Emotions are neutral
Did you know that there are no good or bad emotions? Emotions just are. They’re a combination of hormones and other chemicals secreted by the brain that cause our bodies to feel a certain way.
It’s natural to enjoy the sensation of some emotions over others. Excitement, for example, can feel similar to anxiety or fear – same elevated heart rate, clammy palms, nervous stomach – but because of the thoughts surrounding these emotions, we label them differently and enjoy some over others.
Similarly, many of these “bad” emotions (anger, fear, sadness, etc) can actually feel really good, when our bodies need to experience them. In my experience, they can feel cathartic and cleansing.
Do scary things
Recently I’ve learned that it’s possible to love feeling fear. I’m not talking about the kind of fear that keeps you alive – we should all try to avoid stumbling upon a grizzly bear, for example – I’m talking about the kind of fear that keeps us from accomplishing our greatest dreams.
One of the scariest things I’ve ever had to force myself to do was talk to strangers in a foreign country. I lived in Russia for many months as a church missionary, and part of our responsibilities included stopping RANDOM STRANGERS on the streets of Moscow and talking to them about Jesus.
Did I mention we spoke to them in RUSSIAN?? A foreign language I had spent just 2 months learning? I don’t know if you can tell from my use of capitalization but this was NOT my idea of a good time.
Not only did I not enjoy it, it was gut-wrenchingly scary for me.
But you know what I learned? I can do scary things.
Did it ever get easier for me? Um, not particularly. My command of the Russian language got better (thank heavens) so I stopped butchering that beautiful language, but it was scary for the full 18 months that I lived there.
And I did it anyway.
Fear can fuel you
Here I am, 2 decades older and a bit wiser, yet I still have things that scare the daylights out of me. These fears include, but are not limited to: big hairy spiders, talking to strangers on the phone, confrontations, and more.
And in case you don’t know, a huge part of my coaching business model includes: talking to strangers on the phone (no spiders, thankfully).
Are there other ways I could have built my coaching practice? Probably. But I knew that talking to moms who are stuck is the best way to help them move forward, and so I do it anyway.
Listen, friend. I know you are facing things that are scary. There are probably so many of them between you and the business or life of your dreams. Maybe putting yourself out there on social media, filming yourself on video, sharing your unpopular beliefs, sending emails. I get it!
But I’m here to tell you that the fear doesn’t have to cripple you. It can become tolerable. It can even become enjoyable!
In fact nowadays, when I’m facing a call with a stranger and I start to feel that same fear (clammy palms & butterflies), I just picture myself in line for a huge, amazing, fun-filled rollercoaster. The feeling in my body is almost the same, and I just channel it into excitement.
Instead of thinking “What if this person hates me?” “What if I say the wrong thing?” “What if she thinks I don’t know anything?”, I choose to think, “This is going to be so exciting!” “I can’t wait.” “This could be my best call yet.” “Let’s gooooooo!”
I can’t wait for you to experience this transformation. How will you make fear work for you??