Do you ever feel like fear is holding you back? Stopping you from taking a bold action, asking for a raise, pursuing a business idea, asking someone out, approaching someone for mentorship, applying for that dream job?
I have a secret, I’m thinking about offering a new service. The truth is I’ve been thinking about it for months and clarity is pushing me closer to it, but it’s caused me to think a lot about the fears I’d have to confront. I’d still offer my travel services, of course, I love booking trips and I’m blessed to have some truly gentle souls to work for, I actually hope to expand my safari offerings soon. But still, this other idea keeps nudging me, showing up, pulling me in it’s direction, and causing me to confront some fears…
When you’re faced with fears, do you let them stop you? I’m sure we all do and in doing so, we’re not only depriving ourselves, we’re depriving the world of things we have to offer.
So what do we do when all our fears and doubts surface and take us over? How do we overcome fear?
First, what if we thought about the times in our lives when we didn’t let fear get the best of us.
I remember when I was in law school. I had so much fear about talking in class (I was p-e-t-r-i-f-i-e-d about it), so I was known as pretty quiet, yet very studious. When I did get called on in class, my voice would shake and my heart would race. I never knew if I was making sense because the anxiety would completely take me over.
Well every law school has a moot court board, it’s an extremely competitive court simulator program. You compete to become a part of it through oral arguments (yikes!) and a written brief. If you’re accepted, it’s gold on your resume. For some bonkers lunatic reason, quiet me decided to try out. I may have been quiet but there was a fighter deep inside me and I wanted it, BAD. And so I partnered up with my closest friend and we practiced our oral argument skills, for weeks.
The weekend finally came around for our oral arguments. Me in a suit, four judges in their robes towering above me from their bench. Deep breaths.
I brought every juju good luck charm I could fit into my suit pant pockets. My turn came. I walked slowly forward feeling all eyes on me, a feeling I abhorred. But I was prepared, and I wanted this.
The judges proceeded to drill me with questions about an illegal search and seizure from P-Diddy’s sports car. Racial profiling, Fourth Amendment violations, and drug possession charges. Not even 5 seconds between questions to catch my breath.
And so I spoke, clearly and strongly. With conviction. With focus. With determination. Like there was no one else in the room watching me. I battled my fear and I won, big time. Cause guess what? I made the board. The least likely of characters, the sweeter the victory, I’d say.
So what was so different about that situation? I wanted it so badly that I transformed from a person drowning in fear, to a warrior. I battled that day and it’s that determination that brought me to my end victory.
When in your life have you faced your fears and overcome them? What energy were you channeling? Can you channel it again for something you want now? If you can, I bet nothing can stop you.
Second, remember that no matter what the outcome is, all that matters is that you gave it your all.
There are endless stories I could think of where my fears completely won the battle, but I’m choosing not to focus on those. After all, what you focus on expands right?
When you go after things that scare you, you’re going to have losses – guaranteed. That’s part of the game. Every warrior loses sometimes, and it makes you a better fighter for the next battle. In fact, I used that warrior mentality I learned from the Moot Court competition to battle the New York Bar Exam. I walked into that exam as if I already conquered it, and guess what, that’s exactly what I did.
One way to NEVER win a battle? Never try. Try and try again and you’ll get a win in there somewhere, and that win will be worth all the loses.
My only regrets are not channeling that warrior in me more. There’ve been many periods in my life where I left the warrior behind, forgot all about her, drowned in negativity, big mistake. What I never regret are the times I have channeled her, because she always takes me to higher places, win or lose, I am always elevated.
Channel your inner warrior and elevate yourself!
Lastly, when there’s something we want, we often focus on the wrong fears.
We focus on fears of rejection, fears of what other people will think. We hardly focus on the fears of what life could have been like, if only we tried.
I remember when my husband first made the move to ask me out. One of his silly lines was “what does a jewish boy have to do to date a preacher’s daughter?” (he’s half jewish and my very religious dad delivered a guest sermon, once!). I thought it was the cutest line ever. Our future unfolded from there.
What if he hadn’t asked? He was not the most flirtatious or forward of guys. How different would our lives be right now? We wouldn’t be happily married, and we wouldn’t have a baby girl on the way. And that would have been a loss, for both of us.
So what if we focused on the fear of the loss we might experience if we didn’t try, instead of focusing on the far more superficial and temporary fears of rejection?
After all, the pain from rejection will pass. Our future is forever.
Now tell me, do you have something you’ve wanted to go for that you’ve been too fearful to try? What is it? Do you want it badly enough to channel your inner warrior?
Let me know if you need ANY help! Battling along with you!
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Photo: Midwest Raised