My girls love everything Halloween, especially the scary movies and haunted experiences filled with jump scares. This playful relationship with fear is fun and adventurous. My daughter and her friends are engaged in a game of bravery. They challenge one another to face scary, dark places. They bond together and fuel one another's courage to walk forward through the unknown.
The reality is that in our day-to-day lives, we could achieve more of what we want if we had a better relationship with fear. All too often, fear is an ongoing presence that dictates our life choices. It arrives uninvited when we are in uncomfortable and unknown situations, and our default response is to choose safety in the forms of silence or avoidance.
Consider these familiar examples.
Fear underlies these responses, and it sounds like this:
Author, speaker, and activist, Peter Block says that when we choose safety, we give up power and possibilities. [pause and read that again!] Furthermore, the only way to get better is to practice. Ask my daughter, and she will tell you that the more scary places she goes, the less scary they become. The first couple are always the most heart-pounding and require the most effort in terms of summoning her courage, even if she has been to them in prior years.
With courage and practice in mind, let's explore some alternative responses to the above situations.
Situation 1: Mary, I just want to confirm that I value the work that you do. I give myself tight deadlines in order to meet my customer's needs as quickly as possible. When I am interrupted, it throws me off my game, and the work can take me twice as long as normal. I support some freedom and flexibility for your work schedule, and yet there are limits to what works for me and my business. This is the third consecutive day that you arrived late without any advanced communication and agreement with me. Your presence is essential to my ability to maintain a highly productive work space free from interruptions. Going forward, can we have a conversation before you make changes to your schedule?
What would be possible if I didn't let fear stop me from advocating for myself?
What words of fear play in your head and keep you trapped in silence and avoidance?
Envision yourself facing down your fear and claiming what you want.
If you are like my daughter, and you prefer to have someone by your side to help you summon your courage and take the first step, give me a call. I'd love to help you let go of fear and Ignite Your Extraordinary!