“Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments.”
~ Rose Kennedy
Everyone has fears and thoughts that get in the way of living fully. They are like the crud that lives deep in the carpet in even the cleanest of homes. This crud mats the carpet down and takes the spring and brightness out of the fibers. These fears and this “crud” keeps us small and robs us of living fully. It include things like:
- “have tos”
- seeking the approval of others
- trying to be “nice”
- lying to yourself
- judging yourself
- judging others
- living in fear
- not taking the time to enjoy what you have
- comparing yourself to others
- over exhausting yourself
- ignoring your inner voice
- not having enough alone time, and
- not acknowledging yourself.
Fear gets in our way and keeps us living small. Most fear is so powerful, that we accept it as fact, when it is rarely based in reality. Most often, it is our perception of things that get in our way rather than the actual thing itself.
The Anatomy of Fear
From Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers
Level I fears refer to things that happen, such as aging, dying, war, illness, becoming disabled, getting laid off, being alone, etc. Level I fears require action, such as changing careers, ending or starting relationships, deciding to assert oneself, obtaining information, learning new skills, etc.
Level II fears refer to a state of mind and include the fear of rejection, failure and helplessness. These fears are created within our own minds and are not independent of us. Things do not harm us, it is our perceptions of them that harm us and keep us small.
Level III fear gets down to the “nitty gritty” or intense core of our emotions and often includes negative self perceptions and distortions, such as “I can't handle it.” When you find yourself at this level of fear, it is helpful to ask yourself, “If I knew I could handle anything that came my way, what would I possibly have to fear?”
The thing about fear at Level II and III is that it is rarely based in reality. It is so powerful for most of us, that we accept it as FACT when it is not. As a coach, I will encourage clients to name the fear, and together we will play out the fear. Sharing fear often reduces its power. Exposing it to the light of day helps reveal the TRUTH.