Fear can be a bigger than life roadblock for many of us women.

It can seem like a tightly sealed box full of unidentified scary things that stand between you, who you truly are inside and what you want for yourself.

The reality is it’s our fear of fear that tends to cause more problems in our lives than fear itself.Being afraid to face your fears is what keeps you stuck in unhappy and unfulfilling situations.

The tighter the seal on your box of fear, the more difficult it becomes to take the steps required to move beyond it.Fear doesn’t have to be as BIG as we make it out to be.

An article in Psychology Today (The (Only) 5 Fears We All Share) provides a useful definition and perspective of our built in fight or flight instinct:

…an anxious feeling caused by our anticipation of an imagined event. “Medical experts tell us the anxious feeling we get when we’re afraid is a standardized biological reaction. It’s pretty much the same set of body signals, whether we’re afraid of getting bitten by a dog, getting turned down for a date, or getting our taxes audited.

Makes sense when we know fear is a built in fight or flight instinct and also makes managing it seem more achievable.

Manage your box of fear by taking inventory

This is a great exercise to share with a friend or a group of women.

You may feel uncomfortable during this exercise but fear is like that after all isn’t it, nothing comfortable about it. But the more you look at it and share it, the less power it will have over you.

Grab pen and paper and visualize yourself opening up your box of fears. Dump it on the table and start listing the fears standing between you, who you are and what you want.

Your list could look something like this:

Hello Fear. Here’s a list of things I’m afraid of:

  • You!
  • Being myself
  • Public speaking
  • Never knowing who I am or what I want
  • Being alone
  • No one will love me
  • I can’t support myself
  • To meet new people
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I’m not good enough
  • Of being seen and heard
  • Taking the risks I need to have the career I want
  • Failing, looking stupid
  • They will find out I’m no good at what I do

Put it all on down on paper and become familiar with your fears.

Share your list with your friend or group and you will be surprised to discover you have fears in common. It’s not just you.

Fear is a little less scary when you become more comfortable looking at it, sharing it and getting support as needed while you work through it.

Please… don’t let fear become debilitating, and if it has then care enough about yourself to get help getting it under control and manageable so you can move forward to a more fulfilling and rewarding life.

Homework:

You’ve done the reading and now for the doing!

  1. Choose one fear from your list that you know is holding you back right now.
  2. Put an action plan in place to work through it either on your own or with the help of someone.
  3. Share this article with fabulous women you know who are actively cultivating the life they want.
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