Do it Afraid
What do you do when fear strikes? When you are asked to make a big, life-changing decision, do you allow fear to stop you? If you are considering a job change, do you talk yourself out of it? When considering starting or ending a relationship, does fear stop you dead in your tracks? Is fear a sign to you, that you are not meant to do it?
I used to let fear stop me. Every time. I was convinced that fear meant I should not do it. I believed it to be my body’s warning to not go “there”. It stopped me from a lot of things. It stopped me from leaving a job that no longer inspired me, it stopped me from moving where I really wanted to go and it stopped me from starting my own business. It stopped me, and stopped me and stopped me.
I have since learned that fear is only a sign that you are bumping up against and breaking out of your comfort zone. Fear keeps you safe. Fear also keeps you playing small, uninspired and bored. Fear stops you from being all that you really are meant to be in this world. Fear is here to let you know, that if you step beyond its boundaries the world will open up to you.
Why do so many people never reach their goals? Never live the life they dream of? Never pursue their dreams? Because when they bump against fear, they stop. They never get beyond the momentary discomfort to find out what lies just beyond it. But fear is here to teach us and show us our own strength. Every time we look fear in the eye and we do it anyway, we gain strength for the next time fear wants to stop us. That is how our life expands and our capacity to create a better life deepens.
If you ask any highly successful person, spiritual teacher or entrepreneur, they will tell you that they were on the edge of terror most days. Famous coach and inspirational speaker Tony Robbins said: “The quality of your life is directly related to how much uncertainty you can comfortably handle.”
Many of my clients ask me how to stop being afraid. My answer is usually, that it’s impossible to stop the fear. It will continue to creep up on you. It does, however, show up less and less frequently and with less severity as you continue stepping beyond it. Because what you will ultimately learn is that in the end, once you have dared to do what you were afraid of, your life opens up to you. That’s not to say that things always turn out well. However, each time you bump up against fear, you sharpen your teeth on it. You learn something from it and the next time you have more strength and resilience to draw from.
The biggest lesson I learned in starting my business is to DO IT AFRAID. It’s okay to feel afraid. But grab fear by the hand and jump anyway. Then keep on jumping every day. To allow fear to stop you, will continue to shrink your world. Each time you let fear box you in, the box gets a little smaller. Instead, I encourage you to put your hand on your heart, acknowledge the fear, then as Tony Robbins says, bow your head and acknowledge this worthy opponent. Then go into battle for yourself. Stepping beyond fear is a muscle that gets built over time. Each time you step, the muscle grows. Pretty soon you look around your improved life and you will see that each step into fear, brought you one step closer to your dream.
What is your deepest desire? What is your biggest dream? What stops you from taking the leap? Have faith in your ability to handle the fear, jump and the parachute will open. Fear is a wonderful sign that your life is about to get much more exciting.