Is there something in your life that you are so afraid of failing at that you don’t give yourself a chance to succeed? I have asked myself that question a lot in the past year. I had a lot of answers that inspired me to take a look at where I was holding myself back and why.
The definition of fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc. whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
Most of my fear has been in the stories I create about something. Not what is, what could be. Do you make up worst case scenarios?
I like to think of fear as:
Fear certainly feels the same whether it’s real or made up in your head. So how do we maneuver through the fear that keeps us from trying something we could fail at? I remember so many things I wouldn’t try as I got into my teens and twenties because I was afraid of criticism from others. That’s what I told myself at the time anyway. I realize now that the real fear was more of my fear of failure. That fear kept me playing small. I thought that it was better not to try than to try and fail. Doing that kept me ‘safe’ and kept my world very small.
I’ve been on a quest the past year to step into fear. I am choosing to do things even when I am afraid. I stopped waiting for the fear to subside before I do what is calling me. Maybe for me, it’s an age thing. I give myself permission to try and fail. I have decided that it is better to try and fail than not try at all. We will never know what we are capable of if we don’t try.
I will be speaking at a conference this weekend. I am excited and honored to have this opportunity. And I am afraid that I will forget what I wanted to share, the audience won’t respond the way I want them to, I will fall, the heel will come off my shoe, the list goes on and on. I look at that list of fears and know I have no control over the things on it. I know that all I can do is prepare the best I can and let my presentation unfold. I trust that stepping in even when I’m afraid will bring me wisdom that I didn’t have before, no matter how my presentation goes. The more I step into fear, the easier it gets, the more I open myself up to new experiences, and the more wisdom I gain.
What if what we’re feeling is really excitement, not fear? They feel the same in the pit of your stomach, so why not tell yourself it’s excitement. That’s where my focus will be this weekend. Wish me luck!
When we change the world changes.
Want to receive a weekly dose of wisdom in your inbox?
Sign up for my Weekly Wisdom emails and I’ll send you journal prompts and affirmations each Sunday along with my latest blog post to help you start your week intentionally.