This video is about fear and how it comes in different sizes. If you’ve got a big fear, you’ve got to tackle that one way. If you’ve got a small fear, you’re going to handle that differently.
This came up for me recently because I was doing something big. I was about to launch an online program (some of you might even be in the online program) and it was my first ever. I’ve been coaching for a while and teaching live classes and doing live trainings, so it wasn’t like it was a new thing to write content and put out a program. But it was the first time I ever did it online.
I got to the point where I was getting close to the launch when you send out your sales emails and put your ads up and I could sense fear in the room, so to speak. It was small, just sitting in the corner watching me and wanting to put in its two cents. But it was still there. And it made me think back to moments when I’ve had big fear where it’s looming and it’s the only thing I’m hearing.
I’ve done the work that you guys are doing right now. I wouldn’t ask that of anyone else if I hadn’t done it myself. So I understand that fear now, whereas I didn’t understand it before. It was just big fear. If I was going to do something risky that was going to potentially result in me being rejected or not accepted or not acknowledged, I would be running from it. When I say running from it, I would basically just not take that step forward. I would let fear get the best of me.
Now, I’ve dug underneath there. I know that for a long time I had a core belief that acknowledgment and recognition are very important and that I used to associate those with love. And so I needed those badly. In any situation that I was potentially going to have evidence that I wasn’t going to be acknowledged was one to avoid. Because I didn’t want to find out if I was loved or not loved.
So what would I do? That big fear would keep me from taking those risks. I would talk myself out of it. “It’s just not perfect enough yet.” Or, “Maybe this isn’t the right direction I’m supposed to be heading in.” I had all kinds of really slick tricks to get myself around the fear, not even around but to talk myself out of the actions so I didn’t have to deal with the fear. Because the fear scared me off it. I was running in the other direction.
If you have big fear, you’ve got to go in and do the work. You have to figure out what it is that is happening right then. You’re feeling that huge scary, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it!” It’s coming from the ego and underneath that, way down there, there are core beliefs that are tied to our desire for love. You’ve got to get in there and figure out what those are exactly. You’ve got to start to understand how those affect your thoughts and then affect your emotions so that you know what is going on when you feel those things arising.
What happens when you start to do that work is that fear begins to lessen and it becomes a smaller presence.
So here I am getting ready to push “launch” on my program and I’ve got fear there. Fear is quietly whispering in the corner, “Hey. Are you sure you want to do that?” And for a moment I thought, “I don’t know. Am I sure I want to do this?”
There’s a possibility that nobody wants to take the challenge, that nobody signs up for the course, nobody registers, it’s a total flop. That’s a possibility. Now, am I going to tie myself to whether I am lovable or not if that happens? No. I can talk myself around that. I’ve done that big work so I know I’ll be able to get through it.
So how am I going to deal with that small fear? Because it’s there, and I can feel that I could talk myself out of pushing “go”. I could put it off and work on it a little more, get it a little more perfect. I could continue to delay or maybe even walk away entirely if I let fear get the best of me. But that’s not an option, so I do have a few little ways that I handle fear. Because it’s there. I know where it comes from. I’ve worked on that core belief. I know that’s not truth anymore, but I still have it there. So I need to figure out what to do with it and here are some of the ways I do that.
First, I ask myself, “Why?” Why am I doing this? If what I’m doing is tied to service and my life’s purpose, then it’s a lot easier to step through fear because that is what I am supposed to be doing. If it’s really about acknowledgment and recognition and me me me, then maybe I do need to re-evaluate if this is the right step or not. But if it’s tied to purpose and tied to helping people, then I’m a go.
Another question to ask is, “What’s the worst that could happen?” In the worse case scenario, it’s a total flop and I learn from that. I learn what went wrong. I can make adjustments and improvements, so that it is a success next time.
Another thing I ask myself is, “If I choose to walk away, if I choose to stop now, if I don’t push go and don’t move forward, how am I going to feel after the deadline I have for myself comes and goes and I didn’t do it?” Am I going to be okay with that? Most of the time once I’ve answering the question of why I’m doing it and got a “yes, this is purpose-driven” and asked myself the what’s-the-worst-that-could-happen question and came back with a “pretty much nothing is terrible” and I get down to how I’m going to feel about it… I’m going to feel terrible.
I’m going to feel like a loser and a failure. I’m going to have let myself down. I broke a promise to myself to meet that deadline. And that’s not an option. That’s not an option for me. So if I know I’m going to feel worse for it, then it’s time to acknowledge the fear (there you are sitting in the corner) but I am pushing “Go”. I’m moving forward regardless of the fact that you are present and it’s going to be great. It’s going to be amazing and I’m going to better on the other side of it. That’s how you get to deal with fear when you’ve got it squished down into a smaller presence.
If it’s still a big presence and it’s looming and it’s stopping you and you run from it and you don’t do it and you don’t move forward and it’s keeping you from all kinds of wonderful things in your life, then it’s time to get in and do the work. What is the source of that fear? And what do you want to do with it now? So that you get it to where it’s just a little bit of fear that you can acknowledge and work through.
Different kinds of fear. Different kinds of actions to go with those.