Halloween or Undas (Day of the Departed) just passed and what it means for most of us is all things fearful and spooky. Fear is huge in any practice that has to do with healing and helping, and certainly Life Coaching is one of them. A lot of the things that keep people stuck and unable to move forward or get out of unhealthy situations have to do with fear.
A lot of the things that keep people stuck and unable to move forward or get out of unhealthy situations have to do with fear
Fears, real or imagined, have a debilitating effect on us all, so it is in our best interest to learn and practice ways of getting past them.
Here, in no particular order, is a list of my fears and how I have conquered them or how I keep them in check. The examples are specific to me, and I don’t offer them as cure-all remedies. I merely hope to inspire ideas and to encourage you to manage or surrender your fears as well.
Fear of ghosts. I significantly lost my fear of ghosts when I lost my Dad. I figured that if my Dad is now a “ghost” and I’m not afraid of him, then I shouldn’t be afraid of ghosts. That said, you still won’t find me hanging out in cemeteries and other potentially scary places, especially when it’s dark.
Who doesn’t make mistakes or fail sometimes? I’m human, so I forgive myself when I commit mistakes.
Fear of looking bad or ugly. Literally, I conquer this by doing what I can to look good when I go out (nice makeup and a little planning on my OOTD go a long way), and by looking acceptable when I stay in (not too ratty house clothes, and some lip gloss and powder do the trick). When it has to do with not looking bad with work-related stuff, I generally strive to do my best work, and then not care too much when I fall short because, I did do my best under the circumstances. If there’s a chance to improve on the job afterwards, which there usually is, then I make improvements.
Fear of making mistakes or fear of failure. Who doesn’t make mistakes or fail sometimes? I’m human, so I forgive myself when I commit mistakes. Sure, after beating myself up over it for a bit, or after a good venting session, or a good cry, or some ice cream, or a movie treat, or a getaway—whatever it takes to pick myself up, brush off the dust or wipe off the blood… you get the drift.
Fear of looking or sounding stupid, or of being judged. The best example for this, in my case, is me doing countless interviews—as a journalist, so I’m doing the interviewing—where I’m either awed or nervous about my subjects (either the person I’m interviewing or the topic at hand). Solution: I get to know what I can about the person and the topic and prepare my main questions before coming to the interview. Preparation is my friend.
Fear of trying something new. If it’s something that excites or interests me enough, I just quit overthinking and muster the courage to do it. I find out what I can and when I’ve established enough trust in the people and circumstances involved, I simply show up and dive in. A big example for this is the classes and courses I’ve taken, namely, graduate school, various online courses and trainings, samba and flamenco classes, musical theater classes, improvisation comedy classes and the recitals or shows that usually marked the end of performance classes.
Fear of not having (enough) money. I essentially operate on “cash” economy, and only use my credit card when absolutely necessary or convenient. I remain open to best fit projects and clients for me—in both attitude and proactive behavior. Money is energy, and the way to keep it flowing is to love and respect it by using it well, believing in abundance, and sharing it somehow, because energy begets energy.
Fear of feeling out of place. If it’s about going to an event or occasion where I hardly know anyone, I stick to the one I do know at first, I bring a friend when possible, and I assume an open and friendly stance when I’m there, which more often than not, makes me feel I belong in no time.
Fear of missing out or FOMO. I know what I like and I constantly strive to make conscious choices. I stick by my choices and am mature enough to understand that one choice rules out others, so if I’m happy with and decided about my choice, then it really doesn’t matter what I’m supposedly “missing out” on. I’m good, you’re good, everybody happy!
Fear of success. This is a deep and big one, and for me, it has to do with coming into my power and embracing my soul mission. For this, I’ve taken the risk of switching careers, slowly but surely, and keeping myself on track and motivated through various means while I’m at it. This is all about belief in my capabilities and my calling, and faith in a Higher Power and knowing that the Universe has got my back. It’s about self-love, self-confidence and deservingness.
Fear of hell and fear of God. I know this could be a “sensitive” one, but I’m putting it out here just the same. Here’s what I mean by it: I no longer believe in a fire-and-brimstone-kind of hell, nor do I believe in a punishing God whom I should fear. I believe God is Love and in nonjudgment, and that life is about knowing, experiencing and creating what I came into this world for and making the best of it. I don’t enter into arguments about other people’s religious beliefs, and I don’t impose my spiritual values on anyone. Whatever makes each one happy and a better person, cheers to that!
Fear of falling in love. I have come to learn and accept that the road to true love is fraught with disappointments, frustrations, loss… pain, in other words. Love and loves trigger us, bring out our best and worst, and hold a mirror to our strengths and weaknesses… Hence, all the potential drama. I deal with this fear by a combination of things: I am clear about and exercise my boundaries; I say “no” when needed and “enough” when it’s time; I exercise a lot of self-love before, during and after relationships; and I constantly work to be the person who I wish to attract into my life (Law of Attraction is real, and we can’t fool the Universe).
When it comes to heartache and heartbreak, I deal with it, I heal and I date anew. It all works out, trust me (wink, wink).
Fear of growing old alone. First of all, alone is a state of mind. I have family and friends, and so many other people wanting, willing and able to spend time with me, and help me with my needs if I ask. It’s really about maintaining connections, nurturing relationships and keeping communication lines open. Plus, I believe in the spiritual realm, which means I know I am surrounded by angels, and God is just a prayer away. On the physical plane, I prepare for old age as I’m able, such as through insurance, keeping my affairs in order and living a healthy, comfortable life in the now.
It’s really about maintaining connections, nurturing relationships and keeping communication lines open.
Fear of disaster, crime, death, the unknown. I lump these together because the ultimate fear in these items is death or the unknown. I alleviate this by thinking of my dearly departed (thinking of them as having paved the way, and also of being there to welcome me when it’s my turn), and believing in God or a Higher Power and my soul, which transcends my physical body. I keep these fears at bay by being alert and striving to keep safe; having a disaster preparedness/emergency kit at home; and focusing on life (not death)—remembering that it’s short, living in the moment and constantly working on my goals.
Fear is a choice, and when something is really important to me, I choose to be brave. I choose to have faith and to trust.
No one can be completely fearless ever, and therein lies the challenge and the beauty. There are always ways and means, and people to help us if we wish to get unstuck from a particular fear.
Bear in mind that when we choose fear, it’s usually synonymous to choosing procrastination — coming up with all the reasons NOT to do a certain thing; and chronic stress — driving ourselves nuts with worry, anxiety and panic.
I would rather put all that energy into fulfilling my dreams instead.