Fear. We all have it. It’s our constant companion in life and in business. Yet it doesn’t need to be in the driver’s seats. You are in control, not your fear.
I’ve recently taken up paddle boarding. I love being out on the water yet when I’m standing on that board I can feel my body tensing up with the fear. Of falling off? Hurting myself? Making a fool of myself?
Today I had a chat with fear. It went something like this . . .
Me: “Let’s go paddle boarding again!”
Fear: “Your legs are still sore from last time, we should wait awhile.”
Me: “It’s okay, that’s simply muscle soreness as I haven’t used my thigh muscles much lately. Using them more will mean they get stronger”
Fear: “It looks a LOT rougher than the first time. You could fall. We should wait awhile.”
Me: “It’s okay. The instructor is really experienced and he wouldn’t take us out if it was too rough. We’ll be able to see what it’s like paddling with waves!”
Fear: “We’re really high up on this board. I don’t like it at all. It’s so far to fall. We should get off.”
Me: “It’s okay. It does feel really high but that’s because the water is so beautifully clear that we can see right to the bottom. If we fall it’s only to the surface of the water and it will be really refreshing.”
Fear: “We fell off! I’m all wet! I told you this was a bad idea. We should go back to shore.”
Me: “I know. Wasn’t it fun?! That was a warrior pose that I was trying to do. It’s quite tricky to keep your balance. We need to practise more. The water is so lovely and cool.”
Fear: “I don’t like it. We should not have come.”
Me: “Remember Fear that we’ve had this chat before. You are welcome to come along on any of my adventures but you don’t get to choose which ones we do, that is always my decision. Nor do you get to hold the paddle, that is always for me to do.”
Confronting that voice can help you to see where fear has been in the driver’s seat. With business (and life) we are constantly having to deal with matters that scare us. How we react to them really is up to us, even when it doesn’t feel that way.
Have you had a chat with fear recently?
Photo credits: Aloha Paddle Club