Your heart pounds.
Your breathing picks up. You get this tingling sensation at the base of your neck. You may have a knot in your stomach, and the palm of your hands are a little damp.
You may even fight back a few tears.
Ugh. What IS this? What in the world is wrong with you?
Could be that you’re scared.
Could be that you’re excited.
If you’re in the middle of a growth spurt, could be that you’re both.
When I challenge my clients to grow in a way that I know is good for them, it gets really uncomfortable sometimes. They’ll smile at me and nod, agreeing completely that we’re on the right path. Yes, this is something they really want to do, have wanted to do, like, for-EVER.
Yes, they’re ready.
Yes, by golly, it’s time.
They sit still for a second, wrapping their heads around this Big Step.
Then there’s this sudden inhale as they put their hands on their stomach and get that OMG! look on their face.
That’s when I tell them to pay attention to the feelings coming up through their body. What they’re about to do feels really big, so they may experience it as fear. Sometimes, the fear is so strong it’s overwhelming. (That’s when the tears come!)
But wait a sec. Our physical reactions to fear, and excitement, are almost the same.
Our heart races at something scary, like peeking over the edge of a cliff, or stepping on the stage to give a talk.
AND our heart races at something exciting, like driving a little too fast on a fun, curvy road, or launching our first program on something we love.
A few years ago I felt this, too, in a deeply powerful and personal way.
It was the first time I made a major investment in myself and my business. My coach was launching a new program that offered tremendous potential and required a significant investment on my part.
Everything about her offer rang true to me. I knew how good her work was. I knew how much I’d already learned from her. As I read about the program she was creating, a small mastermind for top level business owners, I had chills running up and down my spine.
I SO wanted what she had to give, but I was overwhelmed by the vision of what was possible. So I found myself sitting in my car, reading her encouragement in an email on my phone…
…with tears pouring down my face.
I felt like a blithering fool, but I couldn’t help it. I was scared to death of what I could do. Scared to death of what I couldn’t. Scared to death that I couldn’t afford it. Scared to death that I wouldn’t fit in, that I wasn’t smart enough/ experienced enough/ successful enough to make it with a group of other entrepreneurs.
And when something that feels THAT right scares me THAT much, that means I was excited, too.
Excited. On fire. And terrified.
She got it, thank heavens. She understood completely. And she believed in me when I was not yet ready to believe in myself. I’ve grown a lot since then, moving on to other programs and even bigger dreams. Today, I mastermind with entrepreneurs from all over the world…
…And she still sends me encouraging words. I will never forget that.
Today, I see that same thing in the eyes of my own clients.
They start off with a bang, then they hit a rough patch. Or three. They run into themselves over and over, while I help them learn to see It and get past It, whatever their “It” is.
Slowly but surely, they turn fear into fierce, impasse into action, self doubt into (genuine) self confidence. Their lives begin to change.
They set boundaries and their health improves. They raise their prices and their incomes grow. They implement systems and the overwhelm stops.
It’s good stuff. Really good stuff.
Sometimes, you know, fear is a good thing. Sometimes it’s your Spirit warning you to pay attention to something important that you need to know.
But often, fear just means you’re growing.
Honestly, if a dream doesn’t scare you to death, it’s not nearly big enough to hold all of your Being, with all of your power, all of your potential, and all that you have to offer the world.
So, if your heart’s pounding, and you’ve got that knot in your stomach, while at the same time your self talk sounds like this….
“It would be so amazing to make that happen…but could I really do something like that? Me? Really?!”
Then my guess is that you are being called up and out of yourself in to something bigger, better, and yes, completely possible.
Yes. Even for you.
So here’s how to get through the shivers and shakes while on your way to Awesome. :)
When fear hits hard, we hold our breath – literally. So the absolute first thing you must do to counter the fear is to make yourself breathe. Consciously. S-l-o-w-l-y. Pull in nice, deep, long, slow inhales. Let out nice, long, complete exhales. But breathe.
2. Watch your self talk.
The doubt monsters really crank it up when you’re about to do something brave, don’t they? They’re a part of you that tries to keep you safe, but you no longer need them. Tell them you appreciate what they’re trying to do, but really – you’ve got this. They can go home now.
3. Script it.
One of the most powerful things you can do is to craft a literal vision for the reality you want to experience Now. Write it out. Completely. Emotionally. Colorfully. In detail. With certainty. As If it were already true. Now.
4. Seek out (like-minded) support.
The first thing you must protect at a time like this is your confidence, and it’s a sweet, fragile thing. Stay super alert to the impact of negative people who can kill dreams with a glance. Avoid them completely. Seek out those who get you – and believe in you – 100%.
As one of my coaches says, “If you wait for confidence, you wait for your life.” It won’t show up on it’s own — it comes through imperfect action. You already have the Courage! Take action, with trembling hands and shaky knees. But Act.
Because good stuff happens on the other side of terrified.