This topic is very near and dear to me because not only have I watched so many people live in fear in one way or another, run away from problems, create mental thoughts that cause blocks in action, not wanting to take the risk of the next big step in their career, in their love life, not manifesting what they truly want into their lives, thinking they can’t make a lot of money or be successful, but I have been there as well. When we are about to tip the life scale from something familiar to something new, fear and anxiety arises and we start to create this perception of “non-existent possible” danger. Why? Because we want to feel safe. Everyone wants to feel safe in one way or another. We are creatures of habit. So “knowing” and “anticipating” the next step in our lives gives us a sense of security. But we do this because we have been conditioned to feel that we NEED security, that we NEED safety, NEED stability, NEED knowingness in order to be successful and that it is important to have full control of our life and the steps we take.
But what if the thought patterns, and the previous actions we have taken are no longer serving us? Listen, just because you created or chose to accept your boundaries to feel safe, doesn’t mean they are the best or the right boundaries to get you onto your life path of success. Let’s get honest, to take risks means to go into the unknown. It means letting go of control. It means having ultimate trust in the Universe. But oh no….What if you fail? What if others boo your ideas? What if you get rejected? What if you step in a pile of dog poo? The truth is…the more control you let go of, the more control you end up having in the end. There is a reason we hear the saying that 99% of the things you think about which are negative or that you worry about, do not even end up happening. I was this person 100%. I worried about the “what if’s” like it was my full time job. And because of that I was constantly hitting resistance, until I chose to use these steps I am going to share with you in this article!
I see this a lot with people who are really good at a particular area of their life, they are subject matter experts in a certain arena or job and they stay in that comfort zone but they’re not completely satisfied in life emotionally. But in order to fulfill that emotional gap and become even better and expand further out, it means they have to enter into what I call the “danger zone”….learning something new, doing something new, going somewhere new, meeting someone new, changing old habits that no longer serve them, etc. This is where I start to see those individuals hitting resistance and entering into the mode of making up excuses. I call this the “bullshit excuse” zone. Maybe this is you! Can you relate? We start to create reasons as to WHY we cannot do a certain task, or have a conversation with someone, or get into a certain job, or get this perfect partner, or make a lot of money…the list goes on. In fact, my two favorite excuses of them all is, “I just don’t have time” or “I don’t have enough experience”. We start to push back against ourselves, our own thoughts and talk ourselves out of an amazing opportunity or getting a chance to meet the most amazing person, or getting a bomb job, starting your own business, whatever it may be. But the more we create resistance, the more that resistance will keep happening…over and over and over again. We get so used to our own resistance, that it actually becomes a hidden habit. What does that mean? It means you unknowingly make excuses for the areas where you need to grow but do not see them as excuses because you’ve been saying and feeling these words for YEARS!!!! And what happens when we do things over and over and over again? It becomes a habit!! And habits are difficult, not impossible, to break for a reason. For example, if you were asked to be a guest speaker on a huge TV show, you may start to go into panic mode, and enter into the area of fear and resistance by immediately going into the list of all the reasons why someone else may be better at this opportunity than you. They didn’t ask someone else to be on the show, they asked YOU! Or you get a promotion at work and you may feel that you don’t have the experience it takes to be in a higher position. I’m sorry did they ask your ten other co-workers sitting in the cubicles next to you? NO! They asked YOU!
~The Universe will ask YOU if you are ready by presenting opportunities in your life, the question is, are you saying YES or are you resisting? ~
So, what can you do to get yourself out of your own way, stop resisting, stop creating negative thoughts, and start living your dream, and living your purpose, and tackling these amazing opportunities? Here are six main actions that you can take in order to place yourself into the right direction of success.
1. GET REAL WITH YOURSELF AND YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS.
What is it right now in your life that you are afraid of? Are you taking a huge leap of faith? Are you starting a new journey in your life? Are you getting into a new relationship or maybe you are looking to have a big conversation with your partner? Are you moving? Are you starting a new job or opening your own company? Are you speaking at a conference? Are you going on a weight loss journey? Are you shedding old beliefs? Think about something that you may have coming up or something that you would really like to do but you’re hesitant. What immediate excuses do you use? We all have that go to safety net excuse that we use. But the real question is why do we go to this excuse automatically? How does it protect us? This is the time to uncover that hidden habit we created.
