In today’s episode, I’m sharing my experience with feeling the fear and doing it anyway. There are also some stories of me feeling oh so afraid and in the process, doing the things that I am now most proud of. Also sharing a visualization exercise that I use to ground myself whenever fear-based responses show up for me.
Links that I mentioned:
- Work with me: 1:1 coaching and mentoring for creatives
- Group program: Embrace
- Book a free 15-min discovery call with me
- Sign up to the fortnightly letters
- Connect with me on instagram @hirasahmed
Transcript of the episode:
Okay, so let’s talk about our good old friend fear today.
We all feel afraid from time to time. Fear especially comes up when we are trying something that is out of our comfort zone. Something new that we haven’t tried before. Something that we are not used to doing. Something that requires us to take a leap. Something that makes us vulnerable to feel embarrassment, hurt, or failure. Our brains are wired in a way to keep us safe at all costs, no matter what. This fight or flight response was developed in the early stages of our evolution as conscious beings. It was necessary to keep us safe out in the wild. The circumstances have changed so drastically since then. But this way of dealing with the unknown or uncertain comes up hasn’t changed much. It comes up every time we try something new. I don’t think there is such a thing as fearless. You can fear comma less but you can’t totally be fearless. This is the lesson that I’ve learned that you’ll feel the fear but you must do it anyway. That is the only way through. If we sit around and wait for it to pass – wait for a time when we won’t feel so afraid any more – we might be waiting forever. We’ll always feel afraid. But I think here we also need to be mindful of our comfort zones and stretch them little by little and build that confidence and courage to keep going brick by brick.
I was thinking about the things I count as milestones or achievements in my business. Everything that I have done so far that I am really proud of I did it feeling afraid. Scared. Teaching myself how to make a website, writing a consistent newsletter for more than a year and a half, starting to write and share on the blog, sharing things on Instagram, showing my face on insta stories, sharing what I had to offer, my services on these platforms, inviting people over for group programs and communities to build our businesses together and getting my first coaching clients, starting this podcast, asking people to come, have a chat with me and share their stories. This second season where it feels like I am claiming my own voice. You get the idea.
Every single time I felt afraid. It was very uncomfortable. It took me hardly a minute there to share all these milestones with you but I am at this for more than two and a half years. Some things took way longer than I expected. I had to wrestle with my fears to start showing up, sharing my voice and my story and my work and my services.
I am talking about faking it till you make it – I am talking about being in conversation with it, being really honest with yourself, and taking small steps and collecting evidence along the way that it is possible for you to do this. It is possible for you to show up despite feeling afraid. It is possible for you to feel confident.
I am not even talking about big things only. It can be applied to big things but it can be small but has a big impact on your personal life or your creative work.
The one outstanding example from my journey is this podcast. I have had the idea for it for more than 2 years before I launched it in November 2019. I certainly was feeling that fear at that time a lot more. What kept me from taking action and making it happen was that same fear of the unknown. And when I finally started taking action steps towards making it happen – those fears were louder than ever before. But here’s the catch – those fears were louder than ever before but so was my understanding of them. I’ve come a long way and this is what I’ve learned so far. It is oh so normal to feel afraid. We are all feeling these fears every now and then. I’m not alone in this and neither are you. But most importantly, I’ve learned that there is a way to learn to feel these fears and keep going instead of denying, avoiding or numbing those fear-based responses.
So, how do I deal with this?
I use a visualization exercise that I’d like to share with you too today.
This is exactly how I now deal with this:
Whenever that heavy feeling comes in, I welcome it. I feel that anxiety. I take a pause to really feel it. I sit with it.
**I remind myself that it is safe for me to feel unsafe and expand my comfort zone.**
The dialogue in my mind goes something like this: Oh, I am feeling the fear. It is scary. I am feeling it. I am feeling it. I definitely am feeling it. Then I start noticing it in my body. The blood rushing through my veins, the sinking heart, clenched jaws, or sweaty palms. I simply sit there and acknowledge it all. Simply acknowledging it and allowing myself to feel it holds space for me to visualize someplace where I am in control of it. I picture myself standing with arms wide open and I let myself feel the air gushing through my hair. I can feel that chill in the air and on my skin… and my arms are wide open to embrace whatever is waiting for me on the other side.
If anything this journey has taught me is this – the moment the pain of oh what it could have been felt greater than those worst-case scenarios in my head was the moments when the real action started taking place. I find myself asking these questions, how will I show up if I was no longer afraid? What would that look like? I take note of that and see what’s possible for me in that list to put into practice. Small steps towards those big dreams and all those while feeling oh so afraid but doing it anyway.
I wasn’t always like this. I used to hide away and convince myself that it wasn’t worth the pain but I know now it is oh so worth taking those leaps. Your voice is needed. Your story matters. Don’t let those fears stop you from sharing that. Feel them. Share them. Find support. Reach out. Trust yourself and take that leap.
Consider this episode as a gentle nudge to reflect on the things you have been consciously or subconsciously avoiding to take that leap.
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