Fear is one of the strongest emotions known to mankind. I say strongest because it has the capability and capacity to render the human mind numb. While there is a strong emotional connection, fear is also a funny little thingamajig. At times we are not even aware that we are acting out of fear. It’s an invisible force, like a Ninja attacking out of the shadows and rendering us powerless and small when we need to be strong.
I’m sure this has happened to you.
It is only AFTER a heated argument with someone that you find yourself thinking about all the brave and smart comebacks you could have come up with.
And BEFORE an important conversation, you find yourself rehearsing the important points and playing them out in your mind with the appropriate replies and responses to make you sound right.
Change triggers fear
Fear generally pops up when there is a lot of change in my life. Anything that was good before and then changes can appear scary. Anything unknown like the future can give me the shivers even though I know that time won’t ever stop just for me.
The first step for me to overcome this fear of sharing my creations was to make it visible. That’s right, drag the fear Ninjas out of the shadows. Fully recognizing they were there and not trying to dodge them was a huge step for me. Because guess what? They will come back even louder and stronger if they are ignored. Especially when the fear is not directly related to what we are experiencing but to what we have experienced already. Uncovering these old stories and patterns is a crazy ride but it is interesting to see how the past comes haunting and as soon as you pay attention to it and question it the story and fear weakens or even fully disappear.
One of the worst aspects of fear is that it can hold us back from doing things. I’m really good at coming up with all kinds of excuses why I can’t do or try something. Most of the time these are things that have to do with creativity. Like writing or creating art -- the things that reveal something about myself. When I say reveal I don’t mean a secret fact but something sitting even deeper, in the most authentic part of me.
Sharing something personal -- like this blog -- is really scary for me. I had to activate some serious superpowers. That’s why I am 100% sure that we all have these superpowers to overcome fear. If a chicken like me can do it then everyone else can too :-)
Drag the fear Ninjas out of the shadows
The first step for me to overcome this fear of sharing my creations was to make it visible. That’s right, drag the fear Ninjas out of the shadows. Fully recognising they were there and not trying to dodge them was a huge step for me. Because guess what? They will come back even louder and stronger if they are ignored. Especially when the fear is not directly related to what we are experiencing but to what we have experienced already. Uncovering these old stories and patterns is a crazy ride but it is interesting to see how the past comes haunting and as soon as you pay attention to it and question it the story and fear weakens or even fully disappear.
Calling on courage
Fear of sharing something authentic in essence is only an unhelpful thought in our minds. We are afraid of what other people might think of our creation and us and worry about being shamed or ridiculed. In short, unloved. The superpower we need to reach for is courage. Lots and lots of courage. The courage to face our worst-case scenario -- that is playing out in our mind -- head-on.
“Have you ever looked fear in the face and said I just don’t care”
by Song Lyrics by Pink
This is something that runs through my head on a daily basis. Yes, I absolutely worry too much about anything and everything. This is the hardest part, to look fear in the face. Drag the Ninja out of the shadow and really see what it is that we are really afraid of. The good thing is most of the time that is already enough to weaken their hold and make them go away. Only the really persistent ones need extra treatment.
Sometimes the fear story in our mind is persistent. In this case, we actively have to step in with lots of courage in our backpacks and change the story. If you are not a Harry Potter fan forgive me for this example, but it brings this process of changing the story in our head to life beautiful. While performing the Riddikulus spell the students in Hogwarts had to imagine their worst fear in their minds and then turn it into something funny. By changing the story in their head the fear turned into laughter.
Let’s say you want to start a new creative hobby and you are stalling. You don’t want to go to a class and discover in front of everyone that you have no creative talent or that your instructor or teacher might even laugh at your attempts and put you into the completely talent-free file. That is scary!!! Am I right? And for that reason, you keep delaying signing up and never get started.
A good way to start is to tackle your excuses. Ask the question who is really stopping me from getting started? The answer is always YOU. Don’t blame your work hours, family responsibilities, or that you simply don’t have time. Free time never ever comes around on its own. That is a universal law. You always, always, always have to actively take it. Actively make time for things that you care about. This is how the world and its people know what we are all about. We take time for the things we love doing, for our interests. That’s how we meet people who have the same interests or stay away from the people who don’t share the same interests. E.g. Can’t meet you today I have art/dance/magic class today.
When all the excuses are cleared, you took the time, and now you are about to leave the house to go and attend class not so much feeling like a superhero but more like hiding under your duvet. Now what?
Summon up some courage, stand in front of the mirror, and say out loud what it is that you are afraid of. In many cases this is summed up by “I am afraid I am not good enough” and therefore nobody likes me and I might get laughed at. For some people just saying this out loud or recognising that this is the story that plays out in their minds is enough to trigger a loving response. “Hey, I’m just a beginner I’m bound to make all the mistakes there are to make” or “When they laugh I just laugh with them. Humour is the greatest cure” (see Riddikulus Spell)
For others this might not work and facing a fear like this will only make the anxiety rise. It certainly would for me, so here is a little tip that helped me out. I like to remind myself that there is one thing that all the people in this world have in common and that is wanting to be loved and accepted for who they are. So when I find myself afraid that I might not be accepted the way I am then this extra superpower springs to action. I set the intention to meet other people the way I would like to be met. I try to see them with the same fears as I have. That might actually be true for some of them and if you are sharing the experience with your fellow humans, things are not so scary anymore.
Another good superpower is to remember that you can never, never ever please everyone or have everyone like you and that is O.K. Imagine all humans on this earth would like the same things, there would be no variety or creativity.
The one magic ingredient
All this conquering of fears can only happen with one magical ingredient and that is willingness. We need to have a sense of adventure when we go out into the field of fears. There needs to be a curiosity that drives us to make the fear Ninjas visible and overcome the obstacles hidden behind them. But there is no bigger power in the world than love, so if we keep connecting back and remember what it is that we love doing, what we try to accomplish we can easily turn into superheroes and step into our power.
There are bigger and smaller fears. Being afraid of changing the brand of coffee that you drink is different in size than the fear of quitting your job to follow your dreams. But starting small and working your way up. Practicing your fear-fighting superpowers every day will bring a lot more clarity and freedom into your life. It sure did for me. Sometimes it just feels so good to look fear in the face and say, “I just don’t care”
So if you have been putting off joining that dance-fitness class for some reason then activate your superpowers. Drag those fear Ninjas out of the shadows, tell yourself a different story, and let’s get dancing!
You can book your free class here!
I can’t wait to dance with you!