Let’s talk about one of the things that holds us back the most in life…it is FEAR. I think I should begin by making sure we are all on the same page. For this I turn to our professional defining friends at Merriam-Webster.
Fear is: 1) a. an unpleasant strong emotion cause by anticipation or awareness of danger b. an instance of this emotion or a state marked by this emotion 2) anxious concern 3) profound reverence and awe especially toward God 4) reason for alarm: DANGER
I put a gallery of FEAR posters at the top. Why? Because you see FEAR can truly stand for whatever you want it to. You can control FEAR. It is an emotion that we can either choose to lean into or we can choose to overcome. It won’t be easier, because we have had years of training ourselves to feel the fear. What if we re-trained our brains? How would our lives be different? Would we be more adventurous? Would we explore more opportunities? Would we be more successful? Why are we so fearful?
Well, if someone had a knife or gun pointed at me I am sure I would have a full on fear attack. They might shoot me, they may stab me. Neither of which sound like fun options. My flight or fight response will kick in…it is controlled by the amygdala which releases stress hormones that prepares the body to fight or flee from danger. It is part of the limbic system. It is an automatic response to danger. Our brain is pretty smart and will help us in these very high risk situations, that I hope none of use run into.
Now let’s chat about that everyday fear we allow into our lives. I want to start a business…and it begins, the onslaught of questions that lead me to fear moving forward. First – am I crazy, I can’t succeed at that. Second – I’ll never make any money. Third – What will my family/friends/current employer think? Fourth – This probably isn’t even a good idea. Ok, hands up! How many of you can relate to those thoughts? How many of you took a deep breath, moved the fear aside and went for it? How many of you let is paralyse you and dictate your future? It isn’t just about business, it can be about the new guy/girl someone in your life may not approve of, the new position you want to apply for, the new degree you want to obtain, the new skill you want to learn, the new adventure that you NEVER TAKE!
Isn’t that sad? The FEAR we face most often is just us allowing our minds to do their normal thing…default to all the negatives so it can protect us. It is called Negativity Bias and has been thoroughly researched. You see, when we lived in the “caveman era” we were constantly surrounded by potential serious danger. I am happy to report that it has been determined we can and should reprogram our brains toward positivity!
PLEASE, please learn from my wayward ways! I am not smart enough to complete that degree…walked away. I will never get a high paying job and be financially secure…lived paycheck to paycheck. I am not outgoing enough to have friends like others do…let great people walk away. I can’t start this business because no one will want my services…so I didn’t.
I am super thankful for a few great people I met, an internal desire to keep going, and A LOT of great books I have read. They allowed me to see I have been letting fear control me. NOT COOL! I also learned a great way to overcome your fear. Please play along with me now. What is something you currently want to do or desired previously and walked away because of fear.
I am going to open my own soap business. I have read all the books, know where I can get my supplies and have recipes to start the adventure. Fear kicks in and says I am crazy, I will fail, the soap won’t turn out, no one will buy it, I’ll go broke. RESET…I am going to turn my fear around. Imagine this: I get all the ingredients, have my first recipe, it is time to make the first batch. The palm oil is hard as a rock and won’t come out of the drum, I spend 2 hours chiseling it to get the right amount. It melts and I begin adding ingredients. I put in the mixing stick and kick it on. Solution flies everywhere – I didn’t have the stick far enough in. Now, I am tired from chiseling and have to scrape random bits off the wall. It pulls together nicely. I add a few drops of essential oil but drop the bottle on the floor. You want to talk about being overwhelmed with the smell of Lavender/Patchouli OMG! At least the soap smells good. Final step to pour it into the waiting molds. Mold 1 and 2 perfect. Mold 3…I didn’t set it up right, now there is “soap batter” oozing out the sides onto the tray. I quickly snap it tight. DEEP BREATH. If you aren’t laughing now, imaging this scene of disasters you should be. My point is, I survived and the soap turned out. I learned a bunch of lessons by just moving forward despite the fear and challenges.
This example…totally true! I owned a soap company and I was able to make soaps that were all natural, smelled amazing and people bought! I only closed the business when I decided to try another adventure – moving to Hawaii (more on that another time). I am now back in the greater 48 and plan on opening my soap business again. Why? It brings me joy, the soap makes people smile, and the process allows for many adventures!
So, I have redefined FEAR for me:
Fun – always look for the fun in things, even things you don’t enjoy. Use your mind in a positive manner to divide things you don’t like into mini challenges, take a break and reward yourself when you complete each one.
Energetic – pull the energy that is in your body and surrounds you out ALL THE TIME! Use the energy to manifest the future you want. Use the energy to overcome challenges. Use the energy to redirect fear.
Adventurous – live every single day with a sense of adventure and wonder. We have one life to live on this earth and we should make the most of it. Share experiences with others to spread the joy. Adventure alone to connect with your inner thoughts and explore.
Rich – Live a life rich with fun, rich with energy, rich with adventure, rich with love, rich with connections, rich with friends, rich with collaboration, rich with money, and rich with POSITIVITY.
How are you redefining FEAR?