Part of living an EPIC life is also not allowing yourself to be crippled by fear and self-doubt. Yeh, it´s shit. Yeh, it feels uncomfortable as hell at the time, but coming from a person who actively strives to do this everyday (somedays are definitely more successful than others, hey, we´re all human!), it is incredibly liberating and definitely worth all of the anguish.
You set your own limitations. You also hold the power to be limitless. Which do you choose?
Have you ever felt crippled by fear? I mean like genuinely stuck. There is a boulder on your chest and you cannot for the life of you figure out how to move it. You can hardly get your arms around it, let alone muster the strength to push it away. You are so debilitatingly afraid of what will happen next that you just sit. And wait (and try to breathe). But what are you waiting for? Someone to save you? Someone to give you permission to proceed (yes, you may attempt to move that boulder)? Someone to validate your decision or ideas (yes, I think if you inch your right arm a little further over and then push with your left, that should do it)? Permission (yes, you may proceed)?
Aren´t you tired of that life? Feeling pinned in because you are afraid to make a move without the input of someone else? I left my job two years ago because of was sick of being told what to do. It wasn´t in line with who I am and my purpose here. I wanted the opportunity to become that person and define what I wanted to do and when I wanted to do it. I wanted to be free. Have my voice. Listen to my own internal compass.
Recently I have found myself under that boulder (again). While launching this business, I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions. I have experienced the extreme highs, where I have been smacked with waves of beautiful creative genius and have felt so inspired. The ideas just seem to pour effortlessly out of me and everything about what I am creating just feeling so right. My vision so clear, the direction of where it was all headed; it couldn´t haven´t been more fluid and easy. But if I am honest, a great deal of the time it has just felt hard. Genuinely tough. Like beating my head against a wall hard. I´ve questioned every single word that I have written. And doubted my concept entirely.
Would anyone even want to read this? Hasn´t this been said before? Where is the value in this? Will this really help someone who is struggling? Who the F am I to even be talking about this kind of stuff? What do I know about life? Pretty harsh, ey?! Oi ego, why you gotta be a such a biatch!
Sidebar…this doesn´t just have to be about your career! Fear can rear its ugly head in any facet of your life. It can be creep up in your personal life, health, wellness, relationships (I´m afraid to leave this person…if I do ´x´ will I still be loveable), friends, family…the list is endless!
This boulder experience has sent me into a tailspin of self doubt, worry, panic, and all round sheer terror (a lot of hair pulling moments) where I have again found myself catapulting to another distraction. Through keen observation of myself and my patterns, in times of discomfort, I ALWAYS run for a distraction!
Hmmmm…yeh, I am not quite ready yet…maybe I should take another course in refining my voice? I don´t know how to run a business…I need someone to tell me how…I need another accreditation to be taken seriously…
And even though this discomfort has been really difficult to manage and step into, it has also been incredibly insightful and shown me a completely different side of myself. A side that I never really realised was even there, or if it was, it only ever made momentary appearances (like a beautiful spread of canapés instead of an all out all you can eat buffet extravaganza…or let´s get really honest here, it´s really a borderline trough feeding).
I never really considered myself to be a fearful person. I have gone after some ambitious dreams in the past. I moved away from my family and friends in Australia when I was 17 to go to the US and pursue an athletic scholarship at university (yeh that was scary…I was only a kid! What did I know about the real world?!), I then went on to moving to Bermuda for six years working in the insurance sector (maybe not quite as scary but certainly brought about its own personal challenges and relationship fears), and finally, after deciding that wasn´t really for me either, I decided to pack it all in, sell it all, quit my job (and fabulous lifestyle) to travel the world to figure out what was actually for me (financially terrifying!)…all sounds pretty ambitious (and scary) huh?! It was! But in hindsight, those times it felt comparatively easy.
So what is different this time? What has changed here? Me. It´s different this time because it is coming from a place of sheer vulnerability (and my ego really doesn´t like to be vulnerable). This time more of me is on the line here. This is me expressing to the world my True Authentic Self. And what if…
I have no net this time. There are no more masks, there is no more role playing, no more pretending. This is me. The real me and I am 100% on the line with my passion and for the first time really putting myself out there to be seen and to be heard. I want to help people fearlessly step into their authentic selves and start living the biggest and brightest version of their EPIC life. Yes, it´s a tall order. A big dream. And if I am completely honest with you, it genuinely scares the living shit out of me. Regularly. Daily even (thankfully not all day…how could I possibly move that boulder enough to get out of bed?). But why? What am I so afraid of here? Critiscm? Rejection? Failure? No one liking me? My friends thinking I´ve lost it? Having no money and having to live on the streets? Being laughed at? I will no longer be loveable? My head exploding? And in any case…I´m pretty sure (almost) all of these things have happened already in my life…and guess what, I´m still here!
