3 Steps to Turn Fear into Friction!
We’ve all been there. Sweaty palms, butterflies in the stomach, repetitive thoughts that scream, “This is not cool!” and “I’m seriously uncomfortable here, people!” You know what I am talking about. F-E-A-R! And as a coach for emotionally evolved (or so we hope), just-get-it-done, business-savvy women, I know we don’t like anyone to know we actually experience this dreaded emotion. We are the hold it all together, muscle through and make everything OK type. Fear is weakness and we never outwardly show weakness…ever. (It’s also why we only cry in the shower or while running. But that’s for another post.) “It’s all good,” we say. “Nothing to see here,” we proclaim, as our insides twist and turn to jelly. And yet once we hop on the everlasting, circular slip’n slide that is fear, it feels impossible to gain traction and get off! Believe me, I was once a major nervous Nelly, with a fear of my body, my food and yes, even my business. And the worst part about fear is that when deep in the cycle, we often don’t recognize the power we have to change it. Fear and inaction become our default, where spinning our wheels actually safer and more comfortable than breaking free and creating friction.
Just last week one of my clients and I hit on this exact point. She had been trying to come to terms with how her weight loss goal played into her work and was diligently focusing on being gentle with herself. When I asked, “Why do you think you have yet to lose weight”, she went very quiet for a moment. And then, with utter shock in her voice she said, “Because once I lose the weight, I’m responsible for keeping it off. I’m desperately afraid that I’ll gain it all back and I will be a failure. At least with staying the same size, I’m not letting myself, my business or anyone else down.” Whoa, HUGE realization coming through! She had been telling herself for years she wanted to lose weight yet continually and unknowingly let her hidden fear of imperfection hold her hostage. With a good bit coaching we were able to chip away at her fear and she is now settling in and learning to love her body.
Acknowledging that your current fear is not a necessary mainstay in your life can be scary all on its own. Our fears exist for the sole purpose of keeping us safe and protected. If we don’t reach out, move forward, or put ourselves “out there” we can’t get hurt, right? The only problem is such safety breeds “small living” which keeps us stuck and unsatisfied.
To begin to unravel your fears, here are my 3 fear-clearing exercises. They may seem simple but believe me, they dig deep. If you are seriously ready to turn your fear into friction and skyrocket forward, this is the way to do it!
Check in with your resistance: Often we say “no” or feel judgmental towards ourselves or others for reasons that are not immediately known to us. The next time you feel resistance in your business or personal life, ask yourself, “Where is this coming from?” By pinpointing the root of your resistance you will be better able to determine where your fear may be holding you back.
Find the fear in your body: Fear festers like nobody’s business and nowhere is it happier running amok that in our brain. It then generously leeches out into our body, making our shoulders tight, our tummy unsettled (you know what I mean), and leaving us in a cold sweat. Rather than let your brain drag your poor body through the mud, focus on where you feel the fear in your body. Imagine a blanket warming and soothing the scared part of your body. Breathe deep into your physical fear and notice your tummy soften, your shoulders come down from your ears and your heart beat slow. We cannot always immediately change our fear but we can certainly take 2 minutes to choose how it affects our physical being.
Comfort your control. Fear is about control. Or to be more specific, loss of it. Rather than abandon the reigns to your worried, anxiety-ridden, scaredy cat self, check in ask, “What is my need for control here?”, “What are my biggest concerns?” and “How can I calm myself without controlling this situation?” Sit with these questions until your allow yourself to hear the answers and notice that just in asking, your fears begin to soften. Lastly remember, what’s the worst that could happen? Think about the endless mess-ups we see our celebrities and politicians make. (Mel Gibson and Mr. Gingrich, anyone?) Time heals all. No matter how badly things go or how attached and wound-up you are about an expected outcome, with time everyone, even you, will let it go and move on.
Fears run deep and can certainly be tough to uncover and release. In using these 3 steps every single day, you will become emotionally and physically stronger than ever before. The first shift you need to make is allowing for the realization that fear is a choice. When you know that, freedom and courage appear in the most surprising and exciting forms.
In the comments below, tell me the steps you use to turn your fear into friction. Sharing is caring, so say it loud and proud.
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