THE BLOG

Why It's So Important to Lean Into Your Fears

19/08/2014 17:59 BST | Updated 19/10/2014 10:59 BST

How are you doing with life? Are things feeling easy and breezy, or do you feel held back in some way by underlying fear? Are you living an inspired, created life, or are you reacting to what comes your way and avoiding those things that make you feel uncomfortable?

Most of us are pretty fearful of stuff and we carry around those fears like a fixed identity. In the interests of highlighting my point, here I go with busting through one of mine - I was afraid of being me and of being found out for being a fraud in some way. "That is just who I am" I thought. Thankfully that one has pretty much shifted, but in the interests of letting it go even more I shall reveal to the world some others (if you call yourself out first, you can never feel fraudulent - neat trick!): I was also terrified of public speaking, afraid of certain types of people, totally afraid of heights, afraid of looking stupid... I could go on (and on). What's great is that in just writing that now I'm feeling nothing at all, when in the past that level of public disclosure would have made me feel sick to the point of nearly passing out! What has happened to all of those fears that I mentioned? I got some Cognitive Hypnotherapy and some amazing coaching, and I leaned into them, and they evaporated. Like smoke they drifted off into the ether. What for so long felt like "this is just who I am" left me and allowed me to be so much more of who I really am - a person who can choose what to do in life based on everything else rather than being scared. I'm not saying that I'm still not afraid of things, but these days I don't take my fears seriously - I don't buy into my thinking. I know that a fear is a mindset issue, easily dealt with, not an actual fixed, concrete thing. Now I let my experience make me a powerful coach and therapist - able to take my clients to places that I truly know are possible.

Why?

The job of our unconscious mind is to keep us safe and protected - to keep us out of the way of potentially life threatening situations. Fear in these situations is obviously very useful, but the trouble is that our minds often connect up what should actually be neutral situations to something it perceives is harmful to us. Not so useful if you are standing in front of 100 people trying to give a presentation and your mind is telling you to get the hell out of there!

No-one is alone in this

Now, I know if I were in that room full of 100 people and asked them to raise their hands if they were scared of public speaking, or any of those other things that used to frighten me, for every item on that list there would be a whole bunch of people who experienced the same fear. How do I know that? Because fears that debilitate to whatever degree are what every one of my clients experience. Every day I work with people to clear the fears and limiting beliefs that are in the way to them creating an amazing life for themselves.

We all have the opportunity of living an inspired life. Let go of the fears and you can create the life that maybe you haven't even dared to dream yet. Our power is in our ability to be vulnerable.

One of the ways to let go of things we are afraid of it to lean right into them. To challenge what our mind is telling us about the situation. I often ask my coaching clients to stick a big sign up, somewhere they can see it often, asking "REALLY?". Questioning, is that really true? That thing I just heard in my head that feels so fixed, do I have to believe it? Here's a newsflash, a thought isn't an instruction it's just a thought. It might seem real for a while, but it doesn't have to be followed and acted upon.

Ponder on that for a moment. A thought is not an instruction.

You have a choice to give it power, or to let it drift on and wait for another more useful thought to come along and believe that one instead. It might even make you smile when you start to really see this for your life. Imagine what you could create if you chose not to buy in to those thoughts that until now have got in your way.

Lean into the fear

So almost for fun, this week I have been slam-dunking my old fears and taking time to feel the power that comes from knowing you're no longer afraid. I walked 52 metres high over the 02 in London, I have had conversations with people that previously I would have considered impossible, I fully let go of my story and be truly vulnerable with someone who I hope to one day hire as my own coach, I called myself out to a colleague and admitted how I was feeling nervous about my contribution to a project that we are developing together - and who would have thought it, she had much the same worries that I did, and I wrote this blog savouring the self disclosure in ways that previously I would have completely resisted. We are all fellow travellers and I never expect my clients to go places that I am not willing to go myself. Letting go of fears, hiring a coach or therapist, being vulnerable in public - even in a well read online space such as the Huffington - all stack together to create a strong sense of empowerment in creating life as we would like it to be.

Slam dunk it

I invite you to treat it like a game. Find a fear and do something that means you don't have to continue to believe it. Start small if you like but lean into the uncomfortable and discover who you can be without the fear. Once you get the hang of this, play a fierce game of slam-dunk and then slow right down and take the time to notice where it begins to lead. And do drop me a line below or via my website to let me know how you get on.