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August 27, 2013     2

FEAR

Letting FEAR Be Your Guide

Fear is by far the single greatest driving force preventing people from achieving their dreams. It can cause paralysis and keep people stuck in less than ideal circumstances, always wanting more but convinced it’s out of their reach.

But what if I told you that fear can be a powerful tool to guide you towards achieving your dreams?

Let me explain. When I first entertained the idea of coaching as a profession, I quickly abandoned the idea. I talked myself out of it by pointing out all the years I’ve logged in at my corporate job and the concerns around starting a business in this economy. At the time, I thought I was making a sensible decision about my life. My thinking appeared sound and I could find support for my choice from loved ones. What I didn’t understand at the time was that my rationale was BS and I was simply afraid. It would be another 18 months before I figured out that the real reasons why I didn’t want to pursue a life coaching career were fear of failure and judgment by others.

So what did I learn about fear to make it work for me instead of against me? For starters, I learned that fear can be one of the most powerful indicators you’re on the right path towards achieving your dreams. When people make the conscious choice to pursue their dreams (e.g. starting a business, changing careers), fear generally follows them on their journey. Why?

Change is scary.

As a species, humans have a tendency to stay in situations that are familiar, even if they’re painful or not aligned with their dreams. When we think about making meaningful change in our lives, fear sets in and we move into uncharted territory (the unknown). Most people can’t deal with these feelings and retreat to the safety and security of their comfort zone (what is familiar). We rationalize this behavior all sorts of ways (it’s not the right time, my job is perfectly fine, people will think I’m crazy, etc). The list is endless, but the outcome is the same. We remain stuck in the same place we were before we entertained our dreams. If left unchecked, this can become a repeating cycle of disappointment that stays with us our entire lives.

So how do we make fear work for us instead of against us? The first thing to do is recognize why we’re experiencing fear and then take action. Here are some tips for overcoming fear and moving forward with your dreams:

    Identify and own your fear.

    In our society, people are under the misguided notion that fear equates to weakness, so we pretend we’re indestructible and nothing gets to us. Of course, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When you acknowledge your fear and identify what exactly you’re afraid of, you weaken its hold on you. Oftentimes, you realize the real truth about fear; it’s not real or rational. My favorite way of explaining fear is with a well-known acronym: False Evidence Appearing Real.

    Develop an action plan.

    Create an action plan that breaks down the process of achieving your dreams into a series of small, manageable goals. Then you can tackle your list one goal at a time. I like to create S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and time-oriented). For example, don’t just say you want to create a budget for yourself. Instead, say you want to create a budget for yourself within the next 2 weeks that will save you at least $XXX dollars a month over the next 3 years. Make sure the goal is something reasonable and one you can accomplish.

    Find an accountability partner.

    This needs to be somebody who can really hold you accountable for getting your action steps completed. They also need to be somebody you can confide in when dealing with fear or mental blocks. Recent studies have stated that you are 33% more likely to achieve your goals when you have an accountability partner. This is the main reason why coaches like me exist.

Remember, knowing what you want for yourself won’t get you far unless you’re willing to bust out of your comfort zone, embrace your fear and move forward in the direction of your dreams. Don’t let anyone or anything keep you from living your best possible life!

So how is fear keeping you from achieving your dreams? Have you used fear as a compass to guide you towards achieving your dreams? Join in on the conversation by sharing your experiences in the comments section below.

KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

Joel

My goal is always to give my readers something useful, tangible and worth their time. If you don’t like something you read here, leave it and only take away what resonates with you.

  • Wow !! I recently quit my job. I was aggrevated with it. Felt like I was a hamster in wheel. No room for growth their. I really didn’t like the way the business was ran. Deep down I knew something else is out there for me. Got a new job I start on Friday was just telling my best friend this morning change is so scary. Awesome !!

  • joelreadence says:

    Congratulations on your new job Kelly! AND I’m glad you liked the article. Miss your face! -Joel

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