“I wanted to be scared again…I want to feel unsure again. That’s the only way I feel challenged.”
– Connie Chung
Have you ever known someone who is so stuck in their fears that they are missing out on life?
Are you the type of person who can easily “see” someone’s else fear, but find that addressing your own is so hard?
Recently, I spoke to a group of professionals on the power of the word “encouragement”. I told them that an attainable goal was to become the CEO of their life. Chief Encouragement Officer. The main point of the presentation was to visualize that imaginary line with the word SCARY as the anchor point on the left, and the words I’VE GOT THIS on the right.
SCARY———————————————I’VE GOT THIS
When we encounter a new skill or task, we might be standing next to the word, SCARY. As we practice and prepare, our perspective begins to change and move to the right.
Two substitute words for SCARY and I’VE GOT THIS could be SELF-DOUBT and CONFIDENCE. No matter how you label this continuum, it is a real feeling.
Others around us can impact us either through encouragement or discouragement to address those fears. It boils down to just a few letters. Either EN or DIS. Uncertainty feeds our fear monster. Our brains do not like uncertainty.
“Fear is created not by the world around us, but in the mind, by what we think is going to happen.”
– Elizabeth Gawain
A recent example where I observed the impact of extreme fear was a young lady who was speaking in front of a group of her peers. She was nervous, certain that she would fail and forget her words. We, the audience, were certain that she was valued, had a powerful message and wanted her to succeed.
Her fear of public speaking was debilitating. She was stuck on this fear.
When faced with fear, consider this antidote:
- Awareness of your fear and why you have it
- Overcome fear through preparation and self-encouragement
- Give yourself grace as you learn new skills or do new tasks. You won’t be perfect in the beginning.
- View your fear as a challenge. The word “change” is embodied in the word “challenge”.
“Do the fear, and the death of fear is certain.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson