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Fear: The Obstacle to Opportunity

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Take the risk or lose the chanceThere are occasions in life for each of us in which we’re presented with truly amazing opportunities. And it’s easy to see the possibilities, isn’t it? It’s easy to get excited and engage the ‘dream machine’ inside our minds and let our thoughts soar with what could be.

And then…

We start to see all the things that need to be done in order to take advantage of that great opportunity. And sometimes… well, maybe most of the time… there are “things that need to be done” that challenge us. We’re not quite sure how to do them, or we don’t think we have the necessary skill, knowledge or resources. Maybe we’re cash-short, or we don’t think we know the right people. And fear starts to set in.

Fear is a good thing. Sometimes. It’s built into all of us, and lives in the most ancient part of our brains… the reptilian brain. We need it to keep us safe. Fear is the thing that keeps us out of harm’s way; it’s that mechanism that keeps us from stepping off the curb and into traffic, from putting our hands down on a hot stove; it’s that instant reaction which causes us to do otherwise outrageous things if we perceive a threat to one of our children. Clearly, it serves a purpose and we don’t want it completely disable it, even if we could.

Clearly, though, it’s outta control sometimes. Fear comes up with the flimsiest excuses to keep us in our personal safety zone… and for me, at least, that safety zone is pretty limiting. It keeps me from allowing my creativity to flow for fear of failure or criticism. It keeps me from completing projects for fear they won’t be perfect. And it keeps me from having fun because I someone might think I look silly. There is no doubt that fear is an oppressive task master.

So, as I look at the way fear operates, it seems to me that there are at least two important things.

First, is to recognize it that it’s kicked into gear. Like anything in life, we can’t bring corrective action to something we don’t know is going on. For me, the first thing I need to do is to be conscious and aware of the ways that fear works in my system. It’s only when I recognize that it’s “running” that I can move on to step number 2.

Second, is to become curious about what’s triggered the fear. What is it that I’m really afraid of? Most of the time… well, okay… almost ALL of the time, my fear is based in some egoic “construct.” Most of the time, my fear is rooted in the thoughts I think about a particular thing, rather than the thing itself. “What will people think?” “Will I fail?” “Will I look stupid?” Do any of these sound at all familiar?

So now that I recognize running in my system, and I’ve really dug down into the core of the “feeling,” I’m at a choice point. Most of the time, once I’m at this level, I can really see it for what it is, and dismiss it or work through it in some constructive way. Once I recognize the voice inside telling me that I should be afraid is, in fact, the voice of the 5-year old, then I can move forward.

Unless I can’t.

Here’s the thing about fear, and being conscious of it, and working through it.

Sometimes it’s locked so deep in our systems that we are oblivious to what’s going on. We’re just afraid, and we don’t know why. We call upon one of the 5-F’s in defense (fight, flight, freeze, feed or f [uh… procreate]), and it takes us totally off course, sometimes for extended periods of time. Sometimes we’re sidelined for way too long. Sometimes, the opportunity is totally lost. And the kicker is the reaction is instantaneous. We don’t think about it, we don’t activate it… BOOM! We’re in full on fear mode.

Here are the differences that Prime Potential has made in my life.

First of all, so much of the deep seated fear has been released from my system. The process has just dissolved it. There are significant issues which used to scare me into paralysis, that just simply don’t have that effect anymore.

Secondly, it’s allowed me to be present and in observer mode much more often. These days, when I do feel the familiar twinges of fear in my gut, I am present enough that I can start asking questions. “Oh, really? What’s THAT about? What is it that’s really going on here?”

And then I can work through it much more easily than ever before in my life. I am far better prepared to stand with my arms wide open and embrace change and opportunity than at any other time. It’s an amazing place to be.

So… does fear sideline you? Does it take you off course, or even derail you all together? One question we’ll ask clients is, “how much has fear cost you in terms of lost opportunity?” The answer is often really sobering.

We can help. That’s what Prime Potential does. It uproots fear in your system, and frees you up to live the live you came to live.

Please be in touch with us. We’d love to have a conversation with you.

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