I consider myself a pretty courageous person, until of course fear comes into the picture. When I get afraid, my primal instinct is to run and hide. I become completely paralyzed, unable to do anything. I think I am keeping myself safe and secure until I find out more information, do more research, the timing is better, I feel more comfortable, and blah, blah, blah.
To take action, to move forward, to make a decision in spite of your fear takes courage. It is much easier to sit back and do nothing, at least for the short run. I remember a valuable mantra, “I always feel better when I take action”. To not do anything just leads to more fear, procrastination, and paralysis.
If you are stuck to make a decision, a move, an action, or a change, there are three critical things to say to yourself and then to someone else who can help:
I am afraid. This of course is true. But can you articulate what you really are afraid of? Is it about money? The fear of being alone? The risk of failure or losing control? Knowing where the fear comes from is not only empowering, it can move you through the fear to action.
I don’t know. This is usually not true. It is your fearful self talking and the truth is, you really do know what to do about your marriage, job, or flailing business. But start off with I don’t know and then ask yourself, “What is the worst thing(s) that could happen?” What is your biggest fear? Make a list and rank them.
I need help. This could be very true. Fear is not only paralyzing, it is distorting. Talking it out with a coach, therapist, or wise friend you trust can be very helpful. Be sure to ask them for what you want, whether it is to vent, get a new perspective, or answer questions that will help you move forward.