How silly is a fear? Let me give a really basic example that most of us can relate to: the first day of school. For me, the night before starting a new year of school was sleepless. My mind would conjure up a million questions, thoughts, and wonders. I was excited about my new outfits and school supplies. I was curious about who would be in my class and what my teacher would be like. I was anxious about whether or not I would understand the new educational material. I feared failure, rejection, embarrassment, and a million “what ifs” that only existed in my mind. My stomach was usually in knots up until the time when I was actually sitting in the classroom. Then, in that moment, all worries dissipated.
The thought about the first day of school gave me butterflies. Not the actual event. My mind was playing tricks on me. The unknown and unforeseen is unsettling to our minds in the form of questions that we can’t answer. We don’t know because we’re not there… yet. The moment we are in a situation, we are instantly at ease. We have no choice but to endure our environment. We give ourselves permission to accept our surroundings.
I experienced this same dilapidating fear for days before giving my first public speech in front of more than 150 people. Similarly to the first day of school as a child, I had nervous butterflies in my stomach and couldn’t sleep. I prepared. I practiced. Yet, every thought prior to the event’s manifestation made me anxious, nervous, and full of “what if” questions. Yet, the instant I started speaking, my anxiety faded. Like a wispy cloud in the wind – gone. The icing on the cake? I was well received. It felt great! I would have missed an amazing opportunity, had I choose not to do this event based on the mind-tricks of fear.
Now. I will be aggressively bold and ask you to admit to a time (or several) when you said “no” to an exciting opportunity due to fears of the unknown. Developing a self-awareness is key to overcoming fearful mind-tricks. Start by recognizing a time when you said no to the possibility of a dream come true (a relationship; a life-changing move; spiritual development; financial growth; self-love; inspired thought… etc). Then, consider these suggestions to help overcome those silly fears that, trust me, you are imagining. They are not real.