When we are at our best, we are flying, held aloft on an updraft of enthusiasm, energy and clarity.
Why is it we are so quickly grounded by insecurity, self-doubt and uncertainty?
Because fear creeps in.
In a few instances, fear is realistic and appropriate. Your child is about to dash into the road, your pulse shoots up to 170 and adrenaline floods your system. You turn on the radio in your car for a second, and almost hit the car in front of your. Your chest constricts, and your stomach turns over. That is healthy fear!
However most of what we fear comes from F.E.A.R. –False Evidence Appearing Real.
The “false evidence” comes in the form of stressful, unproductive, self-critical, or negative thoughts, beliefs or habitual ideas.
And the “appearing real” part represents a perception that for some reason we have deemed our reality despite a lack of true evidence.
It was artist and physician Dr. Lissa Rankin’s supportive husband who challenged her by asking “If you just took Fear out of the equation, what would you be doing?”
And, with thanks to Matt Klein, I repeat the question to you.
If you were able to put your fear aside, how likely is that you would:
• Change the way you practice?
• Give up practice?
• Embark on a new career?
• Start a business?
• Go part-time?
• Spend more time participating in your kids’ lives?
• Move to your dream location?
• Go back to school?
• Take an extended vacation?
• Take a year off?
• Go for the challenging goal you’ve always dreamed of?
• Play a much Bigger Came?
This is a deeply personal confession, but every time I imagine something bad happening (“What if I … and I failed/it bombed/I lost all?”), the image of Holocaust survivors always pops into my head. And I am always reassured that if human beings can survive the worst imaginable existence, then I can face what scares me.
What is your worst case scenario?
What could happen to you in this worst case scenario?
What is the much more likely outcome? And what’s your tolerance for that?
I encourage you to play with the all-important hypothesis, “Putting my fear aside, I’d be able to …” and see what freedom lies for you on the other side of your answer!