Fear, if misunderstood, is such a debilitating emotion.
When I began my coaching practice it soon became obvious that the business and personal challenges that people experienced were almost always some kind of fear in disguise.
I noticed that when people were stuck or struggling – to get clients, build a better practice, make a decision or a transition – it was rarely that people did not know what to do.
In fact, the one thing we are not short of is information. If you want to know how to do something, then just Google it.
Michael Gerber, author of ‘The E-myth’ said:
‘Why is it that with all the information available today on how to be successful in small business, so few people really are?’
It always comes back to misunderstood fear.
If you reflect for a moment, do you have an aspect or area of your life where fear (in any of its many forms) seems to show up regularly and blocks the huge potential you know you have?
Most of us do and what fear does is distort our thinking and makes it unreliable.
Fear causes the imagination to run wild, filling in the blanks with scenarios that scare us. And because fear can feel so intense it fools us into making decisions that do not stand up to scrutiny or we get into a state of learned helplessness and do nothing.
Fear and financial planning
No one is immune from fear and our clients are in the same boat as us.
If you are in the business of helping clients to make astute life choices and plan for the life they want, then it is essential that you can help them see past their fears and think with clarity.
This is much easier to do when we have been willing to confront our own fears because it gives us humility and understanding. It gives you a genuine and inspiring story to tell.
Understanding the impersonal nature of thought
Fear becomes problematic for us when we take it personally. If we have a fearful thought and we think it is a representation of reality, then it can easily lead into downward spiral of limiting beliefs and anxious feelings.
But fearful thoughts are not reality. They are a made-up reality.
The conventional approach to trying to deal with fear so often fails because the very act of dealing with something means we think it must be real.
This is like keeping a baseball bat in your bed so you can bash the monster from under the bed when it appears!
The way the human thought system works is that you cannot separate thought and feeling. You have a thought and you feel it.
This is how all feelings work and if we read more into it than this then we are getting caught up in the illusion.
So, what is there to do?
Nothing. See your fears for what they are – feelings created by thought in the moment. They are not information about your life. There is no monster under the bed.
It is natural to to get caught out by our fearful thoughts from time to time because we forget how the system works and thoughts are very powerful.
At the same time, with real understanding, I have seen many people’s fears, often ones that have plagued them for years, fall away in an instant and they become free to create or do what they want.