Is FEAR Holding You Back? 5 Tips for Creating Success with Fear as Your Friend


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Are you feeling stuck and worried about where your life is headed? Are you unsure of how to get where you want to be? Do you feel like you’re not-so-strong but not sure why? Do you secretly think that you’re not really as successful as you’d like–or pretend–to be? Do you put up a front to appear tough and strong but feel fearful inside? If your answer to any of these questions is an honest “Yes!” or even a hesitant “Maybe,” this article is for you. Whether fear is impacting the success of your relationships, work life, or sense of personal fulfillment, now is the perfect time to change things up.

We learn from childhood forward that it’s not cool to be afraid or to show any emotion that’s not “acceptable”? From early on, males are told that they are “sissies” if they show fear.  Females are often chided to “toughen up” or “not be so emotional.”  Through an onslaught of messages that tell us it’s bad to show our fear—one of our necessary core emotions—we get stuck within the grasp of destructive fear.  This strange-but-true phenomenon gets its power because we are blind to it.  Fear runs the show—holding us back, keeping us stuck, and sending us running in the wrong direction—while we pretend everything is okay.  

If you want to embrace your personal power—if you’re ready to tap into the vast resources of your amazing self and fulfill your potential—trust that you can do it.  You can stop running and hiding. You can create the life of your dreams by facing your fears and learning from them.  Today’s your lucky day.  By following the five simple steps outlined below, you’ll be on your way to incredible joy and success.

Step 1: Take an Honest Look at Yourself:  Ask yourself, am I as fulfilled as I want to be?  Get specific, looking at your mental health, romantic life, social connections, work environment, physical health, and sense of spiritual connection.  If you’re like most of us humans, you’re not as fulfilled and successful as you want to be in each of these areas.  This first step can be a bit unsettling, but it’s vital for you to know what you want, where you feel stuck or strangled, and the areas you’d like to create some shifts to achieve greater success in life.

Step 2: How is Fear Holding You Back?  For every area of your life you want to change, notice what’s been keeping you stuck.  Take the time to consider why you have reached for the successful life you want and deserve.  You might find yourself asking why you’ve stayed in the dead-end job, accepted the toxic relationship, resisted the urge to start your own business, or ignored your dream of going back to school.  Notice what fears have been holding you back. Pay attention to the little (or big) voices that might be whispering negative thoughts such as, “You should stay where you’re at—it’s better than the unknown” or “I’m afraid of change…it’s too risky.” Notice that destructive fear has a host of tricky messages that hold you back from true success.  You’re well on your way to a better life, for the awareness you are creating is the foundation for true and lasting change.

Step 3: Find the Voice of Constructive Fear:  Something awesome waits on the other side of fear’s destructive messages—it’s the voice of constructive fear.  It’s this powerful, friendly voice that tells us that we are worthy of getting unstuck. This voice tells us that we can be successful in all areas of life. This voice tells us that we are worthy and amazing. This voice tells us the truth: with hard work, patience, and perseverance, we can create the life of our dreams. We can have all the success that we crave—success within the self, relationships, work, and the greater web of life.  Learn to listen to this voice—constructive fear it is your ally and best friend.

Step 4: Get Ready for Goals:  Now that you’ve pondered the reality of where you are in life, it’s time to write a specific list that focuses on the areas you want to change.  Keep the list as simple and specific as possible by creating a few main goals. Under each main goal, make clear, specific micro-goals to keep you focused.  The more specific you are, the greater your success will be!

Step 5: Timing is Everything:  It’s important to realize that small, simple changes are best. Rather than biting off too much at once—which can lead to feels of defeat or stress—prioritize your goals. Trust that you’ve plenty of time to create the changes you crave. Honor yourself and your life situation by taking action one concrete step at a time.

Yes, change can be hard. Change can be scary. Change can be tough.  Yet, you are strong. You are courageous. You are tough—in a most amazing, resilient way.  Trust that you have what it takes to create the successful, joyful life of your dreams.  You are worth it.  Find guidance like this—and so much more—in my new book, Joy from Fear.

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