Until recently, I have allowed fears to hold me back in life. My fears caused me to play small, and limited my potential.
The three biggest fears I have had to overcome were:
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of what others think
- Fear of failure
The unknown is super hard because, well, you don’t know what is on the other side. It is one big question mark.
If I’m honest, my marriage was a mess way before I left. I even remember having a conversation with my ex about how neither of us would leave the marriage because we were dependent on each other, despite knowing an emotional connection was missing between us.
I couldn’t fathom how I would make it on my own, and how my life would be different. Those big unknown changes scared me. Being comfortable was easier.
However, I reached a point where I had more fear if I stayed than if I left. That was certainly an extreme, and of course you don’t have to wait until you are in a position of fight or flight to make a necessary change.
Today, my thinking is quite different and I don’t fear the unknown. I actually find it kind of exciting.
How have I done this?
I believe everything happens for a reason, and always works out exactly as it should.
I trust in God and have faith over fear of the unknown.
Fear of what others think is so prevalent and is ingrained in us from an early age. Much of our culture promotes people pleasing. As it happens, I come from a long line of people pleasers.
My mother is the ultimate “sacrificer” and will do anything and everything for everyone. If you go to her house for dinner and you have a dietary preference, she will have something special for you.
Making a good impression is important to many people. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, it can create stress and prevent us from being our true selves.
There have been many times in my life that I have been quiet in conversations because I wasn’t sure how my opinion would be received by others. I felt as though my voice was not important.
I have found that coming out publicly with my business and being more visible is hard. It is scary to be seen, as we don’t know how people will react or respond. Fortunately, I have been able to get used to it by adjusting my beliefs a bit.
I now believe my voice matters and that I have wisdom that can help others. I also know that my message is not for everyone. Not everyone is going to like what I have to say, and that’s fine.
The real key to getting over this fear of what others think is to be true to yourself.
When you are honest with yourself and living your truth, you realize the opinion of others matters much less.
People often get tripped up by the fear of failure. We stop before we even start, become paralyzed, and don’t take action.
About a month before I launched my business, I had a major freak out moment and almost didn’t go forward. I had put in all this effort into building a website, creating blog posts, and writing a talk, and then I started questioning everything.
My inner talk was saying things like, “Am I ready? Is this the right move? Can I do it?” The reality I had created was happening and while it was awesome, I wasn’t sure I could handle it.
Then, two things really helped me process my fears and move forward confidently.
I had a conversation with a good friend who said to me, “I think what you are feeling is completely normal. If you had zero trepidation, I’d be worried.” Yay, I’m normal! Well, at least my emotions seem normal.
Then I remembered the personal mantra from my mentor:
“I have more fear of regret than I do of failure.”
This brought me perspective. I knew that I needed to try and if I didn’t try, yes, I would certainly regret it.
In hindsight, I was able to overcome my three biggest fears by shifting my perspective around each fear. Fear of the unknown, what others think and fear of failure no longer seem so scary to me.
How have you changed your mindset to overcome your fears?