For so many years, I have been hearing coaches and thought leaders talk about “overcoming fear”. People all over this world are working so hard to move past fear, overcome fear and kick fear to the rear.
It’s pretty much a full time job. It takes so much effort and we often fail in our attempt to silence fear because, quite frankly, it’s hard.
Then you have your confidence coaches enter the picture, as if somehow by doing x, y, and z, you will suddenly become, magically confident.
I get where all of this is coming from. Fear can be paralyzing and so many people are out there to help us get the results that we are unable to get because of the fear that is holding us back.
Let me try to shift your perspective a bit. What if, instead of overcoming, ignoring, smacking down and stuffing down your fear, you make fear your friend?
That’s right. What if you made friends with your fear and helped your fear become partners with you?
Here’s what I mean. When you see your fear as a protector from harm, you know that it’s coming from a place of love, caring and protection.
Back in our saber-toothed tiger days, our fear was necessary to save our lives. That’s where our fight or flight response comes from. Well, we no longer have saber-toothed tigers, but we are facing scary things on a daily basis. Our fear is still working to protect us from perceived danger in its mind.
It could be the danger of embarrassment. The danger of failure. The danger of loss. Whatever that perceived danger is, your fear wants to protect you from it. It may not be quite as life-threatening as that saber-toothed tiger, but scary, just the same.
What if you had a conversation with your fear about what exactly it wants to protect you from? Seriously. Have a logical conversation about it.
Reassure you fear that the activity or action you are about to take, will not result in your death. Then, thank your fear for always looking out for you and wanting to help keep you safe.
Now, tell your fear to trust you and let’s do this thing together. I know it sounds silly but it works. Your fear can be used as rocket fuel for your actions.
Teach your fear how to walk WITH you and not to hold you back. The results may or may not be what you had hoped, but at least you did it together and you didn’t die.
Talk about the lessons you learned and how you can do better next time.
Fear is not so bad. It’s actually your nervous little buddy that just wants to keep you safe and make sure that you run from that saber-toothed tiger. It just doesn’t want you to die.