Now, if there is nothing that is coming to mind, and if there is nothing that you are about to conquer that is scary TO YOU and forces you to potentially go outside of your safety bubble then you are playing life way too safe. Life is meant to be about taking chances and taking risks. I am not talking about partying every weekend or taking real dangerous risks, I’m talking about growth potential. Growth is meant to be uncomfortable, but it is worth it. So why are you playing it safe? This is the time to get real with yourself. This is the first step to taking full responsibility and actions of what you are and are not doing. Who you are and who are you not being.
1. GET TO WRITING.
Now, take these fears and write them down on a piece of paper. There is nothing more powerful than writing down your thoughts and feelings. Being able to really visualize these thoughts not only in your mind but on a piece of paper will create deeper intimacy and connection with these feelings of fear. A lot of the time when we sit down and start to write a word on a piece of paper, multiple other words, ideas, and thoughts will start to flow in…so make sure to write them all down as well. When we place a pen in our hand, and then place that pen to the paper, we send a signal to the brain saying, “I am ready to get creative and I am ready to start letting go”. You’d be surprised with a little patience how many thoughts will start to flow onto that paper (or multiple papers if you’d like) that you did not even know existed. As you go along, you could even categorize your main feelings and then make sub-categories out of those initial first words that come to mind. Get creative with your writing. Dive in deep. With every word you write down, ask yourself why? Why did this word come up, and when you get the first answer, ask yourself why again? Remember how we were as children, we had to always know why and then we needed to know the answer to the why of the first why? Come back into that child like state and keep asking yourself why these words are surfacing. In the end you will see that all these words are connected to one major theme, even if you do not see it right now, I promise!
WARNING: This is typically the time I start to hear people making the “I don’t have time” excuse or “I don’t write well” or “what if I can’t think of any words to write down?” One word… RESISTANCE. If you do hit writers block, start out by writing the word “RESISTANCE” in the middle of the paper and write what it personally means to you.
3. LEAN INTO YOUR FEAR
This is the moment where we face the big bad wolf….our ego. They say our ego is not our amigo. It will try to talk you out of your ideas and feelings in order to keep you safe. The ego is a wonderful tool when we really do need to be in survival mode, but this is the time to get into your heart space, and out of your mind space. It is the time to get out of the thinking space, and into the feeling space.
This is where you lean into your fears. Take these fears and imagine the worst-case scenario to each situation that you mentioned in the beginning of this exercise. Your worst-case scenario can be completely ridiculous and out of this world. The point is to face those underlying subconscious blocks in real time, and in the present moment! Really feel and lean into those emotions. Meditation is a huge tool when leaning into those awkward and uncomfortable feelings. Meditating on your words and sitting in silence can really get you into the moment. This is the most important step because what we resist will persist. Read that again. What we resist, will persist. The more we keep resisting change, or facing a challenge, or not stepping out of our comfort zone, the more that the universe will keep giving you situations where you feel like the “world is against you”. This is the moment where you feel like the universe hip chucks you into an open trash dumpster. When in reality the universe is all for you, but it is on us to recognize that.
Also pay attention to the way your body reacts when you start to work with your fears. Are you tensing up, are you slouching, do you feel tired, worn down, drained? Do you feel resistance in your body when you start to feel these emotions of fear? Where in your body do you feel resistance? Do you get anxious? What is it about this fear that is causing you to have these reactions, these resistances? Your body language speaks volumes about your subconscious fears that you don’t even notice until you start to bring attention to it.
A really great exercise is to get a full body mirror, sit or stand in front of it with your list of words from step 2. Close your eyes, and read each word out loud and take a pause. Get a feel for how your body physically reacts to your fears. Lean into that fear, get emotional. And if you’d like go back and write down your experience withe each feeling. Then go back and make a list of words that are the complete opposite from the fears you write down. This time, I want you to stand in front of the mirror with your eyes open, and read the words out loud, and watch and feel the difference of your body language. Do you feel tall? Confident? Aware? Happy? Calm? Relieved? (Take a look at the chart below for an example of how you can create two columns, one for fear and one for embracing those fears)
As you get into these emotions more in depth, you’ll start to see that the theme of the words you wrote down is now starting to form whether you recognize it or not (the answer to the theme is the last part of this article..don’t cheat), and a lot of the time, this resistance comes from our childhood, believing something that kept us safe for such a long time, but is now not working for us anymore.
