So dope, right? Such a good conversation and I can't wait to share it with you. I think it's launching in April, but we talked a lot about blogging, the vision of Hundred Blog, what scares me, how do I manage fear and what my dreams are.
Heavy shit - which I love obviously.
When we were talking, a topic that came up, was how I manage and overcome fear.
I'm not perfect, by any stretch, I have my things, and like anyone I'm affected by fear. But I would say (of anything) I have an incredible high tolerance in my life for fear. Fear of failure, or fear of what people will think....doesn't phase me (to an extent). I probably wouldn't have a blog if I really cared about what people think of me (there's lots of room to judge when you put it all out there!)
If anything, my MAJOR fears lies in the realm of career related to success and living my life to the best of my ability. Or not fulfilling my soul's purpose, aka finding and doing that 'thing' that I am here on this earth at this time in this place, to do.
Fear, as you know, can hinder you from everything you could ever want in your life. Fear sits hand in hand with anxiety and most of the time, the story you are creating around fear actually comes to fruition. What you're scared of RARELY ever happens.
One of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain, explains fear well.
I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.
Managing fear (from my perspective) is similar to the strengthening of a muscle that you need to consistently work out to strengthen and improve.
What else has helped me get a better relationship with fear?
Failing many times has also helped me to gain a better relationship with fear. If you fail, you're put in the situation you most feared. You see that you survive - and in the end are better for it. There have been a few recent failures (in the past 2 years) that really hit close to home, but have really aligned me more closely to who I am and what I want to be. (Will probably share what these are at some time in the future).
I've also improved my relationship to fear by putting myself in situations that have evoked a fear response, on purpose. Going outside your comfort zone. Like when I went to Patagonia for 20 days, with total strangers through a program called NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) to learn survival and outdoors schools being disconnected and camping the entire time. I was scared of many things. To travel alone, to disconnect for that long, to not talk to Justin for 20 days (we had JUST started dating and I honestly thought I was going to come back and have lost touch with him). It was crazy, but worth it.
(Probably doing a full post on that later).
In short, it's failure, knowing you survived (and thrived) what you feared most happened, and then putting yourself outside your comfort zone on a regular basis to gain confidence in your ability to navigate multiple situations.
But, less about me, and more about you.
So, when Kathryn and I were talking I touched on something that I do to regularly manage fear, that's easy and WORKS.
It's a 4 step process, all it takes is a notebook and pen, and really has been huge for me as I work on the blog and a few other things in my life that hit me hard in the fear department.
So here’s what works for me to manage fear:
Write down (in a journal preferably!) what you that fear is, or what you are fearful of. What's stopping you?
Next write down what will happen if that fear comes true. You’ll want to expand upon your fear here and describe in detail what will happen if said fear comes true. Again, be detailed.
Write down what you will do if that fear comes true. This one’s a big one, it's the actions and steps you will take. After I write down what I will do if my biggest fear happens..a little of the anxiety goes away..because now I’ve got a plan. So this step is super important. Make sure it's detailed and explains step by step what you'd do.
As the next weeks/months pass, make a mark to note if that fear actually came to fruition. If it does, you'll know what to do, and if it doesn't you can be thankful it did not.
As an example:
So I did this seriously, and wrote about a legit fear (it's very first world) but I am so scared about balancing finances and all the weddings I have next year. I KNOW - but I wanted to do this for real for you guys.
The fear management tool in action:
- I am fearful that I won't be able to afford to go to every wedding, every bachelorette party and everything involved in the weddings for people I love this year. I have 9 weddings Yes, 9 weddings. Everyone that has one, I LOVE. I see them in my life forever, so it's going to be hard to manage that with travel, gifts, parties, etc.
- I am fearful that if my fear comes true I will miss out on the most important days of my friends lives. I'm scared I'll feel left out, and bummed that I'm not a part of their biggest memories. What I'm most scared of is feeling distant from them because of it.
- If my fear comes true and I cannot attend them all, I will either have to prioritize which weddings I can go to, based on location and time. I will have to wear old dresses (I KNOW I KNOW) and the gifts won't be what I would love for them to be. I may have to dip into savings, or move from accounts I don't want to, to attend some of the weddings. I won't be able to spend time with people I love or see them get married. I may have to say no to being with friends because I live so far away and I can't make it work right now. I'll have to tell them in a way that they understand and make a point to shower them with love and support from the west coast. I will plan to go to each wedding, but possibly cut out 2 of the bachelorettes, to make sure I can do what's technically more important. I'll take it month by month, and use airline points for flights, and stay with friends in each city to save on hotel fare. I will make the gifts $75 and under, and always be thinking of weddings when I get an urge to spend. I won't take vacations outside of travel for weddings.
So I have this written in a journal, and for step 3, I really write out which bachelorettes I won't attend, which weddings I'll go solo to (without Justin) and where I'll stay for each. I'll write out which things I can take care of now, and with points, and be super thorough with tackling the fear. I'll also write, that, if every fear was realized, I won't attend any wedding, bachelorette, or wedding party. That's the full fear realized. I'd be left out, but, even writing that down, I realize that, LIFE GOES ON. Writing out the WORST that could happen - feels good in a weird way. It's like so that's it?
You can get as DEEP as you want to. It's even better :)
I hope this is helpful to thinking realistically about what's happening when fear arises, and how to manage that. Because, we all have fears and we all have our reasons for having them - but it's management of them that allows you to move forward in the best way you can.
What do you guys do to manage or ease fear? Any big fears that you have that you'd share? We're all friends here, ya know?!
P.S. It's day 4 in Vietnam and I AM LOVING IT. Needing to do a full post, but will update soon!