Crush Those Everyday Fears to Achieve Possibilities
What do you fear?
Most of us are afraid of something. Some of us fear heights, spiders, drowning, the dark, or bees if there is an allergy...or not! I even learned about a fear of those tiny holes in pancakes when my daughter shared with me that this was her colleague's very real fear. An incident where my dog was attacked by two German Shepherds while I was walking her a couple of decades ago left me with long-lasting fear and anxiety when this breed of dog gets too close. With social media, we have 24/7 access to bad news and on top of that, there are manufactured stories designed to intentionally create fear.
We often share these more visible and traumatic fears with others. Sometimes we have a story we tell about how this fear has shown up. Often, we may not know where this fear originated or why it’s triggered. In some cases, like the German Shepherds, we remember.
There are other fears we experience, of which we may not want to bring attention. We keep them secret. We may be afraid to speak up about something, advocate for ourselves or someone else, be truthful, or have an important conversation. These are less obvious to those around us, but are the everyday orange construction barrels and single lanes on your highway to possibilities. They slow things down and prevent you from achieving something important.
These fears may prevent you from taking action. Why the hesitation? Personally, I had a very recent experience where I wanted to post a message on LinkedIn about my new book (also my first book!), Unfinished Unlock Your Superpowers, Live with Purpose, and Discover Limitless Possibilities. I kept thinking I’ll do it tomorrow. My sister, who has written several books, had been prompting me for months to create a post about the book for LinkedIn. I didn’t. My fear was getting in my way and so I procrastinated. And then I procrastinated some more.
LinkedIn is a great way for me to tap into my network, let them know what I’m up to, and ask for support. Others do this every day and they make it look easy. Posting in a channel where many people know me personally, and many don’t, felt risky. The thought of it made me anxious.
What if no one likes it?
Will anyone share it?
What if people ignored it completely?
What if there was a typo?
What if (fill in the blank)?
Can you relate? What’s your everyday fear? Have you named it yet? Have you thought about how you’re getting in your own way by not confronting it.
After months of avoiding putting myself out there, and choosing vulnerability, I decided it was time. One day, I made a commitment to create the message and post it by the end of the week. I still didn’t do it. “Other” things came up and I didn’t prioritize it. A few weeks later, I again made a commitment. Making the commitment was easy…both times. Following through was more difficult. To convert my thoughts into words is difficult. Clicking on “Post” is scary. Do you know that feeling? I counted down starting with 3…2…1…post! I thought to myself I did it! I was one day late, but that’s okay. Timelines help us come close!
The commitment was not to my sister or anyone else. I took action for me and for those I’m hoping will benefit from the content of my book. I shared my commitment with my sister for accountability because I knew she would ask me about it next time I spoke with her. To face this fear took a small but mighty act of courage.
In Unfinished, I share the concept of small but mighty. In a world where we are always focused on big accomplishments the small but mighty is where the power is. Millions of small actions are what eventually get us to the big achievements. Posting on LinkedIn was one of many tiny actions I need to take to launch my book. To take this small action, I needed to tap into what I refer to as small but mighty acts of courage.
We need to be aware of our everyday fears so we can manage them. We don’t have to overcome them. I still get nervous every time I post a message, but over time this action will likely feel a little less uncomfortable.
What everyday fear are you avoiding that gets in your way? What does this fear prevent you from accomplishing? Be honest with yourself and if you’re game, take a few moments to journal or write down the answers to the following questions to help you take action on something important to you.
What small action are you avoiding or procrastinating (i.e. sharing your thoughts during a brainstorming activity, asking for what you want, registering for a workshop, etc.)?
Name the fear that is leading to avoidance or procrastination (i.e. speaking up, advocating for yourself, trying something new, etc.).
What action will you take now that you have named the fear?
Set a date in which it is realistic to take action.
Find a support partner to share your fear with and tell them the action you plan to take and when you will take it.
Muster up that small but mighty courage.
Now get ‘er done! You’ve got this!
Lastly, find a way to celebrate. Share your success with your accountability partner
Feel good. You deserve it! Each of the above steps is a small but mighty action. If checking things off a list is satisfying for you, then treat this as a list and check them off. If telling someone about each small but mighty action gives you energy, then do that. Find a way to feel good about the journey. This will keep you going!
If you are wondering about the result of my LinkedIn post, it was amazing! Facing this fear was worth it. Old and new friends and colleagues commented with incredibly supportive and positive words. I felt the love, the friendship, and the support. With self-doubt as my life-long companion, this small but mighty act of courage boosted my energy and confidence!
Get a Sneak Preview from My First Podcast Interview.
Recently, I took my sister up on her offer to chat with her about my book for her podcast, Dose of Depth. Enjoy our sister chat and then be sure to subscribe so I can let you know when my book is available for purchase.
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