Give Fear the Middle Finger
We all have fear. Fear is a necessary part of our evolution. It kept us safe from harmful situations; like wild animal attacks. It is still necessary, to a degree. I’m sure we’ve all been in situations when fear is a legitimate reaction because life threatening danger is eminent. But in day to day life, fear shows up in ways that keep us small. Fear tells us we aren’t smart, strong, capable…whatever…enough. It holds us back from living life authentically because we fear rejection from society, family, friends, or even ourselves. It’s totally legit, until it keeps us from believing in our strength, in our capability, in our passion. It’s totally legit, until it keeps us from saying YES to amazing opportunities, because the outcome is unknown.
Fear is totally legit, until it isn’t anymore.
I’ve noticed fear rearing it’s ugly head in the past year much more frequently. I think fear accompanies any big life change, especially when the outcome is unknown. I don’t know about you, but I like stability and knowing what is going to come next. But the reality is, even with a stable job, a home, and my health, I have no idea what is coming next.
Fear can not be ignored. It’s like me in a relationship when I feel like I’m being ignored. I only get more needy. That’s what fear does. It senses it’s being ignored and starts showing up in needy ways like anger, jealousy, indecision, procrastination, and self-sabotage (to name a few).
The only way that I’ve found to deal with fear is to face it head on and answer questions surrounding it. We can have fear surrounding weight loss, moving to a new city, breaking up with our boyfriends, getting into handstand; really anything that brings about change and uncertainty. For the purposes of this blog which is based all on my personal experience, I’m going to use the example of quitting my job to travel indefinitely as an example for how I broke fear down to it’s truth.
Step 1: Answer the Questions Fear is Asking
Get quiet with yourself. Fear is asking you a question, usually in the “What if…” category. Here are some examples of what fear was asking me:
What if I can’t find a job after traveling?
What if I spend all of my money in the first month?
What does it say about me that I’m quitting a good, stable job that I always wanted?
Those are just a very tiny sampling of the 100s of “What if” type questions fear asked me, I already wrote a whole blog post on those if you want to check that out while you’re here.
Now, answer the questions one by one. Here are my answers to the questions:
I’ve always been able to find work since I was 15, I’ll be able to find it again, but this time with a new skill set that only travel can bring
I will get a job (see fear 1) in my location and work until I have enough money to move on. I will also create a budget for each location. I will work for accommodations in hostels and hotels. I can teach fitness classes for donation.
It says anything I want it to say. It says I had the courage to recognize that my dream changed. It says I trust myself enough to know that if I made one dream a reality, I can do it again. It says that I am human and I can change my mind. It says that I made a decision about how to be happy.
Great so you’ve worked through the questions, but fear is still there asking “Why haven’t you called?!” This isn’t a one time practice. These questions will continue to pop up throughout the change you’re making. That’s where step 2 comes in…
Step 2: Create an Affirmation
Use your answers to create an affirmation to repeat to yourself every morning, every time fear asks you a question, or any time you need to find your resolve to keep moving forward. You don’t need an affirmation for every single question, although if you think you do – go for it. Who am I to tell you how to live your life? But what you’ll likely notice is that there’s an overarching theme in your answers that can be summed up into a powerful statement that feels true to you. A few examples
I am capable, determined, and strong
I am worthy and deserving of the success I desire
I choose love over fear
I can’t take credit for the third affirmation, I heard that in a book and loved it (yes heard, I like listening to books…and here’s where you can find it)… So simple, and so powerful.
Step 3: Put that Shit Everywhere
Do you notice that fear shows up at the same time every day? Set an alarm on your phone with the affirmation you need the most
Write it on your mirror
Make it your computer’s backdrop
Put it on a post it note on your fridge
Where will you put your affirmation?
Step 4: Literally Give Fear the Middle Finger
Have you ever given someone the middle finger? C’mon, be honest. It feels freaking amazing right? Likely, when you give someone the finger you’re angry, jealous, or upset about something. Guess what some fear based emotions are… ding ding ding… we have a winner! And when you give someone the finger once it’s done you can kinda relax a bit. So each time fear shows up and you start to notice anger, jealousy etc rising up…
I want you to picture the word FEAR in your mind, give it the finger and tell it to F off.
Then smile, turn away and keep chasing sunsets.
If you’d like to go deeper into overcoming your fears, I’ve put together a 7 video course, with a workbook, to help you get started on the path toward fearless living. You can find out more about the course, here.