Fear is such a funny thing because while it does have its purpose and merits, the flight or fight response in keeping us alive and thriving (yes, thank you fear! I still want to be here!!!!), it is also genuinely crazy. There are two very different sides to fear. The first in protecting us (no one is questioning going up against this here), and the second is the fear that I am addressing here, the irrational. The outlandish and borderline insane fear (mine is most definitely completely bonkers) that is desperately trying to keep us playing small and not truly stepping forward into who we really are. The fear that disdains the unknown. The irrational fear that prevents you from Illuminating Your EPIC and prevents your bright light from shining its fullest and brightest to merely at a dim.
What most fail to realise is that with fear also comes power. You have a choice here. When you find yourself immersed on the spiritual path, you will come to realise that while your irrational fear is discomfort, it is also momentary and can be shifted. You can choose to step into it or step away from it. Either decision will cause the fear response to cease. In the instance of stepping into it, it will dissipate (you won´t be afraid of it anymore because X has already happened…you´ve done it…high fives!…box checked…new fear to be taken on, please!). As for stepping away from it, the feeling of terror will go away in that moment, but the fear will still be there. Lurking in the darkness, ready to rear its ugly head at the very next opportunity. Ahhhh…maybe next time I´ll be brave enough…
A monumental shift for me in my spiritual journey was to learn to be an observer of myself in my life. There is so much power in learning your triggers and fear points. Discover them and then analyse them (in a non-judgemental way). What are they telling you about yourself? What needs your attention? What is needing to be heard? Is this really related to this situation or something from your past? Are you applying an old-mindset to something that is currently happening? Think, analyse, contemplate…Then, once you have had the opportunity to ground yourself and feel strongly rooted within, make a decision.
Are you stepping in…or bowing out?
5 ways to combat your (irrational) fear and cast aside your self imposed limitations:
+ Get still. Take deep belly breaths and breathe deeply and fully into your abdomen. Feel where there may be tension in your body. Feel where that fear or tenseness is residing. Breath into it. Put your hand of your heart and affirm ¨I am powerful. I am so much greater than (insert fear). I am worthy of being seen. I am worthy of being heard. My voice is my power. I am limitless¨
+ And while you´re down there…check in with your Higher Self. What are you being guided to do? Quieten that screeching scream of the ego. What is the calm and soothing voice of your soul saying to you? This voice will not lead you astray, but only closer to your higher purpose and will bring you exactly where you need to be in order to fulfil this.
+ So, your logical mind wants to get involved? Ok…let´s go totally left side of the brain with this. Contemplate what will actually happen if you step into that fear.Write a list if you must. Doesn´t matter how ridiculous the outcome may be (our fears can really get kinda extreme…I certainly have a really wild imagination). Firstly, is this an irrational fear or a fear based on your ability to thrive (and ultimately survive). No one is questioning or asking you to challenge any survival based fear here…I want you all alive, having the ability to feed and support yourselves. So if it is challenging your survival, please do not do it! But if it is an irrational fear, let´s explore this further. Imagine it happening. What would this mean? What would change? How would it affect you? What is the worst possible outcome here? Can you handle that? Would it be so bad that you could no longer face the world anymore? If the answer is yes, maybe you´re not quite ready (and that´s ok! We have to be compassionate with ourselves too). But if it´s no…and even though you feel scared…you also feel secretly excited for what is on the other side…then you´re ready! Now is as good a time as any…
+ Make a point of every day stepping into one of your irrational fears. Have it become a self-practice of yours. Not only will it help re-wire and challenge your decision making framework but it will also open so many doors and possibilities that you never would have stepped in because you were unable to shift that boulder. So be bold and step into your fear. Remember, it doesn´t have to be monumental every time! It can be as simple as being bold and slipping a stranger your number, signing up for 5K running race or maybe going vegan for the week (your friends might think you´re crazy?! So extreme…Shock horror)…whatever it is…boldly embrace it.
+ Trust that the universe has your back. You will be guided to experience all that you need to experience in order to evolve into the best and most EPIC version of you. You are protected and it is all unfolding just as it should. You are here to learn, grow and evolve as a soul. Remember that with the right mindset, everything is a blessing. Some things, while negative at the time, are preparing you for the best and brightest in what is to come. So get ready!
Even though experiencing that giant boulder on your chest occasionally is awful, the relief, freedom and liberating feeling that you get when you finally muster the strength to move it and gasp for your first full breath of that crisp and clean fearless air might be one of the most gratifying things you could ever do for yourself. You are free and you are finally being true to you. What could be more of a beautiful gift?!
So get fearless my friends (irrationally fearless, that is!). I´d love to hear about some of your own irrational fears and how you may have (or plan to) overcome them! You never know what blessings are hiding behind that boulder…
Thank you for being YOU!