It’s Halloween guys. Whether you’re choosing to celebrate the season in costume, passing out candy, or being an old fuddy-duddy like me and doing nothing, it’s hard not to be cognizant of theme of the holiday. F-E-A-R!
It’s my nemesis and my bestfriend.
It alerts me to baggage I need to work on, lessons I still haven’t learned and situations I should stay out of.
Without the fear factor nudging me toward challenging opportunities and away from dicey situations, I might not be here today. Seriously.
Try being a private investigator for a year and you’ll realize the necessity of true fear in helping to navigate life. That’s the good type of fear. The bad types of fear are the unnecessary worries that actually block you from your fear o’meter. It makes it difficult to wade through your baggage to identify what’s really scare worthy and what’s not.
The Difference Between Fear That Helps You and Fear That Makes You Stuck
When I was a PI, my boss taught me that real fear is the stomach dropping feeling, an intuitive knowing that something’s not quite right. It’s not necessarily a big, “I’m going to die” moment. It’s a hint, a thought, an unsettling feeling that someone or something feels unsafe. That’s the life saving features of good fear.
On the other hand, there are these fears:
What if so and so doesn’t like me?
What if they laugh at me?
What if my work really sucks?
What if I blow it?
What if make it?
These fears keep you from pursuing your dreams. I should know. I’ve let them rule my head for far too long.
These are the worries that sabotage your success. It’s why I’ve taken ill-fitting jobs, why I stayed in them, and why I messed up amazing opportunities in the past. All because there was a little really scary voice that said: “You’re not good enough!”
The only way to get around them is to address them right where they are. Ignoring them just won’t work. You can tell yourself all the reasons why the above scary statement is not true. Argue that there are people who love you, you have enough emails that disprove it, and accolades to demonstrate the contrary.
Or you can dig deeper and figure out where this statement started from. Who said it? Why did they say it and how did it affect you?
I’ve realized that sometimes reoccurring negative statements don’t disappear until we listen to what it’s saying. There’s something from your past lurking, haunting your present that needs addressing. Perhaps, it will never entirely disappear. But you can choose to ignore it, address it or accept it just as it is-the vulnerable part of yourself that just needs a little love and attention.
That’s how I deal with my scary side of myself. It never gets an opportunity to control my life or sabotage my efforts anymore.
How about you?
How have you learned to take control of your inner fears?