Is Your Fear Standing in the Way of Your Happiness?

comfort zone facing fears roadmap Feb 26, 2024

As a life coach, I’m regularly delving into discussion with people on how to reach deeper levels of success and happiness. And you know what theme seems to keep popping up in these conversations? 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, finding the right job or clients, or raising happy, healthy kids.

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 traveling or even moving to a new state or country. Working with my organizing clients to declutter, I often witness this fear with their statement: “but what if I need it someday.” It can also keep you from asking that person out when you’re not sure how they’ll respond, and from making plans (long- or short-term) out of fear of making the so-called wrong decision. 

The fear of change, in particular, can cause people to stay frozen in their current situation, even if it means staying in a soul-sucking career or in 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.”

In my mind, though, one of the most heartbreaking fears is the fear of being our true self.

Being vulnerable enough to speak our truth. To share our ideas, dreams, goals, the things that we like or 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 true happiness and fulfillment.

The sad reality of this kind of fear is that it often sneaks into our lives through moments that leave a lasting impact. It could be a time when we mispronounced a word and faced ridicule, or when our ideas were dismissed as stupid, or when our uniqueness was mocked. These experiences may have their roots in a toxic environment where we may have felt like we had to walk on eggshells and never dared to step outside of what was expected of us. 

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 develop the courage to face those fears.

Growth comes from outside of one’s comfort zone. I’m on a mission to help others face the fears that keep them from taking action towards their goals, speaking their truths and living their life fully. I’m on a mission to help a million people and make a positive impact on the world. This is simply not possible 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’m here on this planet to serve. I know that when I live in alignment with my purpose that I experience so much more joy and fulfillment, and this inevitably means facing fears and the discomfort of being outside of my comfort zone.

Please allow me to be vulnerable and speak one of my truths…

For a long time, I felt trapped by my fears of the unknown, of change, of breaking the mold. I always knew that the corporate world wasn’t in alignment for me, but my fears kept me there. It took being laid off and going to a painfully toxic work environment at a new job before I finally faced those fears and took action towards creating my life according to what I truly wanted. Yes, it was scary and uncomfortable, but the payoff was well worth it!

And, let’s be honest, there’s no way to avoid uncomfortable emotions and situations in life. It’s part of the journey. So why not do some exploration and gain some clarity about which uncomfortable situations you want to choose to put yourself in😉

Let’s explore…

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?
What’s something you'd try if you had more courage or the right support?
Who can support you, cheer you on and keep you accountable in taking action?

I’d 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. 

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, a client shared in a coaching session that she has had a fear of performing on her own for a long time. She’s performed for years as part of a group, but had been afraid to break out on her own. She decided to begin to face this fear by performing in a smaller bar/restaurant venue a little way out of town. This was a fantastic step in building her confidence that supported her in eventually performing on her own in town.

If you find yourself really feeling overwhelmed or stuck when it comes to 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’d love to hear what the fear is that you have that you may feel is keeping you from reaching a goal and living your life fully. If you’re ready to dive deeper, I’d like to invite you to apply for a complimentary Clarity Session right here.

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