What Facebook Can Teach Us About Dealing With Fear

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Have you ever purposely done something you were scared to do…just to overcome it? A few years back, I did. I went skydiving.

We had about an hour of instruction on the ground before gearing up and getting in the plane. Nerves were pretty low throughout that time as we learned positioning and safety rules. Even getting in the little puddle jumper of an aircraft and chugging our way to the dropzone wasn’t too stress provoking. And then…the instructor opened the door.  Cold air assaulted my face with the forceful reality of what I was there to do, my heart pounding with such intensity I swore I could hear it over the roar of the engines. FEAR. At the precise moment of stepping into a new domain—the domain which I had planned and paid for months in advance to experience—I faced my greatest resistance to it.

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear” –George Addair

Fear shows up as resistance to doing something new; it attempts to keep you in the land of familiar and comfortable instead of expanding into the unknown and unfamiliar. And that resistance is usually at its greatest intensity when you are about to literally step, move or be in action in a new way. The alarm bells go off: “Warning! Don’t do it! This is too uncomfortable! What if I fail? What if I get hurt? I don’t know what I’m doing!” All it’s doing is keeping you safe. And preventing your growth.
So what can you do when fear shows up besides fight, flight or freeze? Friend it. Thank you, Facebook—friending is now a verb. Friend the fear.  And like most friends on Facebook, fear doesn’t become an actual friend.  It’s just something to notice is there and then carry on with your life as if it weren’t. REALLY! “There it is. There’s my friend fear, just trying to keep me safe and stuck.” The way to deal with fear is to simply notice it and then choose your course of action independent of it.

As you practice just noticing the fear and continuing your course anyway, your relationship with fear will transform. Instead of interpreting those threat signals as alarms to hold you back you will learn to read them as alerts to compel you forward—“Keep going! This is the right direction! It’s so uncomfortable…I must be on the right track!” Like a metal detector at the beach, the louder the signal the closer you are to buried treasure. Harness fear, and it will serve you instead of you serving it.

Harness fear, and it will serve you instead of you serving it.

Get comfortable being uncomfortable. And get uncomfortable being comfortable. When was the last time you took on an opportunity that was uncertain, risky and had the possibility of real failure? I bet that was also the last time you felt truly alive.

I invite you to look at your relationships, work, health and spirit. Find a place where you feel stuck or stagnant. Do you see a habit of retreating to what is known and familiar in that area? What would it look like for you to be in a completely new action instead? What would have you REALLY come alive there? Does it scare the mess out of you? You may be on the right track.

Time to try it out and see what happens. It’s all just an experiment anyway. As Van Halen once said, “Go ahead and, jump. JUMP!”
Be Great!


Becky Henderson
Becky Henderson
I am a catalyst to uncover the blocks and barriers getting in your way of creating the life you desire. Together we can transform the obstacles into opportunities. I listen to what you say…and what you do not say. Similar to a mirror, I show you what you cannot see on your own right now, and tell you what is necessary to create the results you are looking for. I value who you are and where you want to go in life.
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