Monday, January 30, 2012

Feel the fear, move ahead anyway

In my last blog, I talked about living from a place of love rather than fear. To do that, you need to be honest about your fears. You can’t simply ignore them. Once you face them, they lose power. You get your personal power back again.

So how do you face fears? Start by naming them. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of change. Then, examine them to see just how true (or untrue) the beliefs under them might be.

Of what are you most afraid these days? What do you desire? And what fears keep you from getting there?

Look ‘em in the eye
Take one fear at a time—examine it, look it in the eye, as it were. What would you like to say to that fear? Can you go toe-to-toe with it and talk with it? What’s the worst that can happen if you look at the fear close-up?

Several years ago as part of my job, I led occasional workshops. Initially, I felt anxious and fearful. One of my fears was that I would forget something I wanted to say, have one of those brain freezes many of us experience from time to time, or lose my train of thought. As I looked more closely at that fear, I knew it was about looking incompetent or stupid. For an Enneagram 8, that’s really not pleasant! However, the more I examined that fear, the more I realized that it wasn’t completely based in reality.

Were I to forget a point I wanted to make, people wouldn’t automatically think I was stupid or incompetent. Most audiences are pulling for a speaker or presenter and want them to do well. (Have you ever silently prayed for or encouraged a speaker who forgot a line or stumbled over something?) Most people respond favorably when a speaker looks human!

And further, if one or two people thought I was incompetent, was that so awful? Could I survive that? Of course.

Once I examined the fear, I could also make a plan for what to do if I did forget what I intended to say. I could just be honest and tell the group that I lost my point. In fact, I did have that happen a couple times; I simply admitted it and moved on to the next point. It wasn’t the end of the world after all. The sky didn’t fall!

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