confronting fear, overcoming fear, fear of not being enough, personal growth, self-awareness, self-worth, managing fear, personal development, self-improvement, mental health.

Confronting Fear: How to Live the Life You Want

Fear has a nasty way of blocking us from living the life we want if we allow it.

We let it take over our lives when we ignore it, feed it, and stay in the safe zone. Many don’t realize when fear makes choices for us. Now is the time to become conscious of your decisions and confront fear head-on.

I want to talk about how many people carry fear around in their heads and allow the pesky message to make decisions on their behalf.

First know you are not alone. over 12.5% adults report  having this fear live in their heads.

When you talk to coaches, many mention the most common fear: not being enough. This concept can be vague and broad, so I break it down into several specific fears:

  • Fear of not being valued
  • Fear of not being loved
  • Fear of being seen
  • Fear of failure

My Personal Experience with Fear

I know the fear of not being valued very well. 

Growing up, I felt that I was never considered when changes were happening in my family. I was expected to follow decisions without being consulted, considered or even allowed to share my feelings.  

 This fear shows up by me over-smothering people in order to demonstrate my value in their lives. Everyone in my life—my husband, children, mother, work colleagues, and friends—has experienced my need to be valued.

I remember when my best friend, Charles, died. I felt horrible because I couldn’t do much for him when he was ill, and it broke my heart. He lived in D.C., and I was very little help to him because we had just moved to Austin, and my family needed me to help them get settled.  I only visited him once while in the hospital. I called him every day, but other than the one visit, I could not do much. 

Knowing his mother and partner were hurting when he passed, I was determined to make things easier for them. I thought it was my job to step in and start planning his memorial so they wouldn’t worry about it. However, I overstepped and upset his mother and partner. When I attended the memorial, I felt incredibly awkward and couldn’t celebrate him in the way I wanted to.

This is just one of many ways I have oversmothered. If you asked my children, they could probably give you a long list of ways I have over-showed up for them.

Identifying and Managing Fear

The problem with fear is that we must keep it in check.  In order to do so, we must be aware of it and call it out.

Wonder if you have the “I am enough” fear lurking in your body? Here are some signs:

  1. Different Standards: Do you hold yourself to a different standard than you hold others? You may be with your friend when they’re not together, but you need to be dressed to the T, with makeup on and hair done. You may also be standing when a work colleague makes a mistake, but when you do, you beat yourself up over and over again.
  2. Self-Talk: Do you talk to your friends kindly but speak to yourself harshly and rudely? Do you say things like, “Only stupid people would make that mistake” or “You’re not pretty enough to post that picture”? If so, turn that noise off NOW!
  3. Look at your social media likes a lot? People who haven’t done enough focus on things that don’t mean a lot to them. We focus so much on pleasing others because we want to be included and liked (or, in my case, valued). Some people push others away because they feel they don’t measure up and want to protect themselves from disappointment. They focus on accolades and awards as proof of success and constantly monitor social media likes.  We spend so much time focusing on how others view us that we don’t know how we view ourselves. We don’t have boundaries, allowing people to overstep ours while ignoring theirs.

An Exercise to Examine Fear

Grab your computer or notebook and answer the following questions:

  1. How does your fear of not being loved enough, valued enough, or being seen show up in your life right now?
  2. If you did not fear not being loved enough, valued enough, or seen, how would your life be different?
  3. What would your day-to-day look like?

An invitation

If you would like to learn more about being aware of your fear so that you begin to make decisions about your life that will actually serve you, I am planning a group course that focuses on being aware, accepting, and making conscious choices.  Just message me and let me know if you are interested.

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