Georgia O' Keefe, groundbreaking artist said,
“I have been absolutely terrified every minute of my life and I have never let it stop me from doing a thing.”
I love this quote. I love it because I’ve always admired O’Keefe’s courage in the way she lived her life and created art in her own unique style, even when facing great criticism.
I used to imagine that she did accimplisehed so much because she had fewer fears than I have.
Knowing that she was absolutely terrified while she created her amazing life is reassuring and inspiring to me.
Many times in my past, I have let fear stop me. Now I am committed to doing my best to moving forward into new goals and dreams- even when I feel fear.
My favorite courage practice is to have fun with fear!
If you are growing, if you are saying yes to your challenges, if you are in the process of becoming who you really are, you will feel fear.
Probably a lot.
Each new edge place you discover will invite you to let go of outworn beliefs, old stories and all sorts of inner rubbish so you can activate emerging parts of yourself.
That will usually bring up fear.
Fear is not the problem. Letting fear stop you from becoming your full, extraordinary self is the problem. Letting fear keep you from creating the life and the impact you were born to create is the problem.
Have Fun with Fear!
Having fun with fear lets you amp up your energy and activate your full intelligence, creativity and inner power for those big projects, creations, conversations and action steps that are scary!
My Top 5 Tips to Have Fun with Fear so That You can Expand into Your Extraordinary Life:
Tip # 1: Reframe the Way You Talk about Fear.
• Rather than saying, “ I am afraid,” try saying to yourself “I am feeling fear,” or “I notice some fear.” “I am afraid” is a way of identifying with fear. Saying it can make you forget that you are much bigger than your fears. “I notice some fear,” or “I am feeling fear,” gives room for other feelings to show up.
• Try saying “I feel some fear and I feel some excitement!” Fear and excitement are very close physiologically. Your brain and your body feel safer when you identify the feelings as excitement.
• Try saying to yourself,“Of course I am feeling fear! I’m taking on a new challenge!” or “It’s natural to feel some fear when I’m starting something I’ve never done before- I’m going for my dream!" or "I’m confronting a shadow from my past. It's a big thing. Hooray for me!”
• Try saying to yourself, “Bring it on!” Embrace fear as your ally - or as a worthy adversary. Facing your fear with a sense of play will liberate your inner powers. So when fear shows up try saying: “Oh hello Fear! It’s you again! Thank you, worthy adversary for helping me grow into my power!"
Tip #2: Play Music.
Playing music that amps up your energy so you feel more alive and energized will help you meet the feelings of fear rather than shrinking from them. I have several songs I play over and over when I am getting ready for an event or conversation or project that is scary to me.
Tip #3: Breathe.
“Fear is excitement without the breath,” said Fritz Perls, gestalt therapist. Fear is excitement without the breath. So to transform fear into excitement, just remember to let your breath flow and the sensations begin to shift. Remembering to breathe lets your body process fear, lets the fear move through without getting stuck and without becoming a problem. Breathe.
Tip # 4 Move Your Body.
To let your breath become even more powerful, move your body. Feel your breath in your whole body and play with movement.
Shake, wiggle, stretch as you breathe. Let yourself feel the phyiscval sensations of fear and let them move through.
When we are in fear we tend to get rigid and to go into automatic patterns of fight, flee or freeze. We may get confused or fuzzy, and we lose connection with our full body brilliance. To come back into your full body brilliance, stand up, get grounded, feel your legs, breathe into your belly and your pelvis and your feet. Taking a power stance is a fabulous way to feel courageous— just remember, your deepest truest power is not rigid, it is alive and fluid with breath and feeling and energy.
Tip # 5: Get Fabulous Support. Feeling alone with fear makes it way worse! and there is no need to do it alone! Remember everyone who is growing feels afraid sometimes. Surround yourself with people who understand that fear will show up and that we do not need to let it stop us! Five years ago I wanted to write more and I realized my fears were holding me back. So I started a small writers' group for fiercely loving, creative support. We are all committed to facing our own fears and to lovingly help each other do the same. It has been a game changer for me and, I believe, for each of us.
Bonus Tip: Get curious. Ask yourself: Hmmmm, I wonder how I can amp up my positive playful energy so I can rise to meet fear rather than being blocked or stopped by it?
I'd love to hear from you. What helps you meet your fears so you can grow and expand?