Have you ever heard someone say, “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”? I’ve always struggled with this idea because when I feel fear, I shut down. I freeze or run away. And I seem to be afraid of many situations that other people think are no big deal.
How about you? What is your response to scary situations or difficult tasks? For some people, fear is a motivator. Not me!
I understand the concept. We absolutely do need to step out of our comfort zone throughout our lives. Growth is good! But I have rarely been able to feel fear and move forward.
When I decided to leave my teaching career and start my coaching business, I don’t think I realized how often I would feel fear. (If I had realized it, I likely would have stayed where I was.) I quickly learned that I would have to take slow, deliberate steps toward my goals that didn’t cause me to shut down. I created strategies to work toward my goals in a way that fit my unique brain. I accepted that I’m not like others and I need an approach that works for me and my needs.
First, I decided I could stretch my comfort zone. Sometimes I stretch just a teeny tiny bit, but I’m growing. Second, I started setting powerful intentions. I would find the smallest first step that felt doable (and not scary) and do that.
Early on in my business, a powerful intention might have been to share just one social media post per week telling people about what I offered. When that felt comfortable, I stretched to two posts per week and it grew from there.
When I started going to networking events, my powerful intention would be to just walk in the door. I gave myself permission to leave if I felt too uncomfortable. After I was in the door, my next powerful intention was to approach and talk to just one person.
By the way, I only walked out of an event one time. What I thought might be scary was often not so bad. But though I knew that logically, it has never stopped me from freezing when I feel fear.
If you’ve met me recently, you might have a hard time believing that I was ever so fearful. I’ve come a long way!
One step at a time, I shrunk what felt fearful and stepped into confidence. I chose intentions that I knew were on the edge of scary (for me) but doable. And I grew with each tiny step.
I continue to very deliberately and slowly stretch my comfort zone each and every week.
You can too. No matter the starting point.
Is fear preventing you from starting something? Is it preventing you from making progress toward a goal? I’m here for you. Let’s create some strategies to help you set intentions and stretch your comfort zone. Schedule a free Discovery Call to see if working together would be a good fit for you.