One of the biggest thrills in my line of work is when a client reaches the point of being so familiar with their own brand of fear, that they recognise it and are able to to coach themselves through it.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that fear repeatedly shows up in the same disguise.
Fear/resistance/self-doubt has a clever way of shifting it’s shape and pivoting, often when we are smack in the middle of transformation.
When we understand this, we can become adept at walking with fear and growing accustomed to our changing fear cycle.
How to deal with fear and self doubt as it changes.
Everyday fears can range from minor anxieties to an intense fear of things that can often be avoided, like snakes or spiders.
But most of our fears relate to the abstract – projections of what might happen, or repeating distant stories from the past. The times you failed, were rejected, shamed or abandoned. So many old childhood memories reminding you on how you got hurt. Whether it’s a stinging jellyfish floating by in the water or a plastic bag, it makes no difference to our bodies. The sensations we experience can be identical.
Real or imagined, fear is a potent immobilizer, unless we’re able to ignore the old fear stories and choose opportunity instead.
When this happens regularly, your gutsy girl swings into motion and the world leaps up to meet you.
Your perception of possibility broadens and your confidence rises. You might experience feelings of euphoria and massive gratitude (YES! It’s finally happening. I did it!).
But sooner or later, another invisible hurdle presents itself, and you stall once more.
This time, fear seeps in as a flurry of questions.
Maybe I should try the other thing first?
Is this even going to work?
Is this in complete alignment with my heart?
How can I be sure?
Intuition slowly gives way to self doubt. You question every action and choice made and voila, you’re back to burying your dreams.
The great news is that if you continue to do the work and repeat this looping habit enough times, you realise that this is still, garden-variety fear showing up in a different outfit. Only this time, you’re not so easily intimidated. You take a few deep breaths, dose up on courage and get back out on the dance floor!
And then your fear shifts shape again, mere weeks away from the finishing line.
Suddenly this elusive, beautiful thing you’ve always wanted, loses it’s appeal. You’re bored, tired, apathetic and restless. Ready to quit.
Certainly there are times when it makes sense to quit. Moments where you discover that what was once completely implausible is now within arms reach and that achieving the goal no longer compels you. The goal post has moved and because of the actual journey, you’re not the same person. You’ve already gained exactly what you needed.
But other times, this boredom and loss of motivation IS your fear. It’s simply shifted its shape once more.
So how do we deal with fear and self-doubt as it changes?
First of all, get well acquainted with your fear. The more accustomed you become at recognizing and acknowledging how fear shows up in your life, the more adept you become at moving with it.
Do you need a quick tip that can make all the difference?
Here’s one approach I find helpful, that you’re welcome to try for yourself:
I choose to support myself while remaining curious to my many flavors of fear, no matter how uncomfortable.
- Resolve to not do my usual ‘give up’ thing when I feel fear in any of it’s imagined forms.
- Sit with the sensations for a while, no matter how uncomfortable, and once they’ve passed, ask “What would it take for this to work?”
- Make a list of all the possibilities and prepare to be surprised by the extent of your insight.
What usually happens next is that you either find yourself stirred up, ready to walk with your resistance another day or you experience another truth. That even though you can see how this is possible for you, it doesn’t matter anymore. You’ve done all you need to do and you’re ready to glide off in a different direction.
Either way, when you find fear burgeoning to the surface, don’t give up on yourself so easily. Be your own best friend and agree to seek out support and step up for yourself.
Whether your fears are casting long shadows of impossible or a serious case of feeling down in the dumps, use this approach to find your bearings again.
Let me know how you go with this and please share on your favourite social media!
Looking for more?
If you’re an entrepreneur or coach wrangling with resistance as you bring your big-hearted visions online – I have something for you!
A recording made for my business Mastermind that goes deeper into the specific ‘faces of fear’ as well as a couple of the best practices and approaches for supporting yourself when it does.
For a limited time, you can claim it for free HERE.