I remember when I was a little girl, like many, I believed monsters lived under my bed. In the dark, I would never, ever stand too close to my bed in fear that the monsters would grab my ankles and eat me alive. I would also pull the covers over my head in fear that they would eat my head, or my ear, or just simply show themselves. One night when I was 7 years old, I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I had forgotten that my mom had re-arranged the furniture in my room that day and I was very used to my bed being in the far corner, opposite the door. When I returned to my bedroom, running down the hallway, I leapt through the air thinking I would crash into my bed head first, and instead, crashed head first into my large wooden toy box. The next thing I remember is waking up tasting blood and teeth in my mouth.
I guess sometimes our ways of coping around fear, don’t really serve us. Even when we’re 7. Now that I’ve (kind of) outgrown my fear of the dark, and now that I’m a life coach, I think about, talk about and teach about fear. I believe we’re all afraid on some level. I believe no one is completely fearless. I also believe with all my heart, that people can learn ways to overcome fear, hurtle it, plow through it, flip it the finger, whatever it is that they need to do to get to the place they really want to be.
Here are 3 important ways to get past your fear:
1. Acknowledge it. Maybe you’re a tough cookie. Maybe you’ve always been validated for being “the strong one”. Or maybe you’re just afraid of admitting you’re afraid. Whatever the reason, acknowledging the fear is basically just admitting you’re human. And as humans, we’re afraid. Pretending that it’s not there is like trying to pretend you don’t see the dog crap that’s been piling up in the backyard for weeks. It’s not going away by just sitting there. In order to move past it, you have to give it life by first acknowledging it.
2. Focus on the end result, or “big picture” of what you want. I know I've said before to be careful about looking at the entire mountain you're about to climb, but let me explain the difference. Say you're about to climb Mt Everest. There are two ways to look at it. You can think about climbing the entire mountain, thinking about how hard it's going to be, worrying about how you're going to make all those thousands of feet.Thinking about the “what if's” and possible failures. OR, you can focus on your end result. How bad you want to finish. All the things finishing will bring you. How happy you'll be when you're done. The story you get to tell. Apply this to any goal.
3. Map out your turtle steps. Sometimes baby steps are too big when it comes to tackling something we're afraid of. Slow, turtle steps are easier. I find that planning them out ahead of time can bring major excitement in the journey. All your turtle steps should be “hell yeses”. Looking at all of them makes you excited AND nervous. If you have trouble mapping it out, work backwards. Look at your big goal and think, “What would I have to do right before I got it? And before that?” and so on.
I would love to know what's holding you back. What fear is so big that it's kept you from doing what you love? if it's fear of getting your teeth knocked out, I can assure you, it's not that bad. 🙂