About a month ago, I felt like I was drowning in a pool of emotional chaos. Fear, worry and anxiety were surrounding me on all sides, holding me hostage. I was breaking out in spontaneous crying episodes, not knowing what to do.
I say this to be totally transparent, to share that even the best of us have our moments…those moments that take us by surprise, when we feel lost, alone and scared.
For almost a month straight I felt physically and emotionally exhausted. My digestion was a mess, my sleep was compromised and it seemed that no matter how much I meditated, I couldn’t shake the discomfort.
I knew what was underlying all of this although I didn’t know quite why.
There is a lot of transition and change happening in my life at the moment, a lot of huge decisions that I had to make in terms of my business, living location and relationships – and with that a lot that could go “wrong.”
The fear of making the wrong decision and not knowing whether to trust my intuition and my heart was overwhelming.
I wasn’t feeling confident in myself or my choices. I wasn’t receiving the signs from the Universe that I usually did. Something just wasn’t right.
I was meditating, saying positive affirmations, getting out into nature and exercising – pretty much doing everything I recommend to my clients when they feel this same way.
But nothing was working.
Finally, I decided to reach out for support. I just knew I couldn’t figure this out on my own anymore.
In talking to a few of my closest friends, I realized why I wasn’t able to shake the fear and anxiety that was paralyzing me.
#1 – I was trying to maintain control over everything – which is impossible.
#2 – I wasn’t allowing myself to really feel into the emotions I was feeling. I was simply trying to make them go away instead of looking at them in the face and understanding why they were there in the first place.
#3 – I was trusting fear instead of trusting myself.
Through these meaningful conversations I was able to look at and understand my fears, let go of the need to know every single detail of how the future was going to unfold and give myself permission to trust my heart.
And almost instantly, I felt a huge release in my entire body and soul.
I realized that the discomfort I was feeling was my spirit asking me to stop playing small and trust that I could play big. I just needed to trust myself and my heart and surrender to the Universe fully, instead of trusting the voice of doubt that guided me for years.
When I woke up the next morning, I got a flood of inspiration around my business. I could finally see the signs from the Universe about decisions I was making in other areas of my life and I felt a sense of peace that I was so grateful to finally experience again.
Here are a few of the important points that came up for me during this process that I wanted to share with you incase you’re needing some insight into your discomfort…
LOOK AT THE FEAR, DON’T AVOID IT…
This may sound counterproductive, but when we try to stuff down uncomfortable emotions, the root cause of them still remains. Yes, massages and a funny movie might serve as temporary distractions, but the underlying thoughts and beliefs giving rise to the fear still exists and will come up again. When fear arises, take a deep breath, feel into your body, ask yourself why it’s there and where the beliefs are coming from. How are these beliefs serving you? What would happen if you chose an opposite belief? Maybe even write out a new positive belief. Take a deep breath in, flooding your body with this new energy and take a long exhale out seeing the fear and old beliefs leaving.
IF YOU’RE NOT PREPARED TO FAIL, YOU’LL NEVER SUCCEED…
Every single person that has ever achieved something great has surely failed along the path to getting there, but the only reason they succeeded is because they were prepared to do that. Most of us have this crazy idea that success is a one-stop shop and we try to be in control of every aspect of our journey because of this. But on the pathway to success, you must accept that you will stumble and fall along the way. It’s often through our suffering, mistakes and failures that we learn our biggest lessons and gain the wisdom to become the person we are truly capable of being.
NEVER MAKE A DECISION FROM A PLACE OF FEAR…
One of my good friends gave me a good dose of tough love and reminded me of this point, “Never make a decision from a place of fear.” Fear is the work of the Ego, that part of you that makes you doubt and second guess yourself. Although it may seem like your worst enemy, your Ego is simply trying to protect you from getting hurt and in Ego-land that means staying where you are. But if you continue to operate from this standpoint, you’ll never experience your true potential and the amazing experiences that are waiting on the other side of that fear. When I took a moment to think about the decisions in front of me, I could clearly see which ones would have been from fear. This allowed me to know what direction to go instead.
STAY PRESENT AND FOCUS ONLY ON THE NEXT STEP…
What was really overwhelming me was that I was thinking of everything that could go wrong. I was going way into the future and playing out worst-case scenarios over and over again. This is usually where fear and anxiety come from – the future. So the solution? Stay present. Look at what is going on in front of you now. Is there anything to fear in this moment? Most likely not. When you realize that, then simply focus on the next little step you need to take in the direction of your goal, instead of every single step and every single potential disaster. This will allow you to continue moving forward instead of being frozen by fear.
TRUST YOUR HEART…
Not what’s “realistic.” On paper, many of the decisions I made after releasing much of my fear would seem crazy, irresponsible and even straight up irrational to many. The truth is, I lived most of my life trying to do what was “right,” instead of listening to what I wanted. There is no guarantee that you won’t get your heart broken, you won’t lose money or that things will go as you planned if you lead with your intuition. But I do believe that there is always a reason why your heart is leading you somewhere and I do believe that it’s always for your highest good. You are on this earth to do magnificent things, but that can only be done when you trust yourself.
There is no such thing as fearless. However, we don’t have to fall victim to fear and anxiety every single time it comes knocking at our door. A great mindset shift to practice when you feel overwhelmed by fear and everything that could go wrong is to get curious about what you might discover along the way. Bring back that childlike curiosity that allowed you to experience the world from a place of excitement and wonder. Who knows what amazing discoveries you may find if you once again trust yourself, are willing to fall and are relentless to rise up again!