What influences us to make decisions? For a lot of us, the feeling of fear can be a
strong motivating factor. Fears can rule our lives if we let them. All of our decisions can
be made in trying to avoid the things and feelings we fear. We can find ourselves
operating from a fear-based mindset without even knowing it.
Here are some clues to help us understand when we are allowing fear to run our life:
- We have a long list of things we “can’t do”. We have had this list for years. These
are things we “can’t do” because we have fears surrounding them. It could be an
irrational fear such as “I can’t dance or sing in public for fear of being
embarrassed” What is on your “can’t do” list?
- When we think of doing something new, we spend a lot of time imagining what
could go wrong. We get a feeling of satisfaction when we convince ourselves that
the new thing just isn’t safe, or practical to do. When we see someone close to
us doing something new, we jump right away to warn them of all the pitfalls. We
feel a sense of being protective in letting them know what could go wrong. Do
you find yourself having that “protective” instinct?
- We have been putting off dreams and goals that we feel very passionately about
for “practical reasons”. We talk ourselves out of dreams and goals because we
keep coming up with “good reasons” to not follow through with them. We let our
minds work overtime in thinking of negative roadblocks. What negative
roadblocks have you put in the way of your dreams?
- We have cultivated a long list of practical reasons why we shouldn’t do new or
unusual things. This can become somewhat of a systemic response to all new
things or ideas. It can become a routine way of thinking. It can become a cultural
response if we are not careful. Do you find yourself having this type of knee jerk
reaction to new things?
What are some of the things that we hold ourselves back from? Starting a business that
you are passionate about. Quitting a job that you hate or doesn’t serve us anymore.
Leaving a relationship that is detrimental to us, whether romantic or platonic. Entering
into a new relationship. Going back to school. Writing a book. Buying or selling a house.
Contemplating retirement. Starting a family.
What excuses do we tell ourselves? The business could fail. I won’t be able to find
another job. If I leave the relationship, I will be alone for the rest of my life. A new
relationship could just fail again. Going back to school could be too hard or too
expensive or I might not use the degree anyway. People could make fun of what I write
about. I may choose the wrong house and have regrets. If I retire I may not have
enough money or my health may fail. If I start a family I may miss my freedom. You see,
the excuses we can tell ourselves go on and on.
So, how do we break this cycle of letting fears hold us back from what we are
passionate about? Here are some tips:
- Recognize – Practice recognizing the excuses we make to ourselves as
fear-based: “It’s not practical. It’s not smart, It’s not the right time. I could get my
heart broken. I could be taken advantage of. I’ve seen other people fail at it.”
Each time you find yourself thinking “safe, practical, and smart,” ask yourself is
this warranted, or am I feeding into my own fears?
- Replace – Practice replacing your fear-based excuse with positive outcome
thoughts such as, “I can overcome any obstacles that come up because I have
perseverance. Timing is never perfect. I have the passion to make this happen,
Other people’s situations are not mine. I can only fail if I give up and I will not
give up. I deserve to be happy!”
- Reclaim the outcome – Practice visualizing the positive outcomes: “I will be wildly
successful, I will meet some amazing people who will enrich my life. I will have
some fantastic experiences. I will be happier and more fulfilled than I ever have
Keeping your mind free of fear-based thinking is all about mindset. It takes revamping
your habitual negative thinking to become a possibility thinker. Set out to work on
freeing yourself from this negative thinking by using the three R principles on a daily
basis. Practice recognizing your fear-based thoughts as they pop into your mind and
replacing them with new positive outcome thoughts and then reclaiming the outcome
with visualizing the new outcome in new and exciting possibilities. Practice seeing the
possibilities instead of the pitfalls.
One of my favorite quotes about overcoming fears:
“What if I fall? Oh but darling, what if you fly?”
Certified Women's Empowerment Coach
Kim is a certified Women's Empowerment Coach. She founded Vision PowerCoaching because, while working her corporate job, she discovered that the extra chair in her office cubicle was often filled with someone who needed to talk about their life. She loved listening to them and found that she often had an intuition about how to help them.
She is passionate about guiding women through some of life's toughest challenges, relating to divorce, health and family. She helps them to stop feeling overwhelmed with negativity and create a plan to find their personal power, strength and confidence in painful and difficult situations.
Kim teaches women to feel empowered and to come out on the other side of their challenge with gratitude and clarity!