4. LET GO OF JUDGEMENT.
This is the part we all struggle with the most, not judging ourselves, not feeling guilty, not forgiving ourselves. Let me get real with you, feelings…LOTS of feelings will surface as you lean into your fears and into this exercise. This is the moment when you really need to honor your emotions, honor your body language, and hold the space to allow these feelings to surface. A lot of the time we will start to get into these feelings, and then it’s like someone hits the switch and the guilt light comes on, and we stop feeling these “fears” that we have created. This is where judgement comes walking into your mind like the Cool Aid Man kicking down walls. You may start to think that this is silly, or it’s not going to work, or “I shouldn’t be this emotional”, or “I am not emotional enough”, the list goes on and on and on. This will be the moment when you will try and talk yourself out of this exercise and go back into your comfort zone. Comfort is not your friend. Everything outside of that comfort zone is your best friend! But you must be okay with ALL your feelings that will surface; the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the beautiful and the ugly. Accept it all without judging. Let go of judging every single thing you do and every single thought you have. It’s exhausting. We are all imperfectly perfect.
A great exercise for this is as your emotions surface, whether they are positive or negative, start to give love to each emotion. Think about how you would comfort your friends if they were going through something upsetting. You would tell them something along the lines that it is safe to be upset, and that they are loved no matter what. There is no judgement. Do the same exact thing with yourself and your own emotions. When we start to face these emotions that are not so “positive”, we start to become less afraid of them, and understand that without feeling some kind of “fear” we wouldn’t know what love is. But the reality is that everything is love, we think up fear, so this is a great exercise to get us to break out of negative thinking and patterns and into the space of non-judgement toward ourselves.
5. SAY ‘YES’ MORE OFTEN.
I want you to start taking a leap of faith, start saying yes to the Universe when opportunities knock at your door. Now if it’s someone knocking on your door with a ski mask on in the middle of the night, I probably wouldn’t suggest saying YES to opening that door. Just saying. But in all seriousness, the NUMBER ONE step is saying YES to leaning into your fears. Say YES to those new experiences. Say yes to trying something different. You could start out once a month to committing yourself into trying one thing that is new to your life. Maybe a new food, booking that vacation, talking to one person that you normally wouldn’t, smiling more often, going on a job interview with that “out of your league” company, learning a new topic, taking one new class, getting a new client, asking someone out on a date. Whatever it may be, if it triggers fear in a good way, DO IT!
The NUMBER TWO step is saying YES to re-evaluating your boundaries, and re-vamping them often. You are constantly growing, shifting, evolving, changing, transforming…all those fancy words. Think about it like you are renewing your vows to yourself. And as you keep renewing those self-vows, they will change and become more intimate, more meaningful, more powerful, more REAL and less self-limiting.
6. HAVE PATIENCE
Although this is very self-explanatory, this is one of the biggest aspects of success, and change, and letting go that most of us struggle with, being patient. During the time of discovering our resistance and the unhealthy thought patterns, we learn a lot about ourselves, and to enter the danger zone of being out of our comfort zone means having some patience. It is absolutely okay to have one foot in the circle of the comfort zone and one foot into the danger zone…temporarily. Temporarily by the way does not mean an entire year or forever. At some point you will have to cross over to the danger zone. You must think, these resistances that we have created, are not something new, they come from years of old habits, old patterns, old belief systems. Most come from our childhood, like I mentioned before. But Rome was not built in a day, which means your new thoughts and your new healthy habits will also take time to build. During this time, keep going back to your list that you wrote down, and re-vamp it, re-work it, keep diving in deeper into those emotions until you finally see that the only person standing in your own way is yourself!
Remember I wrote that there would be a theme which you will start to see from all these words that you wrote down from step 2? That theme is called you getting in your own way of success! You choose to create success, no one else, it begins with you! Take those risks, say yes more often, lean into those fears, and most of all….