Ever felt overwhelmed with fear and unable to make a decision because you were fearful of the possible consequences?
That’s natural and common for many people, but truth is, you have more control than you think. You see, though we all struggle with fear, fear himself doesn’t keep us stuck, but rather our inability to manage him.
Fear keeps you in neutral and in a place of inaction. He prevents you from leaning into the situations and opportunities that will result in your greatest growth and your best learning.
This is why making decisions about new opportunities and challenges based on emotion isn’t sensible, as your feelings can be fickle. In other words, your emotions aren’t entirely trustworthy.
They’re funny things really. And of the dozen or so core emotions you have, fear is a contender for one of the most powerful.
My guess is that you can probably think of a time when you’ve gone from elation to sadness, or from anticipation to despair. And if your anything like me, these changes in emotions can happen in the short space of a conversation.
And this is why your emotions can be misleading, unreliable, and even confusing.
Listen to your emotions, just don’t be governed by them
But you shouldn’t disregard them. Your emotions act as guides and are a helpful indicator of where something needs to change. They show you where you’re dissatisfied and highlight areas of your life that require your attention and care.
Your emotions are to be listened to and given space to communicate the important messages that you need to hear and respond to. So rather than disregard them, weigh them carefully to identify what’s real and helpful, and what’s not.
In speaking of fears, uncertainties, and doubt, Beth Buelow, author of The Introvert Entrepreneur, explains it this way,
“It’s transformative to experience the power and clarity that comes when we’re able to pull the fears, uncertainties, and doubts off of the hamster wheel of our internal processing and into the light, where they are rarely able to stand up to scrutiny.” (p.36)
Yes, your emotions need to be given attention to, but they’re not to be the things that drive your decisions. Instead you need to interpret and translate their messages into tangible and rational actions that result in positive outcomes.
You’ll always have to live with fear, but that’s okay
Fear isn’t going anywhere in a hurry. He’ll be around for a lifetime. And it’s his intention to keep you stuck, as he doesn’t want you to move into the areas that produce the most significant impact in the lives of others.
He’s committed to preventing you from taking on the opportunities of a lifetime that will lend themselves to your continual growth. He wants you frozen by his presence so you fail to step beyond your present capacity into new and exciting things.
So though you know he’ll always be around, that’s okay, because you know his game! For knowing that taking one step forward is the last thing he wants you to do, you can be one step ahead. So go ahead, take that step!
Give him a listening ear, but only sometimes!
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t listen to him every now and again, or that you should keep him permanently sidelined, as he can sometimes be a helpful voice.
After all, courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s doing the very thing that you’re afraid to do. It’s winning the inward battle and stepping into what you feel passionate about regardless of the possible consequences.
But though there are benefits to paying attention to fear, you do need to decide when and where to give him the listening ear he craves. And most importantly, to remember that that’s your decision.
In which areas of your life is fear being given too much freedom and keeping you stuck?
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