Ep #17 – How to Process Fear
Fear is a magnifying glass.
What You’ll Learn on this Episode:
- Your thoughts create your feelings.
- You don’t have to be afraid of fear.
- Fear doesn’t have to impact your decisions.
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Episode #17 - How to Process Fear
How do you feel about fear? Are you afraid of it? definitely was, so I want this episode to include a very clear description of what fear really is, where it’s coming from, AND that It’s OK.
From Google, this is the definition of fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
So that’s pretty clear. The belief that something is dangerous. Thoughts create our feelings/emotions. So what we are thinking, will create fear as an emotion in your body.
I’m going to teach you how to process it today on the episode, but one reason it can feel more intense is because we’re blocking it and are scared of fear.
This looks like avoiding anything that could possibly scare you, unsettled, hope people don’t bring up things that make you scared, feel embarrassed that you’re scared,try to pretend you’re not scared, distract with food, drinks, or social media or anything else.
Result is not knowing what to do with fear. Want to solve for it.
I FEEL YOU. For a few years I was very consumed with fear, and It was so hard trying to NOT be scared and wondering why I was scared, and feeling a little like a crazy person. So if you can relate. I GOT YOU.
Fear would impact decisions I made and what I was doing. I wanted to avoid it at all cost. Fear really became a stop sign and made me change my mind. An example of this is one of my first jobs.
I took cake decorating classes at Michaels and went to a local bakery to apply. They were SO sweet. They hired me, gave me a start date, and I FREAKED OUT.
It’s SO interesting to look back at this now. I really wanted this job. I was looking forward to it. I worked hard to get it, and then when it was offered to me and it was time to start. SCARED.
Guess what happened? I called them back, said I am SOOO sorry but I just can’t do it, and then quit before my first day. Immediately I had relief.
I thought I had to stop the job from happening to stop the fear. But it wasn’t starting the job that caused the fear. It was one thought I remember clearly: What if I don’t feel like it?
That thought was causing my fear. So two things from this example: 1. I stopped doing something I really wanted to do because I was scared.
2. The reason I was scared was one thought.
I didn’t know that. I thought I had to change my circumstance of the job to feel better. Instead this is the swap out to process fear and keep going: 1. Acknowledge you’re scared as an emotion.
3. See what you’re thinking. Write them down.
Fear is not a stop sign. It’s a magnifying glass. When you feel scared, all the thoughts that are causing that emotion pop right up in your face. That’s why it can be overwhelming because it’s a flood of what ifs.
When you write them down, you get to validate for yourself what you want to do with those. THE THOUGHTS.
I ended up calling the bakery like a year later, and they offered me the job again. AMAZING. This is such a great example because sometimes we are going to feel fear for things we really want. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go for them. It doesn’t mean we should stop. FEAR doesn’t always = don’t do it.
FEAR is a magnifying glass. It’s a chance to get so clear on your thoughts. What you are ALREADY THINKING in the back of your head and ask: 1. Is this thought holding me back?
2. Is this thought something I want to take with me?
So it’s not stopping fear, so you’re never scared again. It’s calling fear out for what it is. A bunch of thoughts and one emotion. When you practice feeling fear, it’s not so scary anymore.
It’s like when someone scares you to play a trick on you and jumps out of a door. YEAH, you were legit scared, but it doesn’t mean anything about you. It’s OK. Practice feeling it the next time you feel it. Hold up, pause, this is fear, that’s OK, where are you? Describe where you feel it? Is your head tight, is your chest tight, fast heartbeat, call it out. THAT is fear. AND that’s what it means feel it through.
It’s not fancy or complicated. It’s permission to feel. Breathe and notice WHERE in your body it’s moving and grooving.
You’ll get more familiar with those charehertics, you’ll get more familiar with fear as the emotion it is coming from thoughts you’re thinking. Sentences. Take the time to write those down. See what you’re thinking. Validate if those thoughts mean something to you. If not, you can choose to think something different that FUELS you towards your goals.
Do I still feel fear? Of course. But it’s not a stop sign. It’s a magnifying glass. I’m going to use it to help me grow, not scare me away from my dreams, goals, and what’s important to me and the people I help.
So this is the thing: Fear doesn’t MAKE us change our mind. We get to decide. Knowing fear is emotion, it will pass, you will totally practice feeling it, and make a decision outside of fear. It’s just one emotion in a bag full of emotion. You can feel any emotion. You’re an emotional ninja. It’s part of your design.
Next time you get scared going after a goal 1) practice feeling it, and 2), ask yourself why? Why am I scared? Write it down, look at those thoughts, and decide on purpose if you’re taking those thoughts with you or not.
Have a great week. See you next time.
If you want to take this work deeper and reach your goals, go to www.mschristiewilliams.com and schedule a consult.