I’ve been thinking recently about facing fear and how we respond to situations that make us feel afraid. In your business I’m sure you’ve encountered situations at some point that take you just enough out of your comfort zone that your heart pounds? I promise you…you’re not alone.
Our bodies respond to fear in several ways; our hearts beat faster, we might feel sick or develop a stomach ache, we feel clammy and there is a natural instinct to run away and hide until the thing we fear has passed.
Can you remember the last time you felt that way?
Everybody is different and what invokes these feelings in one person is something that the next person will take in their stride. Saying that, I doubt there is anyone in the world who didn’t feel scared the first time they ever spoke in front of an audience…I know I did.
I imagine you’ve found yourself feeling anxious in at least one of these scenarios in your business?
- Leaving a job to follow your passion
- Taking the next step to expand your business
- Making a financial investment that you can only just about afford?
You may also have experienced feelings of fear when you first attempted
- Cold calling?
- Approaching a new prospect?
The conflict between small self and wise soul
Irrational fears are borne of a small part of ourselves that is still responding from a younger, less aware part of us, I like to call this our ‘small self’. It is fears that you’ve held from an early age that exist in your small self.
Then we have a larger, more robust and wise ‘soul self’, responding from our adult mind that knows better. Our adult self can recognize that we are not physically at risk in any way…being afraid of spiders is a good example of your small self vs. soul self conflict.
I invite you now to take a minute and remember the last situation you encountered that made you fearful…recognise that at the time of fear your soul self is being pushed aside in favour of the small self responses that you are experiencing right now…
Now… let’s talk about how we deal with the small self fears to enable our soul self to regain control
Breathe slowly and deeply:
When we are scared our breathing quickens and coupled with your rapidly increasing heartbeat you will begin to feel a little out of control. Being aware of your breathing and focussing on regulating your breaths to an even pace will help you return balance into your mind.
Recognise an irrational response:
Your irrational thoughts are alerting you to a perceived danger and the adrenaline kicks in to sharpen your instincts and keep you safe. Understand that your small self is misleading you and recognize this in your adult self to regroup and power yourself forward.
Don’t act on initial excitement either:
Just like fear, excitement can cloud your judgement too and lead you to believe that an idea or investment in time or money is a good one for you. Apply the same principles as you did when facing fear, let your wise soul take precedence and see beyond the shiny feelings of excitement before deciding how to proceed.
I can comes before I can’t:
That might be a bit of a cliché but it’s true. If instinctively you know something is right for you, don’t allow fear to stop you taking action…just do it. If indecision is your blockage, why not compile lists of the pros and cons…The longest list wins – be encouraged to act.
Carrots and sticks:
When you force yourself to act despite the feelings of fear, boy doesn’t it feel good? Embrace those feelings, rejoice in your achievement and reward yourself for your courage. While you are still enjoying the rush of celebration, take a minute to store how you are feeling inside…you can recall the joy next time you are afraid of taking action.
If your small self responses were just too strong for you this time and you felt unable to do the thing you feared, don’t beat yourself up about it. You’ve taken an enormous step in your personal development because you’re aware of what is happening inside of you right now. Remember, if it is meant to happen it will. Maybe it just wasn’t the right choice for you at this time?
Are you facing your fears? How do you handle the times when it is all too much and you cannot take those steps to move forward? Your stories are so inspirational and I’d be honoured to hear from you… what is it that you do in these situations?
Please do share your experiences with me. Your story could help empower someone in our community who is struggling right now too.