Unmask the Fear

It was in my inbox this morning. A stark reminder that caught me in my moment of weakness: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Really?

Seriously, could you just not tell me that?

My shell of warmth has tremendous appeal – here I can just curl up and sleep, nestled in the warmth of my soft, fluffy blanket. Every ounce of my being wants to melt into this moment where I experience nothing but quiet, peace and not an ounce of stress. Both literally and figuratively, I’m sure we can all relate to the sensation where crawling out from under the warm blankets to face the chilly air and the unknowns of our day is incredibly daunting. Hence the reason for a snooze button or better yet, the magic formula we call procrastination. More drastically, the simplest solution appears to be avoidance.

Just as I finish putting up my defenses, I remember. Both literally and figuratively, I have experienced the sensations of regret, disappointment, loss and self-anger all in the name of my “cozy place”. Have you ever woken late in the morning only to face your day in zombie-like fashion because you overslept? Or missed that gorgeous sunrise that your friends encountered on their early morning walk? Or more importantly, have you watched an incredible opportunity pass you by because reaching out for it was just a bit too far to stretch? Anger starts to bubble within and you want to blame someone. Since you can’t find the appropriate person, you identify the real culprit…FEAR.

Masked as the chilly air or the monstrous face of the unknown, fear has a way of paralyzing us if we let it. When it successfully stops us, we come face-to-face with disappointment in ourselves, bitterness, stress, and itching dissatisfaction. What follows is the gnawing sensation that we’ve failed. We’ve missed our chance. Now we have to live with it. Was it really worth it to clutch the soft cozy blanket or cling to our comfort zone?

Having recently given up my job to pursue self-employment, I have come to know fear personally and while I wouldn’t say we’ve become friends, I am forced to engage with it every single day. To make that cold call or leave the familiarity of my office to boldly meet new people in the corporate world seems very intimidating. Fear tells me not to. Fear tells me to send an email instead – so much easier than having to face another person’s “no”! Never has the computer screen felt so safe.

Fortunately, experience has taught me that Fear is really a catalyst for a rich, fulfilling life. While it may try to destroy me, it ultimately becomes my stepping stone for success. The inner voice now questions the fear and recognizes that fear is really opportunity waiting to be unleashed. When something scares me, it’s clearly something I absolutely must do.  Gulp.

What does fear look like for you? Can you give it a name? Personify it? Embrace it, transform it and make it your catalyst for success! Your life and your purpose are yours to own – fear is of no consequence.

FEAR, move over…SUCCESS, you’re all mine!