"Feel the fear and do it anyway."
I'm sure you've heard this, or something similar to this, before. It's one of my favorite quotes and I repeat it pretty much daily. As an entrepreneur and recovering perfectionist, this has become one of my life mantras to encourage me to take inspired action in my life and business despite my fear.
But how can you tell the difference between good fear and bad fear? If I "feel the fear" of jumping off a bridge into shark-infested waters, should I still just "do it anyway"? Is that somehow going to make me happier or live a better life?
What's the difference between fear behind something that should be done, and something that should be avoided at all costs, and how can we tell which is which?
It turns out there IS a difference between good fear and bad fear. Or, as one of my mentors calls it, "rational" and "irrational" fear.
Rational fear is the type of fear that could kill you. Like... jumping off a bridge into shark-infested waters, or being chased by a man with a knife, or walking into a dark alley in a shady area and feeling that gut instinct of "get the hell out of here NOW". THAT is the kind of fear that we want to notice and trust our amazing "flight or fight" reactions, which are designed to keep us safe.
The problem is that most of our day-to-day fears are not this type of rational fear. When was the last time you were desperately flailing about for rescue in shark-infested waters or running from a man with a knife who was hell bent on killing you (in real life, not in a dream!)? My guess for most of you is... never.
But there is another kind of fear. Irrational fear is any other type of fear you experience. The non-jumping-into-shark-infested-waters kind. Fears like:
The fear of not being good enough.
The fear of rejection.
The fear of failure.
The fear of what other people think.
The fear of success.
The fear of financial poverty.
The fear of quitting your job.
The fear of ending your relationship.
The fear of starting a relationship.
The fear of anxiety.
Our irrational fear is there for a reason. It's trying to protect us and keep us safe. So for that, we can say, "thank you, fear!".
But the truth is that we aren't going to die from any of these things.
We aren't going to instantly drop dead after we publish our book because of the fear of failure.
We won't go into heart failure after we ask that person out on a date.
We won't be eaten alive by sharks immediately after we quit our job (unless you're in Austin Powers and work for Dr. Evil... omg I can't believe I'm making that reference right now...).
The point is that you WON'T die from these irrational fears. You WILL be okay.
That is what's meant by "feel the fear, and do it anyway."
Trust that your desire to do, say, or have that *thing* that you want is there for a reason.
It's your Soul speaking to you.
Asking you to push outside your comfort zone.
It's your Soul BEGGING you to experience life a little more boldly, a little more fully, a little more bravely. For when we live in that place of feeling the fear and doing it anyway, that we experience real growth, real change, and real power.
So... what have you been most afraid to do?
What have your irrational fears been holding you back from doing, saying, having, or achieving?What has your Soul been trying to tell you?
And when will you finally listen?
P.S. If you are looking for more 1:1 support in your life, love, or business, be sure to check out my private coaching programs. I work with recovering perfectionists and people-pleasers who are ready to get unstuck, take back control of their happiness, and design an epic life. If that sounds like you, then fill out the form here to book your complimentary discovery call.