Face the Fear

Today we are on Number 5 of my 7 part series on  How to Find the Work that Makes Your Heart Sing

Today’s Number 5 is:
Face the Fear 

Throughout this process of finding the work that makes your heart sing.  Fear will come up–I believe we each have a Fear Monger inside of us.  A part of us who’s job it is to protect us, keep us safe and minimize risks.  I call it the Fear Monger–because a monger’s job according to the World English Dictionary is a promoter of something unpleasant–this part of our personality has the job of promoting fear for a variety of reasons, safety, security, minimizing risk and protection.  But I believe one of our rights as humans is to face this fear…make changes…risk in a variety of ways and bust out of our ruts.  If we don’t risk, change, grow and dare to look at life differently–what’s the point? 

So we all have A Fear Monger.  And the fear monger is clever, it pops up in a variety of ways, usually speaking to our value system or what we love the most.

Step One: Start recognizing your Fear Monger.  Give her/him a name a face–it can be extremely creative or something as simple as Scared Nancy (bet you couldn’t guess, that’s mine ).  I will encourage clients to draw a picture, or write a description of what their fear monger looks like and/or sounds like.
Pay attention to the message she/he tends to send and when he/she tends to come out the most.  The fear monger is clever and tends to pop up in a variety of ways speaking to our value system, “you can’t do that it will take too much time away from the kids”; “you can’t go back to school, what about the money?” Build awareness around how you react to the fear monger, do you eat, watch TV, become agitated, pick a fight or just give up.

Step Two: Once you recognize the Fear Monger has been playing your head acknowledge it, actually bless it.   Frequently I will say, “thank you ‘scared Nancy’ I appreciate your fear but I got this one.  I can handle this and I want to move forward”.  I know that sounds crazy–but trust me it works.  It is as if acknowledging this very real part of us allows her to relax–she feels heard and she can then settle down.
Physically make some shifts in your body as you acknowledge the fear monger–place your hand over your heart as you bless it, get up and walk it out of the room, hold your hand up to say stop, thanks but no thanks.  Adding a physical movement makes a more real change.

This is a process, at first, you might not recognize your Fear Monger has been talking until you are in the midst of an argument with your spouse.  The more you practice, the quicker you will catch The Fear Monger in the moment.  Eventually, you will catch him/her as they are chatting away their negative propaganda and you will be able to bless them and move on, in the moment.

Step Three: Know your big picture and take small steps  The Fear Monger is there to help us from getting hurt. He/she is a real part of us, just a scared fearful part.  So in order to keep her fear messages to a minimum, you need to have a two-fold process:

First, know your big picture.  Know what you are going after more time with your family, more fulfillment, more happiness, more vacation time, etc.

Then begin to break it down into small steps.  Maybe you are wanting to explore going back to school. It doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and go back to school next quarter.  You can start with small steps:  researching schools, gathering application materials, making a plan for finances, and taking entrance exams if necessary.

I know from experience, when we know why we are pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone (big picture) and then able to take action steps (small steps), blessing our Fear Monger along the way we will be able to live happier lives.
Here are some other posts I have written on Fear:
An Interview with Tara Sophia Mohr
A Lesson in Facing My Fear Monger
The Suffering of Fear