There’s this one fear… a small, quiet voice with a HUGE, resounding impact… and it’s not one of those fears that you can push away and say, “Thank you for sharing but I got this.” Nope… This is a fear whose primary mission is to keep you small. It works diligently, persistently and consistently, especially when you aren’t… It’s a fear that doesn’t improve with time and susceptibility to it won’t be conquered with age… and if you don’t know what it is, you’ll wake up one day only to discover that it’s stolen ten years of your life…
What’s the fear?
I call it the Forget Everything And Retract (FEAR) mental tape. It’s a limiting belief, an inner critic bug and it’s implanted in each and every one of us… but only comes out when we’re on the verge of stepping out, breaking through, or crossing over. Whenever we’re about to go after what we REALLY want, the thing we are called to do, the power we were born to step into, the soul purpose we were given before birth to fulfill, this one voice creeps up and asks a VERY scary question:
Who are YOU to do THAT?
Hmm… And, in a split second, we get lost in a sea of doubt:
- Can I really do this?
- Am I even qualified?
- What if I don’t have what it takes?
- What if people laugh at me?
- What if nobody cares what I have to say?
- There are so many other people doing this work. Why will my take on it be any different?
- Don’t I have to get more experience than this if I’m going to be taken seriously?
- What’s going to happen when people figure out who I REALLY am?
- What if I’m not enough?
- What if I’ll never be enough?
- What if I’m going for more than I can handle?
- What if this entire thing blows up in my face and I fail?
- Will “they” think I’m a fraud?
- I don’t know if I can do this. How am I going to convince other people I can?
And the list goes on and on… All that this FEAR tape had to do was ask you one question… and you’re entire journey to the other side of fear got jacked.
So what do you do when the Forget-Everything-And-Retract tape shows up in your life?
How do you battle a fear that can more easily snowball you into defeat than it can catapult you into success?
You do 3 things:
1) Identify the mental tape that’s playing as the insidious, crippling, manipulative liar it is. In other words, you might hear the fear but you don’t have to listen. Instead, say to yourself, “I’ve met me… and I’ve met you. You’re a lie and I’m the truth…”
2) Counter the lie with a set truth (or truths) that offer direct combat to the FEAR. Grab three or four powerful statements (statements that when you say them, see them or hear them, you feel your entire body lift with power) and SAY THEM OUT LOUD at least 3-5 times. Ever wonder why people memorize passages from the bible? Or why, at AA, there’s a common statement that everyone says? Or why, of all the lines in any Tom Cruise movie you’re ever going to see, two seem to stick out: “Show me the money!” and “You had me at hello…” and Tom Cruise didn’t even say those lines? Words are powerful. They create powerfully. What you repeat to yourself becomes true for you. If you don’t like the lies you’re hearing in your head, combat them with the words coming out of your mouth. As Hafiz put it, “The words you speak become the house you live in.”
If you need a little help coming up with what I call POWER statements, here are a few of my own:
Power Statement 1: (I use this one when things are going la vida loca in my life and I need to get back to center)
“The most important thing to remember during times of great change is to fix our eyes anew on the things that don’t change. Eternal things become our compass during times of rapid transition, binding us emotionally to a steady and firm course. They remind us that we, as children of God, are still at the center of divine purpose in the world. They give us the strength to make positive changes, wisdom to endure negative changes, and the capacity to become people in whose presence the world moves toward healing. Perhaps we’re alive during these fast-moving times in which, “the center does nto hold” in order to become the center that does.” – Marianne Williamson, The Gift of Change
Power Statement 2: (I use this one when I can feel myself playing small in the world but I know I need to feel the fear and play big anyway)
“Your personal power is not something that is going to reveal itself at some later date. Your power is a result of your decision to reveal it. You are powerful in whatever moment you choose to be.” – Marianne Williamson, The Gift of Change
Power Statement 3: (I use this one when I experience a setback or “failure” and need a reminder that ALL experiences are spiritual lessons. The question is, “Am I willing to learn that lesson THIS time around- or do I need to repeat the spiritual 6th grade one more time?)
“A Warrior of the Light knows that certain moments repeat themselves. He often finds himself faced by the same problems and situations, and seeing these difficult situations return, he grows depressed, thinking that he is incapable of making any progress in life. “I’ve been through all this before”, he says to his heart. “Yes, you have been through all this before”, replies his heart. “But you have never been beyond it.” Then the Warrior realizes that these repeated experiences have but one aim: to teach him what he does not want to learn.” – Paulo Coelho, Warrior of the The Light
3) Take the next step AFRAID. Fear becomes courage through action. The more you take steps afraid, the more you dare to go after what you want (even if the inner critic is whaling about how much you stand to lose), the less afraid you become and the less you listen to that lying voice. Whatever the next step is (big or small- you already know what the next step is- and don’t chicken out and do something that kinda scares you but not really), take it right now, right here, today. No postponements, delays, debates, or meta-analyses. Just get it done…
At the end of the day, the Forget Everything And Retract mental tape is going to keep playing. It’s up to you to tune your life to another station.
What is one thing you can do to override the fear that you aren’t enough to accomplish your dream?
When will you do that one thing?
Post in the comments section below and let me know your one fear-override technique and when (date) you’ll implement it (HINT: The best time to implement it is NOW). Can’t wait to read your comments!