MIND

Are you already suffering what you fear?

MEL NOAKES

The Self Care Coach

What is it that really scares you?

What is the thing you fear above all else?

For almost all clients I work with, the single biggest thing that prevents them having what they want is fear.

Fear of change.  Fear of being alone.  Fear of being laughed at.  Fear of failure.  Fear of losing control.

So many of us are SO afraid of what might be that we never move forward.

But here’s the thing…often the very thing we’re afraid of suffering, is what we’re suffering already.

I know you long for change, it’s time to wake up and smell the roses

Photograph by Neill Kumar via Unsplash

What?!

Let me take fear of failure as an example.  I know right now, as you’re reading this, you’re dreaming of something.  You long for a change.

You’re imagining what life could be like “if” you could have all that you dreamed of.

But you’re terrified of trying, because by trying you might, just might, not get there and failing for you is just not an option. You’re worried what ‘people’ might think.  You’re scared you’ll be judged.  You’re also petrified that your own high standards won’t be met.

And so, you do nothing at all.

Because if you tried and failed, well you’d be right back to where you are now.

Which is exactly the same place that you’re terrified of being if you don’t succeed.

“Often the very thing we’re afraid of suffering is what we’re suffering already.”

Let me say it again.

What you are afraid you’ll suffer is EXACTLY what you’re suffering now.

And when you realise that almost anything is possible.

When the fear goes, anything is possible

Photograph by Julia Caesar via Unsplash

My clients’ story

I worked with Amy* recently who had dreamed of a different calling in her life.  She was stuck, frustrated and feeling unfulfilled in her current role.  It impacted her life at home, her self-esteem and her feeling of success.  When we looked at what was keeping her stuck she said she was terrified of starting a new career and it creating a job that left her feeling stuck, frustrated, unfilled and lacking in self-esteem and confidence or that failed and meant she had to keep doing what she was already doing.

Hmmmmmm.

I resonate.  For literally years I was terrified of losing control.  I controlled every aspect of my life to the point where it became a habit.

Eventually, the habit was so strong I had no control over it.  I was exactly where I had tried to escape – I was in a place of overwhelm and was entirely out of control.

Time to look at things differently

Photograph by Zack Minor via Unsplash and Lucy Williams at My Heart Skipped

So why do we do it?Have you heard the saying “better the devil you know?”Well, when it comes to making decisions for ourselves a part of our brain is constantly striving for everything to stay the same.  This is often known as our reptilian brain.  It is the oldest part of our body, it is the part of us that is pre-historic.  This part of the brain is SO concerned with your safety, that its entire purpose is to keep doing whatever it is that you’re doing that has kept you alive.

Although it’s a place you don’t like, you don’t want to be in and you’re trying to change.  The very fact you’re still alive and this situation hasn’t killed you, is the very reason the problem persists.

This ancient part of your brain is simply saying “well if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Here’s my simple 5 step process for moving beyond fear

  1. Write down exactly what you’re afraid of
  2. Ask yourself “what would happen if I did / had / was to become x”?
  3. Explore the impact that would have on your life – like really have
  4. Decide if the fear is useful or if you want to move beyond it
  5. If you decide to move beyond it set one small action step to take

I know that this exercise was both terrifying and liberating for me.

I’d love you to share your experience of this process in the comments below and what you plan to do so you can inspire others and so I can cheer you on.

*The name has changed to protect client confidentiality

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4 Comments

  1. Carol

    I find fear to be the biggest factor holding women back from the careers, businesses and lives that they really want. Great post Mel!

    Reply
  2. Mel Noakes

    That is so true Carol, and I know you work with women on this often! Fear is so often created in our own minds that when we explore the reality we can often move forward far more quickly and easily than we ever imagined!

    Reply
  3. Valerie

    I too agree that what scares a lot of us, is fear based and often when we dig deeper or confront what it is we think we fear, it often turns out to be irrational or unfounded.

    Love your new website by the way Mel, its amazing!

    Reply
    • Mel Noakes

      Valerie thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experience on this. It’s so true – when we really explore our fear, without judgement or criticism, we often realise that what we’re actually afraid of is not actually as scary as we made it out to be. And thanks for the website love – that made my day x

      Reply

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