Fear’s just a feeling. When you stop adding meaning to the feeling, you can actually use fear as a compass to point you in the exact direction that aligns with your vision, dreams, and goals. This kind of fear could be called purpose-driven fear.
In fact, it’s my mission to get you having more fun with your fear today. Imagine! What if you could recognize the feeling of fear in you, call it out, and play with it a little bit? What if you could have a conversation with it, stop it from having a grip on you?
Imagine mastering the tools I’m about to share with you to the point you’re able to stand on a stage and speak in front of crowds! There’s a joke about public speaking being feared more than death. What exactly are we afraid of? Humiliation and embarrassment, according to this article.
For me, being seen used to feel excruciating. My self-worth sat in a bucket so deep within me I didn’t even know I had it for a long, long time. Whenever that worth was challenged—having to confront someone, stand up for myself, speak to an authority figure, express my true desires— I’d clam up, shrivel, and retreat. Being authentically me was painful. I’d avoid that pain at all costs.
“Could there be any hidden benefit to this reaction — one you could adapt to and use to your advantage?” Psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert answers that question in his article HERE.
When unworthiness begins to hurt physically, it’s time for a change. The fear of speaking up might be overpowered by the relentless scream of your soul to finally express itself or die. It can feel that bad inside; in the form of chest pain, in my case.
This feeling can be dissolved with certain ways of thinking, believing and acting and that will change your life. You can start by making big, bold, out loud moves toward your dreams, desires, and goals. Life will start getting interesting and the excited, purpose-driven kind of fear will start being a compass for a new life.
I’d like to share with you how to have a transformational year.
Here are 15 ways to recognize purpose-driven fear:
First of all, learning the language of fear, inside your body, is one of the keys to the transformation. Here are 5 ways to understand if the feeling you’re having is telling you “Hell no!” (not good for my soul) or “Hell yes!” (purpose-driven) and what to do about that message.
1. Recognize fear
(and all emotions) as a feeling and start to journal about where it is and how it feels to you. This is an awareness practice. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at understanding what kind of message your body is sending. And the better you’ll be able to respond, with clarity to those messages.
2. Understand what feels bad.
The things in your life that feel bad in your body are bad for you. So, that thing you’re saying yes to when you actually mean no? That has a feeling. Get in touch with it. Where is it? What does it feel like? Make some notes every time this happens to you. In a difficult conversation with someone who’s unsupportive or worse? How does it feel to be talked to like that? There are many examples and opportunities to practice. You’ll be getting in touch with the “No” and this will allow you to start understanding the difference between that and other kinds of fear or doubt. You might say these things feel “bad” or “lonely,” but what does bad or lonely feel like in your body? For me, these fears manifest as chest tightness and a choky feeling in my throat. Where are yours?
3. Think about the good stuff.
How does your body feel when things are a “Hell Yes?” When you’re feeling good, and things are feeling supportive. When you’re doing what you really want to do and what turns you on? What’s it feel like inside when things are going right? When people are vibing love and gratitude around you? When your life and dreams are being lifted up? This is the “Hell Yes!” and it has a physical sensation in your body. Start to journal about it every time you feel this way. This is going to be the way to understand when purpose-driven fear is in you and help you be clear about taking action on it!
4. Start feeling the differences
When your intuition is telling you “No,” and that something does not fully align with who you are and what you desire, you’ll be understanding what to walk away from, say no to, or weed out of your life. When a fear is inside you that’s pushing you out of your comfort zone, that’s a feeling of, “Oh man, I want to do this so bad, but it’s terrifying,” or a feeling more like excitement inside your body, you’ll be able to know when to walk toward that thing, take swifter action, or say “Yes!” to it. You’re now starting to understand that fear can be a compass. When I was invited to recite a poem at my first open mic night it felt like that. It was an “OMG, I’m about to do something I’ve never done, but always wanted to do,” fear. That fear was purpose-driven.
5. Learn the feel of purpose-driven fear
Purpose-driven fear feels like it’s on the “Hell Yes!” side of things. It feels scary but more excited-scary. It feels like a possibility. It feels like a fire burning that’s keeping you from sitting still. It’s not as heavy or dark or gut-wrenching as a “Hell No!” kind of fear, because it’s actually about something that aligns with your soul. And this can be confusing. But it’s the feeling that will help you know.
6. You’re remaining curious about it.
You notice you’re not running for once, but remain curious, open and wanting to get clarity.
7. It keeps coming up.
The fear keeps showing up inside of you as something to explore.
8. There’s a more grounded quality to it
This feels calmer and less chaotic. You can actually breathe.
9. You’re motivated.
Rather than hiding or running away, you feel motivated to face this!
10. You’ve had this on your to-do list
You notice that you’ve had this thing on your to-do list for a while. You see it as a worthy goal.
11. It arrives after a victory
Otherwise known as an “Upper Limit Problem”(According to Gay Hendricks in his book The Big Leap) it comes up every time you do something bigger or have a success.
12. It challenges your comfort zone
This kind of fear nudges you to the edge and sparks more awareness of your comfort zone.
13. You dream about it!
You actually have dreams about this because it’s something your soul wants/needs to do.
14. Life brings you more chances to face it
The Universe knows and it’s apparent because you’re being given more and more opportunities to move through it.
15. It feels healthy
Instead of feeling like dread, it feels like a healthy challenge, something that will better your life.
Hopefully, by now you’re thinking about fear a little differently. We’re not talking about the survival kind of fear; (you can read about that kind here) that natural instinct that keeps us safe from danger. But it feels the same!
The point here is to recognize your big vision, dream, and goal as the underlying fire and cause for purpose-driven fear. If you’re dreaming big enough, it’s normal to have these kinds of fears. Understanding them and learning tools to move through them will create magic in your life as you realize overcoming your fears are just an aligned action step away.
Laura Di Franco, MPT is the owner of Brave Healer Productions. She’s a published poet and author, inspirational speaker, holistic physical therapist and third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. Praised as “our favorite class” by The Writer’s Center, her brave, intuitive writing and healing workshops are the reason she was born. She helps healers get their badass, authentic voice published in order to heal the world with their words. Her new book, Brave Healing; a Guide for Your Journey is due out June 1st! www.BraveHealer.com is where you can grab a free 30-minute call with her to learn how your story will heal the world.
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