Life Coaching Tip: If you’ve ever felt paralyzed with fear and indecision after someone has warned you all about what could go wrong, remember this! Your fear is just an emotion that was triggered by a story—a made-up tale from someone else’s brain! Feeling afraid to move forward is NOT an indicator that something has gone wrong. It just means you need to adjust your narrative. My friend, never let fear decide your future!
While taking an early evening walk at the bluffs, my husband, Jerry, and I walked up on four young deer snacking on a bush full of berries. They didn’t appear to be in a hurry to move away from us as we approached, but all four eventually sauntered towards the woods.
While we stayed on the trail and watched them, they stopped and curiously looked back at us. Clearly, they hadn’t had enough experiences yet with humans to know to be afraid, but still they were cautious.
Then, one of the fawns who couldn’t resist the juicy berries she had been munching on, crept ever-so-slowly back to the bush that was only a few feet away from where we stood.
Eventually, the other three ventured a little closer to the berries, too, but they were much more guarded. We stood in wonderment and took in their cuteness as they continued to munch on their delicious snack.
However, when Jerry moved his arm just slightly, the three cautious fawns startled and darted into the woods.
The other fawn, however, the one that seemed to be especially enjoying her berries, kept eating.
She gazed into the woods where her herd had disappeared. And then back at her berries. And then back at us—seemingly not sure what to do. Obviously, her heart was with those berries, and she was sizing us up, trying to decide.
It was like she was thinking: Awww, these folks don’t look that bad to me. C’mon back you all! These berries are tasty!
We stood very still hoping she would continue snacking.
However, after a few seconds, she decided to heed the warnings of her pack. And she fled.
It was interesting to see how the behavior of the three fawns affected the other more courageous (or should I say, hungry?) one. Especially since she really didn’t appear to be afraid of us, until the rest of her group decided it was time to high tail it out of there. (Pun intended. Sorry, but I couldn’t resist!)
This made me think about how humans are affected by the fears of others, too.
I see this happen all the time with my clients when they start taking bold steps towards their dreams and aspirations. This can spark worry and anxiety in well-meaning friends and family, who then vomit their fears all over them.
Their loved one’s warnings generally sound something like:
“Do you know how many small businesses fail?”
“What if you lose the weight and then gain it all back again?”
“I’ve heard the crime rate over there is extremely high. Are you sure you want to travel alone?”
It’s interesting to watch this play out.
Typically, my clients who are over-the-moon excited about their goal plans, suddenly become scared shitless and want to flee back to their comfort zone.
Since I know change freaks people out, as a coach, I try to keep ahead of it. I make sure to discuss the possibility of this scenario happening with my clients early on—so they can recognize it for what it is—and approach their fears from a place of inquisitiveness.
I encourage them to ask themselves:
What is happening here?
What thoughts am I thinking, and where did they originate?
Are these facts, MY thoughts, or someone else’s opinion?
Alright, now let’s talk about you.
Have you ever been totally pumped about a new goal, and then someone bursts your bubble by cautioning you about all the possible negative outcomes that could happen by moving forward?
If someone else’s comments have paralyzed you with fear and indecision, remember that you’re just reacting to a made-up story—thoughts from someone else’s brain.
Feeling afraid to move forward is NOT an indicator that something has gone wrong.
It only means that you need to adjust the narrative. Consider what thoughts about moving forward inspire you rather than freak you out.
You have a choice about what you focus on and what you believe.
Create a mantra that inspires and/or calms you. Write it and post it everywhere—and say it all day long!
Here are a few mantras you can try out to get started:
*I am the boss of my brain – and I am unstoppable!
*There’s nothing serious going on here.
*Whatever happens, I’ll handle it!
*I confidently meet any challenge and boldly go after what I want in life!
*I am willing for this to be easy, energizing, and fun!
My friend, you have only one precious life! The only real thing to be afraid of is hunkering down in your comfort zone, remaining stagnant, and wasting your gifts, talents, and opportunities.
Go get those juicy berries! They are delicious, ripe, and ready to harvest!
They are yours for the taking.
Never let fear get in the way of your scrumptious future!