HOW TO TAME YOUR F.E.A.R (in 4 simple steps)
About a month and a half ago I was sitting in the Hammerstein Ballroom, of the Manhattan Center, in New York City. A bomb-ass female dj, in pigtails, was playing her pre-show decks on stage, as she warmed up the house for the 2,200 female entrepreneurs, who filled the auditorium. "Girls just want to have fun" + "Nothing's gonna stop us now " & "We Can Do It" iconic idioms would have been a good description of the collective attitude in attendance. To say the electrifying, enthusiastic buzz in the air was palpable, would be an understatement.
So what was all the fuss about?
Marie Forleo. Founder of super success online business programs: B-School & the Copy Cure. Former Nike Elite Athlete. Host of the award winning show Marie TV. Author, Coach, Podcaster & Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur, who was named Thought Leader for the Next Generation, by Oprah Winfrey. Marie was kicking off the release of her new book (which instantly became #1 NY Times Bestseller the first week it was out): Everything Is Figureoutable.
Was the NYC event amazing? Yes! Totally worth a trip out from California, to attend. Was it everything she promised it to be and more? Yes! Did it meet her pre-launch promotion description: "Imagine if a Beyonce concert had a baby with a TED Talk"? You bet your tushy it did. There was dancing. (Hip hop, modern, solos, group choreo. Emotion evoking tear jerkers and rave stomping raconteurs.) There was coaching. There was journaling. There was introspection. There was community building. It was quite the event.
Which brings us to F.E.A.R.--
Fear is something that Marie talks about in her book. The emotion of fear is a commonality that occurs in all of humanity, across all genders, genres, classes, and tiers of life. It can be an ever pervasive dream squasher, if we let it. But it can also be a CLUE that you're on track, headed in the right direction.
One of my favorite takeaways from Everything Is Figureoutable is Marie's perspective on fear. Rather than something to run from, she instills bravery and confidence with this acronym: Face Everything And Rise.
This is a gamechanger, people.
When we learn how to listen to our fear as an ally, not a foe, we realize that fear actually has our back. Fear is sneaky, because it often shows up as somatic clues (belly ache, headache, feeling sluggish, feeling anxious)-- but this is really code to tell you that you're in fact, on track.
When we're about to embark on a new project, or take on a new task, or do anything that pushes us outside our comfort level and helps us to grow-- it can feel scary. We can feel afraid. It can feel much safer to stay under the covers, or say "no thank you" or "another time, actually" in order to stay in the land of familiar status quo.
Which might feel like relief for the first few seconds, (Like, "whew! Dodged that bullet! Let's go eat another pint of ice cream and re-watch Love Actually, for the hundreth-millionth time now.") Until ultimately, it doesn't. Staying stuck ultimately feels worse than those scary growing pains. By 10,000 fold.
Which is exactly WHY Fear is Our Friend.
When you get those yucky feelings (that burning sensation in your belly, that sudden constriction in your throat) as you think about the big new thing you're about (or contemplating) to do-- that's Fear cheering you on! It's Fear waving her arms, shouting, jumping up and down, waving big red flags warning, "Hey! If you don't move forward, these yucky feelings are going to stick. But if you put on your big girl pants and pass the threshold to the other side, you'll have broken free to the next level!"
It's like a videogame. Where we get to be the hero(ine), slay the scary dragon, and win the gold crown.
The Trick Is:
We must Take Action.
Feelings of Fear are our indicator that it's time to grow. Taking action is what moves us through and helps us do the growing. As Marie says, "Avoidance doesn't extinguish your fear, action does."
The dragon isn't going to slay itself. And if you get stuck standing in fear, instead of facing your foe to rise above it, you're going to get charred extra crispy by those dragon breath flames.
Following Ms. Forleo's sage advice and her Everything is Figureoutable formula, here is her 4-Step Process to Tame Your Fear:
1. Write Down the worst, ,worst, worse-case scenario of what could possibly happen if you moved forward with this exciting-yet-fear-inducing idea.
(Really dig into it.)
2. Rate It on a scale of 1-10. (1= improbable, 10= practically guaranteed to happen.)
3A. Imagine the worst case scenario comes true.
3B. Write Down an action plan for how you'd recover and get back on your feet.
4. Now Flip The Script: Write Down the Best-case scenarios.
Remember: "Failure" is actually just a faithful attempt in learning. Failure is just an event. It's not a characteristic. It's not a reflection of you, or your skills, or the fiber of your being. It's an indicator that you cared deeply enough about something to try it. And now, learning from your experience, you get to try again.
So if you ever feel like you failed, just pat yourself on the back for learning and then keep on going.
On the flip side of that, if you're too afraid to try-- like really, really too afraid-- you're turning into a french fry from those fiery dragon breath flames breathing down your neck: you have a couple options:
Option 1: Go back to steps 3 & 4 from the process above. Once you get to step 4 and the BEST-case scenarios, chances are you're going to have the strength and courage to overcome the fear.
Option 2: Befriend the Fear. Let's be realistic. Maybe right now is not the time to conquer fire breathing, wickedly winged mythological lizards. Maybe it's time to tame it. Bust out your circus hoop and teach that beast to jump through it. Put a collar and leash on it, name it Fluffy, and bring it home to heat your hearth. Snuggle up to it, feed it a cookie, and make a new friend.
Scary things in life are often friendly monsters who haven't been tamed yet. (Fun 5 minute read, about the tricks & treats of those monsters, written while on the way to Bali, several years ago.)
(optional: Print it for yourself. Bonus points if you anonymously submit your answers. They are never shared. It helps us hold space for your heart & accountability for your plan. We've got your back!!!)
--> 2. After you've filled it out, leave a comment below--
What's one fearful thing you've faced head on and overcome?
How did it feel before you faced it and how did you feel after your accomplishment?
Much love and all the best! Keep shining your light.....
Movement Mentor for Unstoppable Visionaries & Creative Entrepreneurs
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