08 Nov Overwhelmed with Fear? Use it!
“What I thought was fear welling up inside me, is actually my power, pushing me to succeed.” Kevin Schmidt.
If you’re like me, you’ve had many experiences of feeling fear. In fact, feeling fear isn’t very popular. Many spiritual schools of thought or personal growth programs urge people to “choose love instead of fear”.
I say that feeling your fear is essential in fulfilling your potential. Yes, I said it, ESSENTIAL.
One of the key concepts that I teach leaders is that the way that you deal with your own fear sets the tone for the emotional status of your team when you’re going through change. Most people either ignore their fear and focus on solving the problem technically, or get completely overwhelmed by the fear and find a lot of reasons to justify their fear and bail on succeeding with the project.
Fear is a state of being that we experience as a result of coming into contact with a situation. It gives us information. We need to listen to it. However, the difficulty is, is that if you have had fearful experiences in the past that you have not confronted, then the present fear will be amplified, and you will draw irrational conclusions about how to deal with it.
Quick Tips for Managing Fear:
1. Identify that you are feeling it.
2. VERY IMPORTANT: experience it in your body. Notice where it is held, where your muscles tense up, where your breath is restricted. Touch that part of your body, breath into it.
3. Make contact with the part of you that is not fearful (the part with lots of breath, relaxed muscles, spacious energy). This helps remind you that you are more than your fear.
4. Return to the fear and with your rational mind ask yourself “What am I afraid of?” You can then discover what it is that you are trying to control that you can’t.
5. Let go of controlling stuff that you can’t control (for instance, people liking you, other people’s decisions, whether or not there is a traffic jam etc.).
6. With your renewed energy, address the things that you can control.
By engaging with your fear, you release your power, your ability, your steps forward.
Avoiding fear = missing information. Being overwhelmed by fear = distorting information. Engaging with fear= informed action.
You can confront the things that scare you and when you do, you just might find, like Kevin, that you are more in touch with your courage than ever before