make a choice that serves you-does this actually mean you should stop, or does this mean that you are simply afraid and step into the fear and keep moving toward your dream.
Let’s unpack it for just a moment…
Fear is a vital and crucial response that we need in response to physical and emotional danger.
Let’s go back into the days of the caveman.
Cavewoman goes out to pick berries for her family on a random Tuesday.
Tiger is hiding in the berry bushes. Cavewomen feels fear and runs like hell.
Fear serves her here. Imagine just standing there and trying to talk to the tiger and pet it like a large kitten.
But here is the problem with fear-most of what we are afraid of in today’s world is not tigers jumping out of bushes and creepy men attacking us in alley’s.
Fear served a very specific purpose back in the day And still today. It kept us alive.
Just the other day I was in Chicago and I was walking back to my hotel at 9pm. My fear began to kick in a little. My heart started beating a little faster and I noticed how quickly I began to pick up the pace.
The message was-”don’t go down that alleyway.” I kept my head down and continued walking as fast as possible until I made it to said hotel.
Fear served me in this situation. Fear is a guide that directs us to keep us out of danger. And that is what our bodies do is keep us out of dangerous situations. If there is a burglar trying to get into my house, I really don’t want to welcome him in. I want my body to do what it’s supposed to do in order to kick in that fight or flight response to get me the hell out of there and protect myself.
However-the stakes of what we experience in today’s world when we are talking about fear is MUCH lower.
Let’s say you just signed up to sell something you really love and are excited about to share with the world. You have a product that you just know will help and serve so many people.
In order to really help people see this product-you know the next step is to push play and go live on facebook.
But you are TERRIFIED.
What if I freeze up?
What if I don’t know what to say?
What if no one watches?
What if my Aunt Susan watches? That would be weird.
What if someone from high school sees it?
What if i ramble on?
And here we go down the rabbit hole of hell….
We’ve officially thought of every single worst case scenario before we even got started.
Back in the caveman example, fear served a really great purpose-it saved our lives. If we didn’t have fear we would all be walking into oncoming traffic, stepping off cliffs and trying to hold onto and cuddle with poisonous snakes.
But when you consider the example of going live on facebook-fear has absolutely no purpose. Other than to simply shut you down.
Now there is a whole science approach that I could share here-but basically what you need to know that is important is that we have a little piece of our brain called the amygdala that works in tandem with our subconscious minds. Our subconscious mind is like a rolodex file and brings up all sorts of past memories and experiences of when we have also tried to step out and “failed.” Maybe when we were in 7th grade, we went to give a speech on stage and tripped going up the stairs.
Maybe we gave a class presentation and someone told us we were awful at it.
So the brain offers you that information and what do we do? We stop. We don’t even try. We go into fight or flight response.
But we need to remember that there is nothing here to flee from.
We aren’t actually in any sort of danger. Of course we might be a little uncomfortable. Of course we are a little unsure.
We’re never done this before. So our mind works side by side with fear to get us to stop the uncomfortable thing. The body/mind does not know that you are only stepping onto a stage and not onto upcoming traffic so it puts you into that flight or fight mode.
But is that actually what you want? Do you want to give in to an unrealistic fear? Do you actually want to stop short of your dreams before you ever really get started?
Fear is simply a way of your body telling you, you are stepping out and doing something uncomfortable. You are growing.
Fear often times controls our lives.
Fear kills dreams.
Fear holds us back.
Fear distorts what is actually real.
Fear will determine our success and failure.
And its sneaky-it works it’s way into our lives almost daily.
And shuts us down from delivering our message-of putting our dream out into the world. Of achieving all we are capable of.
Of all we were meant to BE, DO and HAVE.
In order to step into a life of MORE we must realize that fear is simply a defense mechanism. That’s it.
We are simply creating a story for ourselves. We are envisioning all the awful, terrible things that we think could potentially happen as a result of stepping out and into the fear.
Fear throws us the worse case scenario. It throws at us perfection, self-sabotage, people pleasing, and worry.
I’m not ready yet
I’m not good enough
It’s not perfect
I need to learn more
I need to perfect it more
Everyone encounters it at some point.
But as long as you sit still, you stay scared.
Do the thing you’re terrified of because when you move through it you develop a whole new level of competence and confidence.
Action BREEDS confidence.
But you have to move because the only way out is THROUGH.
The antidote to fear…???
I’m scared-but I’m doing it anyway. I’m doing the thing. And do the thing over and over and over and over.
And I promise you will have a whole new level of confidence.
I remember my first few facebook lives-i was terrified. Absolutely terrified. But I pushed play and I did it anyway. And I did it again.
Until the fear didn’t seem quite so much like a three-headed monster.
Ditch your stories-they are complete and total self-sabotage.
So the choice is yours-keep all the stories of why you can’t-or step into the fear and DO IT ANYWAY.
When you do the thing-you gain something that no one can ever take away-CONFIDENCE.
Sitting and thinking about it will never ever help you. Remember-there is no freight train coming at you (more than likely).
Pushing play on facebook live, writing the first chapter of your book, saying yes to that speaking engagement or taking a new job because you know deep down it’s meant for you might feel terrifying at first-of course it will-you’ve never done it before.
But you will never reach your true potential and your dreams if you don’t step into the fear, learn to dance with it and navigate through it and keep moving forward.
It is the only way.
Make a choice to not let fear stop you. There is no tiger waiting for you in the bushes. There is no freight train coming at you, there is no poisonous snake under your bed.
So choose to do the thing. You will do it scared. You will be a bit uncomfortable.
But remember-FEAR IS JUST AN EMOTION. That’s it. And it’s only job is to stop you to evaluate if this is in fact a fight or flight experience you are having. And unless you are in the African wild, I’m pretty sure there is no tiger waiting for you while you are out picking your fresh berry bucket for the day.
But action breeds confidence and competence and you before you know it you will be a pro and that much closer to the life you dream about.
And remember…if you can dream it, you can DO IT!