Don’t let fear hold you back. Get out of your own way!

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Don’t let fear hold you back. Get out of your own way!

People ask me all the time: Do you ever struggle with fear? How do you get out of your own way?

The answer I often respond with is, “Yes, absolutely. I’m often fearful!”

This topic strikes a deep chord with me because it is the great equalizer. As humans, we are hard-wired and designed to avoid pain and seek pleasure.

Fear is a real dance I have daily.  Sometimes it is as an observer: “Oh, heck that scares me…”  and sometimes it tries to dictate my behavior: “Don’t do that, you might fail, what makes you think you’re qualified to be an expert in this or that…”

In those moments, I think back and smile as I remember my old boss Gene’s advice, “FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.”  We all experience it, but more importantly, what do you do with it?

Like any challenge in life, I realize that it has not been my pure intellect (I wish) or my connections or anything else that led to my achievements and successes… it is resilience.

I shared my beliefs in an interview on International Women’s Day with the Small Business Journal: “What’s on the other side of fear is not as scary as you think. Even if it is – and I have been through some significant failures and losses – you’ve got this.”

I get out of my own way by asking myself “what would you do if you knew you could not fail?” And if that doesn’t work, I phone a friend or colleague that can remind me of my place in the world.

“If you don’t have the belief in yourself, borrow someone else’s until yours kicks in.”

– Les Brown

In addition, I always look up and remember who created me and who my parents are.

What matters most is the story I tell myself when I confront fear. At the end of the day, I know that fear is like an old friend who is simply scared for me, who wants to protect me but is just not capable of seeing the light and potential.  I invite him/her to sit next to me while I drive.  I’m thankful for his/her presence… but I pay attention to who is actually doing the driving.

Now go be awesome today and embrace that fear!!!

Light your fire,

-Theo

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