Embracing fear, taking a risk

Fear rushes towards me. All of my cells scream “no!”

Don’t worry. I’m not in any real danger. I’m just sitting at my writing desk with my iPhone in my hand and my thumb hovering over the share button of a Facebook post.

I’m on the verge of putting my first holistic counseling service offer into the world and it feels like I’m about to step off the edge of a cliff and go splat in a way that not even the ever flexible Gumby could recover from.

 IMAGE SOURCE: https://shannoncrane.files.wordpress.com

IMAGE SOURCE: https://shannoncrane.files.wordpress.com

I don’t have to do this, I know. Nobody’s making me do it. I could delete the draft post, put the phone down and just walk away, or I could use the classic deferral tactic and tell myself I’ll do it next week or another day and that day will come and I can just defer it again.

But you see, this is what my heart wants:
To take risks even if I might fail.
To offer what I have to give even if there is no one out there to receive what I have to offer.
To support other sensitive souls through their doubts and fear so that they can step towards their dreams and callings and give their gifts that the world so desperately needs.

My heart has wanted this for a long time, but it’s my mind that has surveyed the future and identified all the potential risks, harm and downfall. (Risk management assessment is a particularly strong skill of mine that has helped me succeed in the business world.)

My mind protests loudly. It digs its heels firmly into the ground. “You’re not going any further. You’re safe here where you are,” it asserts.

For a moment, I contemplate not taking that step and I feel like this…

 
 IMAGE SOURCE: coachingforinspiration.com

IMAGE SOURCE: coachingforinspiration.com

 

Yes, this is what playing it safe can look like on the inside. Try the posture on yourself. It doesn’t feel very good.

Our protective parts will do anything to keep us safe.

They make up a lot of stories, often of the type that don’t have a happy ending.  They tend to overlook the potential for success, freedom, and joy.

They can speak very powerfully with authority but they actually don’t know what the future holds. Nobody does. The only way to find out is to go there.

Whenever we take a risk, fear can arise. It’s a normal response especially when we think of risk in terms of danger or uncertainty instead of opportunity or even thrill. Fear can be heightened for those who are highly sensitive like me.

I don’t believe there is a standard approach to facing and crossing these edges in our lives. We must determine our individual response each time we face an edge that is unique to our life and who we are.

Sometimes the response that feels right is to feel the fear and leap.
Sometimes, we must stand at the edge for a while dreaming into what lies on the other side.
Sometimes we must walk up to the edge then walk away many times before we are ready to take that step.

This time I stood at the edge with fear rushing towards me. I slowly leaned towards the edge of my known and unknown worlds, millimetre by millimetre. As I did, I came into closer contact with the fear.

I held my ground and just felt the sensations that were in and around my body as they grew and grew until I realised it wasn’t actually fear I was feeling.

It was my very life force rushing through me.

All of my cells pulsed with aliveness, not fear. It’s an aliveness I feel now in my body as I write about that experience and further embody it. It’s an incredibly strong power and vibrant light.

Fuelled by my aliveness not fear, I pressed share on that post and published it on Facebook. And guess what?

My world didn’t end. 

I didn’t splat onto the ground. I didn’t get the outcome I hoped for but nothing bad happened at all. Instead something very unexpected happened. I came into direct contact with my own life force and power.

Marianne Williamson wrote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

The way to liberate yourself from fear is not to turn away from it, not to bypass it, not to step over or around it but to allow it to be there and consciously build your own relationship with it.

Slow down here. Don’t rush. This is hallowed ground.

Be curious about about your fear and the sensations in your body. Is it really fear you are feeling? Ask it questions and check how true the response is. Dialogue with it.

Investigate your beliefs about taking a risk or achieving success.

Feel your way through it into your own power. It’s right there waiting for you.

Is there something you’re afraid of that’s holding you back? I’d love the opportunity to support you through it.  Consider working with me 1:1.

With love and courage,

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