We all have a relationship with fear. In some cases, it fuels us; in others, we might want to run as fast as we can in the opposite direction. For me, too often, fear (specifically, the fear of failure or not being perfect) makes me second guess myself. Has that ever happened to you?
The next time I'm ready to say Yes to a challenge and I feel fear start to creep in, I'm going to channel Stacey Abrams. A few weeks ago, she gave a talk to Chief, a women's networking organization that I'm a coach for, and said this:
"I believe in making fear my friend."
She shared that she takes her fear "out to lunch" to get familiar with it, and she painted an image of her chatting with her fear to put it at ease. Doing so, she said, allows her to live from ambition first, and fear second.
I'm going to be honest. The thought of befriending (or at least being civil to) my fear was a novel one for me. Sure, I coach my clients around their inner critic, and how to handle those voices of fear. We talk about giving our fears a few moments of air time. and understanding that our fears were originally created to keep us safe.
But taking my fear out to lunch? Could I get genuinely comfortable with and allow my fear to be present and have a seat at my table?
Shifting your relationship with fear takes courage. It takes giving yourself permission to feel uncomfortable and to acknowledge all the parts of you. And it takes setting some boundaries. I'm guessing that after their lunch, Stacey Abrams politely thanks her fear and then steps forward into her commitment to bettering the world, rolls up her sleeves, and gets to work.
For the next month, I'm going to work on my relationship with fear, and I invite you to join me. When we feel a fear that might be holding us back, let's allow it, chat with it, and then step back into our belief that we can move forward.
Here's to you and your courage and capability!
p.s. Listen in to my new episode of my podcast In the Right Direction! I share a personal story about an amazing event in my family -- and the one coaching question that started it off. And stay tuned for next week's bonus interview episode with Men's Coach Ken Mossman. We discuss why it's important for men to connect to their emotions, and what often gets in the way of that.
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Well Thinking: Creating New Plans to Avoid Zoom Fatigue
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