I’m regularly scared these days, and I have clients who are scared, too. We all have good reasons: before a really important presentation, after a fight, before taking a big risk, or just not knowing how something you care about is going to turn out.
I don’t know about you, but I actually wish I could control the universe, and often times feel like I can. When I get the occasional wake up call that I can’t control everything, it’s a rude one for me. I’m sure you’ve experienced this too, but it doesn’t mean you should stay stuck in a feeling of powerlessness. So what should you DO about fear?
1) Write it out. Write down every last fear and crazy projection about the matter. Getting it out of your head and onto paper often de-mystifies what you are upset about and crystallizes or clarifies it. It also calms you down and can help with an emotional release.
2) Have your emotions, but don’t let them have you. Emotions are real, but the thoughts they are based on are often erroneous. Do have your feelings, and endeavor to have them flow freely, even exaggeratedly, in a safe place so that they can release. Holding them in doesn’t help, but that doesn’t mean you should believe all your thoughts or stay in the drama either.
3) Take action. Do your research, ask your questions, have the hard conversations, make your preparations. Do the things you know you should do. If you avoid this step, you’d better get used to the discomfort of fear.
4) Name fear and call it your friend. You remember what I always say? Fear is a sign you care a lot, and/or you are up to something new and risky for you. That’s exciting and a good sign, so don’t be afraid of having and feeling fear.
5) Design your outcome. Write out how you want what you’re dealing with to go. Take the time to really think and feel about this. It’s really important. Whatever is big enough to cause you anxiety deserves your loving attention in a positive way. Write out the most beautiful, moving outcome that your imagination can come up with and that you can get yourself to believe in.
6) Beware of “trains.” Know there is a distinction between fear and a thought pattern – we call this a “train.” If you are addicted to climbing aboard an anxiety train and you know it’s a habitual pattern and you can’t imagine stopping, you could be experiencing what we call a “bad trait.” This takes bold and serious efforts to control; I suggest a promise with a really annoying consequence. As an example, here’s my promise and consequence to correct my vacation anxiety: if I am anxiously snippy to anyone, I lose my chocolate on one day of vacation. This whips my attitude and even my emotions right into shape!
If your Personal Integrity™ muscle is too weak to enforce such a rule, please email for 20 minutes of free coaching or get your coach on the crackdown! Show your fears who’s boss!
This has helped me feel powerful despite not controlling the universe. Please share with me how these coaching tips help you, too.