Fear. We think of it simply as the little voice in our head that scream when a spider jumps out at us from behind the television. The suddenly raised heart rate and little shakes that come with being afraid. But it’s more than that and can have a crushing effect on our ability to succeed in what we really want. It all boils down to this; fear is the one thing, unconsciously holding you back from being your ultimate self. Trust me on this….
Have you ever gone out with a friend or work colleague for drinks and ended up getting into a really serious conversation that results in you knowing them much better? Where that person, somehow, ends up telling you their secret motivation to why they were such a bitch to your other friend, or why they didn’t go for the promotion everyone knew they were destined for?
These conversations are often so revealing, and give us an insight into a person’s REAL reasons for acting the way they did. They often result in feeling closer to the individual, as you feel you know them better for the revelations. But it can also end with them blubbering into their wine and telling you how much they love you?! (Face it, we’ve all been there at some point!)
Why am I telling you this story? Well, it’s simple. Because there is a massive lesson here in our own personal motivations for doing the things we do. Some people refer to them as “blocks”, others as unconscious bias; but whatever you call them, they’re often based on ideas that we’ve been harboring since childhood. Moreso, they’re usually based on our Lizard Brain, which is basically just fear.
Seth Godin talks a lot about the term “lizard brain” (also known as “reptilian brain”) to refer to the most primitive part of our brain, where the instincts that warn us of danger when it lurks reside. This is so major psychological stuff, and I don’t want to bog you down with the why’s and wherefore’s. It’s just important that you know that basically our fear thinks it’s protecting us when we do scary things like, step outside of our comfort zone! This results in us feeling safe but not achieving the great successes that our conscious brain knows we should be grabbing with both hands.
So what’s the cure? It’s quite simple. Take your fear out and get it really drunk…. 🙂
I don’t mean literally, obviously! (although I am personally partial to a glass or two of red and a turn to MJ, but that’s a story for another day….) but getting to understand some of the fears and beliefs that you hold, which are complete rubbish and replacing them with real “truths” is a surefire way of turning your current striving into super thriving.
You don’t need to go out and get shitfaced and then sit sobbing into a notebook trying to write down all your failures.The key thing is to understand that these fears are there, lurking inside your brain, ready to jump out and sabotage you at the next opportunity. Recognising and identifying these blocks is the key to unlocking the awesome factor that your conscious brain is so desperate to let loose.
Applying the theory of releasing your fears “inhibitions” and then listening to what your subconscious is telling you can have huge impacts across all elements of your life. Think of these as some examples of when your reptilian fear actually manifests situations in your life that disable the next step:
- you get an epic cold the morning of a big presentation at work
- numerous, unexpected “problems” arise at home in the lead up to launching your new line of products in your online shop
- you fail to click “buy” on the course that you know, in your gut, will help you exponentially because you get the sudden feeling that you can’t afford it
- you act like a complete idiot at the interview for the “once in a lifetime job”
- you promise to make yourself visible, perhaps go live on social media, only to find your battery has died? (personal experience talking here!)
Any of these sound familiar? Self sabotage is literally happening to you all the time. From your brain telling you that you “can’t afford it/don’t have time/could never achieve that level of success” to creating tiredness and illness in an excuse to put off something important.
We blame this on life. On outside forces. On the law-of-sod. But actually, these things are usually manifestations of our emotions and specifically, our fear, that keep us nicely tucked up inside our comfort zone. All safe. And cozy. And stuck…..
So, here’s a few tips that you could put into practice to start getting to know your fear and conquer it once and for all:
- listen carefully to yourself. Are you self deprecating out loud? Do you say things like “I can’t afford it”, “I don’t have time” or “I could never do that”? If you do, stop it now. Just shut up. Ok?
- think back over the last week. Did you try to accomplish something that was a little outside of comfortable? Did you do it? And if not, why not? What were the excuses (you’ll call them reasons but they’re not!)
- meditate on the question – “what is holding me back” and keep a notepad nearby to write down anything that comes through
- free write after asking yourself the same question. Don’t think about what’s on the page, just let it flow. Read it the following day.
- become aware of your thought processes and be more proactive in overcoming the tiredness or “excuses” your brain throws up at you
I’d love to know what your fear has to say? Take your fear out drinking and let me know in the comments!