When I was a kid, I was afraid of everything.
I would watch movies (even non-scary ones) and lie in bed at night freaking out about them.
I was scared to answer the phone because I didn’t know who was on the other end.
I feared going to school the next day in case my friends weren’t talking to me.
Being scared of getting older. Of what that meant, fear of the unknown or whether I would be able to handle it.
Crazy fears that my parents wouldn’t come home from work at night.
This stuff kept me up at night.
As I got older, the biggest fear I had was failure. Not getting high enough marks on my school and uni assignments, failing my dance audition, fighting with friends, or not getting noticed by ‘that guy’.
Wow that’s a lot to carry around. I’m probably lucky I didn’t have a nervous breakdown!
I’d like to say that my life has change a lot since my school years – and it has – but I still sometimes find myself paralysed by fear and failure.
So I decided to experiment a little and make them my friends instead. And I thought, maybe, this would help you too. Because you are wonderful, this I know, but sometimes when someone else admits something they’ve been freaking out about, it allows us to breathe a sigh of relief and think, ‘oh it’s not just me’.
Becoming friends with fear
“On the other side of fear is freedom”
I’ve decided to become friends with fear because I have been craving freedom for SO. LONG.
Fear is a feeling that, I believe, comes from our ego as a protective warning to stay away from the unknown. Our ego is trying to have our back but, in doing this, it is also keeping us small and trapped in a place we may not want to be any more.
Instead of fighting the fear, as we often tend to do, I decided to embrace it and take a leap of faith when I left my job to spend some time working on my business. A business that was not even established. A business that could not cover my wages yet. But by making fear my friend, I knew that I would find the freedom I was looking for and the rest would follow.
There is something really magical in facing your fears head on from a place of love instead of panic or worry or anger. It takes a lot of guts to be friends with fear instead of hiding from it or ‘taking it on’. When we come from a positive place, we are more likely to end up in a positive place. It kind of makes sense.
And I highly recommend it.
Be confident that you can handle anything that comes at you and watch how feeling the fear and doing it anyway becomes not only an excellent motivator, but fills you with a newfound strength you never knew you had.
Finding a friend in failure
“Remember that failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of success”
We’ve been brought up to believe that failure is a bad thing, something to be avoided at all costs. It’s time to get over that because every time we fail, we learn and grow and change, and next time, we’ll do better.
For the past few months I have been dealing with the fallout from the fear of failure that was instilled in me since childhood. Red crosses on incorrect answers, humiliation from not getting an A on an exam, the fear of not getting good enough grades to get into uni and then get a good job.
The constant looming fear of failure that I know has always made me feel within myself that maybe I’m not enough.
Now, intellectually, I know that failure is how we learn. But, as a society, we teach our kids that failure must be avoided at all costs. Instead of embracing how we, as humans, naturally learn by trial and error, we are socially trained to fear failure, which causes so many more problems!
And I’m done with it. So it’s time to add the idea of failing joyously to my friendship group.
It’s taken me a LONG time to get over this and I’m still working on the negative ‘perfectionist’ energy imbedded deep in my core when it comes to the concept of failure. But, I have decided that I want to befriend failure. I want to be so comfortable with failure that I learn to be the best I can be and that when the success comes, it will be so much sweeter.
I have to admit, when I added fear and failure to my friends list, along came freedom, joy, and relief. Relief that I am enough, and I am flawed and learning and a work-in-progress. I finally feel free to be myself. And that is the greatest friend of all.
So, are you game to make friends with the ‘enemy’?
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think OR give it a go and tell me if it worked for you.
P.S If you want to really get into it, I have three spots available this week for a free coaching consult. It would be a great chance to work out what’s holding you back! PLUS I’ve got a very special package on offer at the moment, if you’ve been considering doing some coaching and it would be so great for a conversation like this. Check it out here.