~~~~~~ Ready to tackle overwhelm and make decisions that support your best life? This is right where you're supposed to be, lovely soul! ~~~~~~
Let’s dispel a myth right upfront- fear isn’t a bad thing. In fact, when you stop to actually think about it, fear has saved your life more times than you’ve ever even realized.
That time you looked both ways before crossing the street because fear reminded you that cars could hurt.
That time you didn’t go on that date because fear let you know that something wasn’t quite right with the way they messaged you.
That time you went to bed early because fear helped you strategize how to be prepared for your big presentation the next day.
Yep, fear has actually been a great friend for you throughout your life. However, it starts to get a bad reputation because, in its efforts to keep you safe, fear can end up being 0 to 60 overly protective AND it can sound loud and meanwhile trying to get your attention. This bad reputation form of fear tends to play out in 4 specific scenarios that can really interfere with your efforts of making decisions that support your best life.
1. Fear of Change and the Unknown
Fear can get loud, mean, AND overprotective when you’re starting to contemplate making some changes in your life. I mean, think about it, you are biologically programmed to avoid the strange and unknown. But that primitive, generational fear that kept your ancestors alive can’t distinguish between trying the new red berries that could actually kill you versus trying that new restaurant in town. All your internal systems point to sticking with the same old same old because it knows that blueberries are safe and delicious, even though you would really like to try that new vegan Reuben.
2. Fear of Judgement or Rejection
Bad Rep Fear also shows up in situations that could result in judgment or rejection. It is a natural, normal human survival instinct to belong to a pack, a group, a tribe. Acceptance meant survival then, and it can feel like it means survival in most societies today, so fear will often push you to stay inside societal norms and avoid risking judgment or rejection.
3. Fear of Failure
The fear of failing is often when fear is trying to be your bestest friend ever but forgets how to be nice. If you listen closely to fear when it’s afraid of seeing you fail, you’ll hear that it is actually worried for you, that it wants you to succeed, that it knows you’re made for greatness. So even though it might sound like, “You’re ridiculous, this will never work. You’re going to be broke, alone, and chubby for the rest of your life” what fear is really trying to say is, “I know that you are going to be successful, and loved, and happy, but I’m just afraid that we haven’t thought this all the way through yet.”
4. Fear of Scarcity
Oh man, you guys, this is a big one. The fear of scarcity will keep so many of us stuck in meh situations, awful relationships, and soul-sucking jobs. It often starts as an effort to practice gratitude, so that we can be thankful for what we have, what we’ve accomplished, and how far we’ve come. But with a cocktail mixed up of all the previous fears we’ve discussed shaken not stirred, Bad Rep Fear is terrified that leveling up could mean facing the unknown, failing, AND being rejected. Fear says, “Well we’ve made it this far, and this is ok enough. The [fill in the blank] isn’t that great, but it could be worse.” But recall back to the Fear of Failure and how fear talks to us- what it’s really trying to say here is more like, “First, let’s celebrate that we’re growing and we’ve made it to where we are now. Then, let’s make an actual plan that addresses my fears to level up. And then let’s do it together”
When we’re ignoring our fears, instead of taking the time to talk to them, we often end up making decisions that reflect one of the four fears above. We stay in safe comfort bubbles, we let others break our boundaries, we don't take the risk, and we make decisions that keep us stuck, overwhelmed, and confused.
But now that we can be friends with our fears and hear what they're really trying to tell us, we can take the leaps and make the changes that support living our best life.
Cheers to fears!