Knowing how to overcome fear is a must because there is nothing less attractive than someone full of fear, lacking confidence and in full-blown scarcity mode. I really do not like it when fear comes to visit but unfortunately when we head off on a journey into unfamiliar and unchartered waters it can be a regular visitor, dropping in at the most unexpected and unwelcome of times. Right when you were just making progress, or having such fun, fear comes knocking at the door and stops you in your tracks.
I had a visit a few weeks ago and it completely floored me. One day I was heading full throttle towards my dreams and all was well in my world. The next thing I knew, I was full of fear that manifested itself as anxiety, procrastination, overwhelm and depression. In a matter of hours everything shifted and I felt paralyzed by fear.
Fear blocks EVERYTHING; your confidence and pizzazz, your powers of manifestation and it can be such negative energy. It is a detractor and if you get stuck in it, it can be such a downward spiral. It may manifest itself as feelings of inadequacy, confusion, worry or a million other thoughts or behaviors, so you must learn how to pull yourself out of the funk and break the pattern.
So what helps you move forward from the slump? Here are some of the things I have found work for me; like my own personal first aid kit. I always get started on them immediately and work through as many of them as I need, until I start to feel a shift.
The most important step is to recognize it for what it is. Recognizing that you are in 'fear' and that fear is part of the journey is the first step. I absolutely love Dr Seuss' book 'Oh The Places You'll Go'. One of my gorgeous friends and mentors Lorna Patten gave it to me as a going away present and I find it really speaks to the journey we are on and the ups and downs we will face. I pull it out regularly and it helps me laugh at fear.
Dr Seuss 'Oh The Places You'll Go' Excerpt
You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to great heights …
EXCEPT when you do not
Because sometimes you will not
I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly it's true
can happen to you …
You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unsuitable bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a dump.
And when you're in a slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself is not easily done …
Top Tips For Unslumbing Yourself …
1. Talking to yourself. Yes, weird I know, but it really helps to acknowledge what you are feeling and then to ask yourself why? Such as I feel afraid … why? What am I afraid of? Gather all the facts; try to talk to your rational self. A lot of the time writing things out for clarity can help.
2. Take action. I always find it helps to do something to feel in-action. It can give back your confidence, can help you get clarity, find a solution to the initial problem and just feel less overwhelmed to be working on it.
3. Talk it through with a few trusted friends or collections. I know it can be really hard to reach out when you are stuck in the slump and you just want to crawl into a cave. Try though, as it often helps to bring some perspective to the situation especially if you are catastrophizing and worrying unnecessarily.
4. Break things down into bite size chunks. We may try to swallow the elephant (problem) whole but that will only make things worse. Write a list of all the small things you can do and start with just one.
5. Remember 'this too shall pass'. Fear does not usually hang around more than a few days if you work through it, acknowledging your feelings and finding what you need to help you move forward.
6. Allow yourself to sit with fear because sometimes it's necessary. Sometimes an alarm or warning signs for us to be aware of something. Do not pressure yourself to 'get over and on with it'. Sometimes it is healthy to acknowledge the fear and be okay with where you are and what you are feeling in that moment.
7. Be gentle with yourself. Take a break and change your environment. A walk in the park, taking the laptop to a cafe, heading to the beach or having a massage. Now is not the time to beat yourself up.
8. Embrace it! I have so embracted pain and discomfort as part of the journey to success that it is like seeing an opponent in a fight approach. I can plan for it, be prepared and figure out how to deal with it Wrestling with fear can still feel painful but when you've prepared you can almost laugh at it and know that it will pass as long as you work through it.
In my experience it's when we step up and get comfortable feeling uncomfortable that life-changing experiences occurs. We grow stronger and richer for it, as the quotation from the book The Prophet says:
"Your pain is the breaking shell that encloses understanding."