Feeling Fear Is Natural. Listening to It Is a Choice.

I have to tell you what just happened to me.

So I get this text.

It’s from a woman I work with.

The text reads:

“Hey gorgeous! You have a few minutes to chat by any chance?”

 

What happened next is really sick.

I thought

“I’m in trouble.”

I’m dead serious. First thought.

“I’m in trouble.”

It was visceral.

And of course, once I have that first crappy thought, I naturally have a few more.

I stood there with my phone in my hand and I could feel my heart beat quicken.

You’d think after all the personal demons I’ve faced, changes I’ve made, and successes I’ve had, I would be beyond the fear of disappointing someone.

I’m not.

I assume the worst. Immediately.

It creeps into my life all the time and it is painful and so unnecessary. And you want to know something else that’s sick? I never stop and think that people might feel the same way about texts they receive from me.

No one bothers to assume good intent. We’re all running around assuming the worst, feeling afraid, and suffering in small ways.

Being afraid…that’s natural. Listening to that fear is a choice.

I’ve been trying this simple strategy to beat this fear and so far, it’s working.

The moment I get triggered and assume the worst, I stop, take a breath, shrug it off, and take action. The moment that you move, the fear disappears. Sometimes I use the 5 Second Rule to take control–mostly, though, just rolling my eyes at myself and physically moving is enough to make it disappear.

This morning, for instance, I felt the fear and then I stopped myself, told myself I was being ridiculous, and picked up the phone and called her.

Who’s Christa? She’s a woman I adore and the founder of See Agency, the company that manages my speaking business.

What did she want? My advice on a cool project she’s taking on.

Your fears have nothing to do with other people. They are inside of you. That means the work is to be done inside of you.

Number one: You can’t control the things that might trigger you to doubt yourself, feel afraid, or assume the worst…so stop trying.

Stop making yourself wrong for being afraid. Have a little humanity for yourself. Then shrug it off and focus on what you do have control of: your response.

Number two: The power is in you. Feeling fear is natural. Worrying about disappointing others is natural. Listening to those fears is a choice. You always have a choice about what you say and what you do. That is your power.

I’ve done a lot of work to improve my life, become a better person, and achieve success.

And, to take it to the next level, I clearly have more work to do.

Oh no, does that mean I’m in trouble?

No.

It means I’m human.

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