Here I am, sitting in my basement nook, back in Roselle NJ, writing about my fears. If you follow me on Facebook then you know that yesterday was my flight back from Los Angeles CA. I’ll talk about that trip another time.
What stood out to me was that yesterday was the only time, in months if not years, where I was forced to live in the present. You see I’m always thinking about the future, even when I should be thinking about the “right this second” moments. I’m always 10 steps ahead, with my thoughts and many times with my actions.
Yet there I was, taking some sleeping pills (all natural and healthy ones, I promise) and then chugging down 2 glasses of Merlot like I was back in college. Just replace the wine glasses with Red solo cups.
To say I was a wreck would be an understatement. I looked around at the other people, going about their day as if it were any normal day, and I began to chastise myself for being so melodramatic. I’m Latina so it’s in my blood and given how I used cemented that stereotype in a public post, I look forward to the public backlash from my “peeps.” Anything to get eyeballs to my website right?’
But I digress. I want to set the scene like some Shakespeare dramedy where the world is my stage and the players are all in their own bubbles trying to get to wherever they are going. I stood out. In the midst of it all, the central antagonist was there petrified of getting on that plane.
From the moment the flight was booked, everything I had done led up to this moment. I lived it up in Los Angeles as if November could be my last day on earth. I acted as fearless as I possibly could. I saw the sights and tried to blend in like a local. I even got asked for directions, as if I were native to Los Angeles. I handled those requests like a pro and guided the lost tourist to their proper destination. I was usually right.
So why did I feel like it was not enough?
Why am I so afraid of flying on a plane, the safest way to travel?
The short answer: I still don’t feel like I’ve lived my purpose.
There’s so much more I want to do in life and that feeling of discontent doesn’t go away. So why would I risk my empire, my colossal brand, with something as dangerous as air travel?
Some say the fear of flying is rooted in trust. This is true but to an extent. I don’t plan on learning how to fly a plane in my near future so the thought of me taking on the reins for every plane I plan to get on is not only unrealistic but pretty absurd. Then it hit me. Right before the plane was getting ready to take-off, I realized that I’m afraid to launch.
I sit there hyper-ventilating then shift into a quiet cry then shift into dizziness then shift into full panic mode. I should have warned my nearby passengers. They looked afraid for me and I hate that I may have spooked them into being fearful as well. Too bad my mom wasn’t sitting close by. She would have just laughed and mocked my response to fear.
Now it makes perfect sense. Given how often I procrastinate the start of a new program, website, email newsletter, my life – that tendency to hold off taking the leap manifests itself with my fear of flying. What was the worst thing that could happen? Crash and burn? Well yeah. Isn’t that always a possibility? How often does that really happen though?
Now what? How do you manage fear when it shows up in your business?
1: Identify it
While it may seem like I have a fear of flying, it’s really a fear of plummeting to the earth. I’m not afraid of flying, I’m afraid of falling. That speaks volumes. Breakdown what you think you’re afraid of and isolate it until you find the root source.
- If you’re afraid of heights, is it that you’re really afraid of rising to the top?
- If you’re afraid of water, is it really that you’re afraid of tapping into your inner most self?
- If you’re afraid of vicious animals, is it really that you’re afraid of confrontation or negative reviews?
The only way I can overcome my fear is to identify it and jump right into it. I’ll go kicking and screaming but after it’s done, it’s DONE. If you look at what your fears are, I’m sure there’s ways to address them so that your fear doesn’t become a factor in your success.
2. Set it and forget it
Despite my fears, I went ahead and went for it…in advance. I had someone else book the flight and that was it. The flight was none negotiable. If it was then I would find excuses after excuses to postpone it. Then I will justify it with irrational thought.
The point here is to set accountability into place so that you can’t sabotage yourself later. If it helps, get someone to help keep you accountable. An accountability buddy works wonders!
3. Pair off fear with pain
Not in a sadomasochistic kind of way. The pain of not being as awesome as people think I am is stronger than the fear of failing. If pursuing your passion is that strong, then use that to fuel the courage you need to overcome whatever you’re afraid of.
Ever heard the saying “How you do one thing is how you do everything? Let that quote sink in this week so that the next time you find yourself holding back or hesitant about something, you can start to unravel what’s really keeping you from “Getting to Awesome!”
Need to attract new customers? New readers? Engage your tribe?
Sometimes when we’re looking for solutions we forget to identify the root cause of a problem. In doing so, we can better address the issue so that the solution is not only appropriate but effective at addressing your business needs.