I'm not out to scare my clients, but I do understand how I sometimes instill fear in them.
I often require the people who work with me to do or say things that scare the crap out of them. They trust me enough to do it, while they simultaneously hate me for nudging them out of their comfortable lives to do something daring.
It brings up all of their discomfort. All of their insecurities. All of their blocks about why they couldn't do the daring thing before I became their coach.
I get it.
But in order to grow beyond where they are now, they have to endure feeling uncomfortable while leaping into an unknown future.
It's why so many people refuse to do it. It brings up so much discomfort that some people prefer walking back into their comfortable and predictable lives--the same lives that sent them into coaching with me in the first place.
Staying safe is often preferable to feeling freaked out. Even if that safety means they don't get to have their dream lives, dream marriage, or dream job.
They sell themselves short. But that's how much they allow their fear to dominate their lives.
If they let it.
The only way to circumvent that fear is to just do it, anyway. Action is the antidote to fear.
I used to be terrified of public speaking, even though I also felt a giddy high while behind any podium. But for some unknown reason, my body hated it. I shook. My voice cracked and stuttered. My knees trembled.
How could I want to be a public speaker so badly when I could barely stand in front of a group without also wanting to vomit or flee?
I tried again and again, but finally felt too afraid to continue. I became afraid of my fear: afraid of looking, acting and sounding stupid by trembling or stuttering. So I held myself back, and kept the public speaker in me "safe" by rarely introducing her.
I can't tell you when it changed, but one day a few years ago, I'd had enough of my fear. I suddenly realized that I didn't care if my body went into hysterics. I didn't care if I threw up. I didn't care if I fainted. I had a story to tell and damn it, I was going to tell it!
And guess what happened?
The fear disappeared.
I'm not joking when I say it disappeared that moment. So it was never public speaking that caused the fear in the first place; it was my fear of embarrassment of how my body would react that made me shut-down.
Once I no longer cared about looking foolish, my fear of humiliation had no impact on me anymore. It could no longer scare me because I was no longer fretting about it or anticipating its arrival.
What about you?
Are you willing to face your fear and do that one scary thing, anyway?
Feel your anxiety? Do it anyway.
Hear your voice trembling? Say it anyway.
Feel your heart beating wildly? Face it anyway.
Just Do It! as Nike proclaims, and you'll find peace and joy and celebration waiting on the other side.
You may even begin to love it.