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Turn Fear Into Power

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Fear is a powerful motivator.

Just wear a meat-helmet to lion training school and see if I’m not wrong.

Fear is powerful indeed, but hardly empowering.

In fact, when you think about it, it strips you of your power as it’s the thing that makes you run away, urges you to curl up into a ball or yells at you to just hurry the fuck up and blend into the environment so you won’t get eaten.

So how do you turn fear into power?

How do you remain empowered even when that fear is clawing at you?

Here’s my 1-2-3.

1. Know it’s there

Fear has a habit of either creeping up on you imperceptibly or jumping out at you from behind the door and shouting “Boo!”.

In either of those situations—situations where you’re just reacting to the presence of fear—it’s odds on that you’ll do whatever that fear tells you to do.

So know that fear is there. Know that it’s there at work when you have to step up. Know that it’s there in your relationship when you have to be vulnerable. And know that it’s right there behind you when you’re looking at making an important change.

Going on a first date can be scary, right? How’s it going to go? What if it’s a waste of time? What if they’re repulsive? So, when I recently took part in a TV Show called First Dates (where I was set up on a blind date which was filmed for national TV) I knew that fear would be there trying to talk me out of it.

There’s always fear, even it’s lurking in the dark corners

Don’t let it surprise you when you see it.

2. Know it’s okay

It’s easy to think that fear is unwanted. That it’s weakness. That it’s the enemy.

The fact that it’s there and can make you feel all run-and-hidey is reason for you to want to fight against it. But fear is no more your enemy than your toes are.

It’s just part of you.

The moment you cast fear as your opponent is the same moment you give it more power than it actually has. You set it up as the Big Bad, the thing that wants to hurt you, the thing to be overcome.

Faced with the prospect of a televised first date, I watched as my brain came up with all kinds of reasons why I shouldn’t go through with it. But I didn’t go out of my way to beat that fear, conquer it or overcome it.

It isn’t something to be overcome. It’s something to move with, because actually, all it wants is for you to be okay.

Don’t turn the experience of fear into a problem.

Normalise fear

Smile with it, reassure it, stroke it’s hair and whisper to it that everything will be okay.

3. Know it’s a springboard

When you see fear and know that it’s an okay part of your day to day experience, something odd happens.

It creates daylight between your circumstances and your response

There was a client who, when that daylight hit her face, decided to move to London for a career change rather than stay still out of fear. Another client chose to go deeper in her relationship with her boyfriend rather than follow an old pattern of holding him at arms length.

And I chose to enjoy that televised first date because I sure as hell couldn’t control what happened, but I was damned if I wasn’t going to be at my best while it did.

That gap, that daylight between fear and response; that’s where power lives.

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