“I don’t care.” Not words that you would expect your coach to say, but I did.
To be fair, this was not the first time this client uttered the words, “Fear is shutting me down, I am afraid all the time.”
She had faced her fear throughout the months we worked together. But this time she was stuck in it, paralyzed by it.
Part of her (we call it your survival mechanism) continued questioning: Why am I afraid? Where did this fear come from? How do I eradicate it?
Then the words, “I don't care,” playfully leapt from my mouth.
Yes, playfully. This is a game her survival mechanism’s playing and she choosing to continue to play even though she will never win.
Fear is not real although our minds and bodies think it is.
We wallow and stagnate as we wait for our fear to magically disappear.
We stay safe in our comfort zone no matter how miserable we are, no matter how much we want something different. Confronting and dealing with the fear feels so overwhelming.
This misery can feel oddly comforting, it’s what we know.
Stepping into the unknown is way too scary because your fear is real, right?!
The dilemma? Stay stuck in this cycle, or try something new: feel the fear and do it (the next step toward your goal) anyway.
There is no such thing as fearless or being absent of fear (unless you have a rare genetic disorder called Urbach-Wieth disease).
We cannot make our fear go away but we can lessen it and transform the rest.
How? Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Each time you step outside your comfort zone, you stretch it.
As you stretch and widen your comfort zone. things that were once scary, the unknown, aren’t as scary.
When I first became a coach, I needed to get out and network. But people terrified me.
I went to therapy and healed the wounds that caused my social anxiety but the fear was still there. It felt so big and so real.
My coach wasn’t stopped by my fear. He guided me toward my goal of becoming a coach and that included networking.
In the beginning, he suggested small events with 10-15 people and setting a goal of staying just 10 minutes.
At the end of 10 minutes, I checked in to see if I wanted to stay longer. If I didn’t, I gave myself permission to leave.
I wasn’t always able to meet this goal. One time I ended up just sitting in the parking lot.
But I kept practicing.
Each time I went I noticed I was a little less anxious. I stayed longer and longer.
Today, I walk into a room full of strangers and, while there is still some fear, the majority has morphed into excitement.
This takes work and you may need some support.
But, anyone who tells you they have an easy cure for your fear is likely trying to sell you something.
The only cure for fear is taking a step outside your comfort zone. A baby step, a step that will get you even 1% closer to your goal. And then another and another…
CAUTION: Do not take giant leaps! Pushing yourself too hard lands you in the panic zone and is detrimental to your progress!
Only you know what actions/steps will stretch you and what steps will land you in the panic zone. Stretch but don’t pressure yourself or let anyone else push you into the panic zone.
What’s a step you will take, a baby step, a step that will get you even 1% closer to your goal?
I don’t care.
Do it NOW.