Embrace Freedom By Befriending Fear

In order to make the big changes in our lives we must be willing to take risks. Befriending the fear associated with failure can be among the biggest hurdles when making the decision to follow a calling. Learning to manage your fear will help you to keep the possibility of negative outcomes in perspective, and the potential for flourishing in sight.

Dawn Gluskin is a life coach and the author of the book Type-A Zen. In a recent post on the Huffington Post blog, Gluskin discussed concrete ways that those seeking to make life changes can face fears in order to overcome them. She draws her conclusions from her life as an author, a profession that requires her to put her thoughts and feelings out into the world on a regular basis, sometimes inviting negative feedback from others. While she admits that receiving criticism is not the best feeling in the world, she says that it is far better than the alternative, which would be not to write or share her feelings at all.

“Any negative criticism is totally worth the price of admission when you are able to connect your art with others on that intimate level,” Gluskin says.

As a coach, I believe the key to befriending the fear of finding your calling lies in mental preparation. When faced with with your inner critic, the best thing you can do is to stay focused on why you do what you do. As long as you are cognizant of your mission and you are working to put that forward, you will be able to take criticism in stride; whether that criticism is internal or external.

Here are some ideas to help you befriend fear:

  • Name your fear, make it a character
  • Move your body: walk, hike, do yoga, dance
  • Journal with your fear, ask it what it is trying to protect
  • Write out all your fears and then burn the paper
  • Talk about your fears with a trusted friend, and then ask for a reality check

The bottom line, is no matter what we are up to in life, big change or small, fear will be in the mix. The more we learn to befriend our fear, the less power it will have in our life.