Do you ever build something up so much in your head it starts infiltrating your dreams — or nightmares? Please tell me I am not the only one.
For me, these intrusive dreams haunted me when I finished my book. I had nightmares about misprints, misspellings, forgotten content, bad reviews, and more. All my hard work had come to fruition — and with it came a slew of fears that had been unknowingly hovering in my subconscious.
It is incredibly easy to let fear paralyze you — but it doesn’t have to. You can choose to manage it, to be empowered by it, and to consciously recognize the fear and embrace it to experience what’s really behind it.
Before my first book came out, I went to my husband and asked if I could give up. That is how afraid I was of how it would be received. He said, “Sure, but I don’t think you can.” He was right. I had to push through and manage my fears. Here are five actions that helped me do it:
1. Take Action. Give yourself a moment to experience the fear and then put it aside and think of one small action you can take to move forward. For me, it was the survey. Instead of staying stuck, make a move. There is always a step forward, and taking it will enable momentum to propel you to the next step.
2. Be Consistent. Continuous small steps build-up to big accomplishments. Get into a routine of asking yourself, “What one thing can I do today to move this forward?” The saying, “Take it one step at a time,” is well-known for a reason.
3. Cultivate Curiosity. Sometimes, the best way to avoid over-thinking something is to access your curiosity and explore what is possible. Ask questions of yourself and your network. Get multiple perspectives to drive a different view.
4. Practice Gratitude. Rather than allowing fear to sweep in and tell you to worry about what could go wrong or what you could lose, flip it on its head. Instead, consider what is going right and appreciate all you have. “Stop and smell the roses.” A moment of appreciation and reflection can power your productivity.
5. Surround Yourself With A Supportive Network. You knew this would be on my list! It’s all about relationships. Embrace the diversity of your network, and connect with your champions, cheerleaders, and sounding boards.
Don’t let your fear hold you suspended. Be vulnerable enough to ask for help when you need it — and keep moving forward!