Fear stops all of us, but once we face our fear we can release its hold on us. In my private coaching programs, I teach clients how to shift their fears so they can confidently move forward on their dreams. It’s the most inspiring part of the work I do. This month, I am celebrating 17 years in business for myself, and I have had to move through many fears to make it this long. So, I can certainly help you overcome your biggest fears too.
Last week, I spent 30-minutes coaching an aspiring entrepreneur to help her get moving again in a direction that inspires her. (Let’s call her Cheryl for confidentiality.) After our coaching session, Cheryl expressed more enthusiasm about her entrepreneurial dreams and committed to take specific and immediate action. I look forward to hearing from her again to celebrate her progress.
Here’s the message Cheryl sent me after our personal coaching session:
“Cassandra, you truly blessed me today, and I received everything that you shared with me! Before our call ended, I was feeling less fearful and excited about my next steps that I have delayed for so long.”
Here are two strategies that helped Cheryl make a shift from being stuck in fear to taking inspired steps towards her dream. I think these strategies will help you too.
You Must Face Your Fear to Be Free to Move Forward
Cheryl reached out on LinkedIn to congratulate me on my work anniversary. She explained how she had been paying for a business domain for five years but fear was holding her back from launching it. I thanked her and quickly replied, “Five years? Okay, incubation is over. It’s time to jump!” I offered a free consultation to help her get moving again.
I asked Cheryl to make a list of her fears and every concern she has about launching her business right now. I encouraged her to get the fears out of her head and onto paper because we only exaggerate the fear in our minds which paralyzes us.
Do you have fears about your safety and security, about the important relationships in your life, or about your reputation or qualifications? You must deal directly with these fears in order to clear the path forward.
Write down any fears or reservations you are having about launching your dream. Ask yourself, if I were to launch right now, what could possibly go wrong? List them all, no matter how small, unlikely or downright ridiculous some of them may seem.
This abbreviated exercise from my life purpose workshop helps clients dig deep beneath the surface to examine their worst fears and to uncover the root of what is keeping them from knowing and living their purpose.
Before our coaching session, Cheryl emailed me a list of 16 fears, so it’s no wonder she had stalled out. How many fears did you identify? Read over your list and create conditions to keep your worst fears from happening. Ask yourself, what would need to be true for me to feel safe pursuing my dream or purpose?
For example, one of the clients in my life purpose workshop had a fear that her husband would not support her dream. That concern alone can make moving forward feel risky. However, she had so magnified the fear in her mind, imagining her husband would leave her, her family and kids would blame her, and eventually she would wind up homeless and alone. This fear blocked her from taking even small steps toward her purpose. Once we got to the bottom of this fear, we created conditions to address it. Her condition read like this: “My husband and I have a happy marriage.” If this condition is ever not true, the client agreed to stop pursuing her dream to work on her marriage. The client also made a commitment to openly share her hopes and dreams with her husband to get his buy in along the way. When she realized that her condition was being met, she was free to move ahead.
Now, try creating a list of conditions to address each of your fears. It is more empowering to frame each condition as a positive statement in the present tense as if it were true today. Then, ask yourself, if all these conditions are met, do I feel safe and ready to pursue my dream? When your list gives you a sense of calm and relaxation, you have successfully shifted your fear and are free to move forward. This process is sometimes difficult to do alone and works much better with a partner or certified life coach.
Is The Big ‘I’m Not Ready’ Myth Keeping You From Launching?
As Cheryl described her reasons for delaying her dreams, I listened for the unknown obstacle hidden beneath her story. We tell ourselves stories about why we can’t follow our dreams, and if repeated long enough, we convince ourselves that we must wait for the “right time” or “perfect idea” to get started.
Cheryl said, “I don’t feel ready yet” and listed several reasons why, “I need more education, more experience, a partner, a new job, more confidence…” Still I knew if she didn’t tackle the myth of not being ready she would continue to sabotage her progress.
I came across a quote on a meme as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed. I asked Cheryl to consider it as I read it to her.
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now.” — Hugh Laurie
Basically, readiness is a myth. We are never fully ready before we act, but we are readied in the process of pursuing our hopes and goals in life. So, don’t spend your time overthinking your passions and dreams, instead move toward what you want to do. You know what’s really risky? WAITING! Time is precious and our days on earth are finite, so don’t waste your life waiting until you think you are ready. Trust that you are as ready as you need to be to take the next step.
- What can you do right now to act on your dreams?
- What can you do today to engage the audience you wish to serve?
- How can you launch in a small way that will deliver value, build your confidence and courage, and move you from idle to action?
- What story do you need to release so that you can move forward?
As you get going, be open to the lessons and insights that you’ll only encounter when you’re moving toward what life is calling you to. The “what ifs” that play in your mind will also be worked out as you take steps toward your dream. So live, take bold steps, make mistakes, learn, let go of fear, and start working on what you love doing, or it is never going to happen.
What are the things in your life that you’ve put off because you don’t feel ready?
I’d love to support you too! Join One Degree Shift to receive my coaching and encouragement as you go after your dreams. You’ll connect with others who will push you toward higher goals to keep motivated in life. And, if you get stuck, you’ll have access to coaching and a community of support.