“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you… As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Happy Monday morning. Today’s topic is fear, and I’m curious what you think of the above quote?It especially speaks to me when I’ve lost sight of my talents and my power – and also when I’m feeling my superpowers, and they feel too big, too overwhelming. I can’t possibly be that person with a healthy self-esteem.
There are times when it makes a lot of sense to honor fear. That feeling that makes your skin crawl, your hair stand on end, can be there for a really good reason. Other times, we believe our fears are real when they are not. Fear can be something we conjure up to keep us from truly living a full and rewarding life.
There are also those who pretend they are never afraid. Personally, I see this as a sometimes useful, sometimes weak, form of denial. Fear is a universal experience, but what makes each of us afraid is individual and personal. Our histories, our families, our life experiences, our society all impact how we experience, acknowledge, and transform our fears.
Do you know the story of my childhood? It wasn’t rainbows and unicorns. It was beautiful and bountiful at times, and it was downright scary at others. I have a close relationship with fear. Over the years, I’ve learned to work with it, embrace it, learn from it, and sometimes, I get really tired of it. Yet, when I fight fear, it doesn’t usually disappear. When I welcome fear, when I accept it as a natural part of life, then I can begin to understand what it is here to teach me. I can truly say that time and time again I’ve found freedom from my fears through changing my relationship to them.
As coaches, Theresa and I listen to and witness the power of fear in many different forms. We help people overcome the hurdles fear puts squarely at their feet. We help people identify their roadblocks and help them move those out of the way so that they, too, may be liberated from the fear of fear and all its life and career-limiting impacts.
If you feel like your fears are getting in the way of your success, your happiness, reach out to us. We may be able to help you put your fears to good use.
By Mary Anne Wampler,
PRINCIPAL, TRANSFORM, INC.