You wouldn’t believe it from reading my online bio or chatting with me on a forum (or the fan page), but fear is something that I combat on a near daily basis. And I'll be the first to admit that while I'm pretty good at telling it to go away, there are days it simply wins.
Ever feel paralyzed by fear?
Fear has a way of pigeonholing you, doesn't it? It can keep you in bondage if you let it.
When I first started my business, I was fearless. But after a few personal hardships, that fear took hold of me so fierce that I couldn't function… even developed a bad case of social anxiety! It took awhile, but I eventually moved past that fear. And you can, too!
Follow these steps for moving past your own fear:
1. Acknowledge your fears
Can you put a name on your fear? The first step to moving past your fear is to understand what is and how it started. Ask yourself the following quesitons:
- What is causing your fear?
- How did it first start?
- How does that fear make you feel?
- Is the fear real or perceived?
2. Talk about your fears
Is it a fear you can easily overcome on your own or are you going to need the help of a mentor, a coach, a therapist, a trusted friend?
For me, I had to talk it out.
I turned to a trusted colleague and friend and she painstakingly listened to me talk about my fears—both the real and the perceived. The more I talked about my fears, the more I realized how silly I was being in some areas and how a little strategic planning could conquer the obstacles and stumbling blocks causing the fear in other areas.
3. Read your praise journal
If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to create a folder, or notebook, to archive all the positive comments people say about you.
If someone texts you, copy it down. If someone verbally praises you, write it down. If someone emails you, print it out. If someone sends you a handwritten letter, save it. Then place all these thoughts into a Praise Journal.
This was probably my biggest saving grace. I pulled out my notebook filled with emails and handwritten letters from my old newsletter subscribers, readers of the eMagazine, buyers of my e-books, past clients, and friends… and I read them. I read them from cover to cover and over and over. They reminded me how brave I used to be, how far I had come, and how far I could go again… if I'd only tell fear to take a hike!
4. Create an action plan
The only way to truly overcome fear, or to move past a reoccurring fear, is to face it head on. It's not enough to name and acknowledge it, you must take steps to removing that fear from your life.
You don't have to start out big to conquer your fear. Start small. The more you complete those baby steps, the easier it will be to say good-bye to that fear forever—or at the very least, manage it.
For me, I started small by learning how to code my own website in CSS style sheets. By allowing myself the time to learn how to create a new design, I allowed myself to get emotionally detached from the design and eventually from the content. It allowed me to change the face of my business, forever! As for the social anxiety, I started small by forcing myself to get outside of the house… first by having my husband accompanying me on all social functions and errands, then by taking a part-time job that required me to interact with strangers on a daily basis.
If fear is stopping you from achieving some goal in your life—whether personal or professional—I want to encourage you to put it to rest by acknowledging it, talking it out, looking at your positive qualities as they relate to that fear, and creating an action plan to move past it. And remember, fear won't disappear overnight… but with a little time, you'll be well on your way to living a life free from your fears.
© Alyice Edrich, All Rights Reserved. www.alyiceedrich.com
* This article first appeared on The Dabbling Mum eMagazine.