Fear is the most paralyzing emotion we possess. Every day I receive calls from people who are afraid… and if I am truly honest… every day I feel a bit of fear as well. Which of us doesn’t?
Which of these resonates with you? (and if you don’t find one, just fill in the blank and add your own!)
I am afraid that I will not be able to support myself
I am afraid that my children will be angry with me
I am afraid that I will not achieve my dreams
I am afraid that I will never be happy
I am afraid that I will not be successful
I am afraid that I will not get everything I deserve
I am afraid that I will be alone
I am afraid of intimacy
I am afraid of losing my job
I am afraid that someone will be angry with me
I am afraid that I will not be liked or loved
I am afraid ______________________________________
Fear is so much a part of our daily experience that we often become unconscious to how tightly it grips hold on us and keeps us from moving forward in all matters of life.
This is one of the reasons I love this classic book that a client just introduced to me, Feel the Fear… and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, PhD.
Very early on, Jeffers breaks down all of our fears into one single fear –
The fear that we cannot handle what might happen.
I will repeat the point for emphasis, as Jeffers does…
All of our fears come down to a single fear that we do not have the capacity or confidence to handle what a situation may present.
In short, our fear is based in our own lack of confidence and belief in ourselves.
While this alone may not feel comforting (!!!), consider this…
What if you had more trust and confidence in yourself that you could handle whatever came your way?
What if you had trust and confidence that you would
- know how to respond,
- know how to get the support you needed, and
- had the capacity to navigate whatever circumstances arose?
What if you knew that (and these are Jeffer’s words)…
Whatever happens to me, given any situation, I can handle it!
The simple answer is,
You would never be paralyzed or manipulated by fear again!
You might still feel the fear. This does not go away. But you would no longer be paralyzed by it and unable to move forward in any number of circumstances.
Simple, right? On one level it seems so and it is. On another, what makes it so complicated is the fact that most of us have grown up with messages that we cannot handle things. We are not good enough, smart enough, capable enough, likeable enough and so on. And as long as our minds keeping repeating these stories, it is impossible to truly believe that we can handle anything.
So, how do you gain this confidence? Experiment with this 5-step process as a place to start.
Five-step process to handle whatever comes your way:
- Make a list of at three times when you faced a difficult situation in your life and found your way through. Write about all three examples. What made the situation difficult or uncomfortable and what did you do? We all have them. There is none among us who has gotten to this stage in life and has not navigated a difficult or uncomfortable situation.
- Review the examples you just described and make a list of at least 5 qualities or attributes of yourself that you leveraged to navigate these three situations.
- Identify one thing right now that is causing you to feel afraid. Write about: (a) What are you really afraid of here? (hint: It is what you feel you cannot handle), and (b) What is the worst thing that could actually happen?
- Now that you have named the worst that can happen, identify three qualities that you posses and have already demonstrated in the examples described in step #1 that you can leverage to “handle” this situation.
- Create a plan for what you would do in this “worst case scenario.”
Learning to Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway is a process. It takes time and commitment to retrain the brain to stop giving the fear so much power. Use this exercise, and if you are committed to breaking free from fear-based paralysis, explore Jeffers book and call me!
It is time for you to:
- Feel more powerful
- Take action to move forward
- Live from a place of love
Adina Laver is the author of the Divorce Companion™ and founder of Divorce Essentials™, a specialized divorce coaching and support service for those who are considering, in the midst of, or post-divorce and are committed to a healthy path for reclaiming their lives.
If you are contemplating a divorce but are stuck or if you are in the throes of making key decisions for your future but need guidance, reach out to Adina. Whether you coach together for one Ala Carte Session or coach for a full Personal Empowerment Breakthrough, Adina is ready to help you navigate through uncertainty so you can create a happier and healthier future!