Is Your Fear Standing in the Way of Your Happiness?May 25, 2020
As a life coach, every day I’m delving into discussion with people on how to reach a deeper level of happiness. Over the past couple months, there has been a recurring theme that keeps showing up in so many people’s lives: FEAR.
Fear comes in many forms, and can get in the way of happiness for many. We may have fears around being able to take care of our basic needs, like figuring out how we’ll be able to pay bills, when we will be able to return to work or if we even have a job to return to, and how we can stay healthy and safe during this global pandemic.
Very often we may also be grappling with fears around reaching for our goals and dreams, like the fear of the unknown, of failure, of asking for help, and of what people think about us. All of these fears are things that people often let stand in the way of pursuing their goals and dreams, and this is what I want to dig into today.
Fear of the unknown can keep you from realizing your goal of moving to a new state or country, from downsizing your possessions because you “may need that someday,” asking that person out when you don’t know how they will respond, or making any plans (long- or short-term), especially given the current environment we’re living in.
The fear of change, in particular, can cause people to stay frozen in their current situation: in a soul-sucking career or stick with an unhappy relationship. There’s a certain level of comfort that comes with knowing how to navigate the current situation. Making a change can take a lot of effort. And, yes, the unknown that comes with any change can be scary, but what if happiness is on the other side of that discomfort??
The fear of being hurt – again – in a romantic relationship may be one of the most common fears that I hear from people. Let’s be honest, we have all experienced painful breakups, hurtful situations and devastating losses in past relationships. But we learn and grow from these experiences, and we have the opportunity to turn all of that information into knowledge to help us identify what we do and do not want in future relationships. Often, though, we use the past as a prediction of the future and declare that dating is scary and may not be worth the risk…as we continue to long for “the one.”
One of the most heartbreaking fears in my mind, though, is the fear we too often have when it comes to being our true self. Being vulnerable enough to speak our truth. To share our ideas, dreams, goals, the things that we don’t like. Or to simply say “I’m scared” out loud. I think that the fear of being our true selves really encompasses a bunch of fears all rolled up into one big, fat, scary barrier to happiness.
The sad reality of this fear is that it was picked up along the way when we pronounced a word wrong or when someone told us our idea was stupid or made fun of us for being different or when someone didn’t like our shirt. Worse yet, it may stem from growing up in a toxic environment where you may have felt like you had to walk on eggshells and never dared to step outside of what was expected of you. The point is that no one is born with a fear of speaking their truth. This is a learned behavior.
But that doesn’t mean that you’re destined to hang onto any of your fears forever. The fear was learned and you can learn new things to help you face those fears.
Please allow me to be vulnerable and speak one of my truths…
For a long time, I was scared out of my mind to go Live on Facebook. I was afraid of something going wrong with the tech piece, of saying something dumb, and probably a hundred other little reasons. The truth, though, is that it scared me because that meant that I was really starting to share my truth. It’s me live, not the written version. There’s no editing, only raw me and my thoughts.
When I first started to go Live about a year ago, I had some BIG resistance show up in a completely unrelated way, but I know that fear was the trigger. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to realize what was going on. Then I went Live…and the world didn’t end.
Growth comes from outside of one’s comfort zone. I am on a mission to help others face their fears, speak their truths and create the life of their dreams, by their own design. It is simply not possible for me to serve the number of people or have the impact I intend from within my comfort zone.
I know that it’s not only important to me so I can grow and expand myself, but it’s also important towards living my purpose, and for everyone I serve. I know that when I live in alignment with my purpose that I find so much for happiness and fulfillment, and this inevitably means facing fears and the discomfort of being outside of my comfort zone.
Some may unfollow, unfriend or unsubscribe, but that’s okay because that simply means that I’m not the one for them. Understanding that I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea is important for me to keep in mind to help me face any fears. You will never be able to make everyone happy, but when you use this as a reason to stay safe in the comfort zone, you will definitely never make yourself happy.
So who are you living your life for? What are some of your fears? What fears do you feel are keeping you stuck where you are? Which are standing in the way of you reaching a goal that would bring you happiness and joy in your life?
What can you do to face those fears?
I would like to challenge you to identify a fear that is keeping you stuck and then to figure out one small way you are going to face that fear now. Remember that we will not be in this pandemic/quarantine situation forever. Yes, some of things may need to wait a little longer, but you can still take steps towards facing your fears and pursuing your goals and dreams today.
I encourage you to look at each of your biggest, most important goals and then identify what your specific fears are surrounding each goal. Once you’ve done that, figure out a few things that you can do to help you face each one of those fears. This is about building your muscles. Gaining confidence with one step at a time.
For example, someone in a coaching session shared that she has long had a fear of performing on her own. She’s performed for years as part of a group, but has been afraid to break out on her own. She is facing this fear by performing in a smaller bar/restaurant venue a little way out of town. This is a fabulous step in building her confidence!
If you find yourself really feeling paralyzed towards taking any action, start by thinking of that fear and challenge yourself to face it in your mind. Spend time visualizing yourself stepping up to face that fear, literally walking up to that fear as if it’s a door to go through. Simply sit with the emotions that come up for you. Do this for a few days and gradually begin to go further with the visualization and start to see – and feel – yourself doing it.
You can do this!
I would love to hear what the fear is that you have that you may feel is keeping you from reaching a goal and finding your happiness. If you’re ready to dive deeper into self-discovery to find a path to your true happiness, schedule a free strategy session here.
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