Moving through fear

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I’d sent an email to my New York publicist, who had helped me with the launch of my first book, Getting Real About Having It All, five years ago.

I’ve got my new book coming out, I wrote, and I’m coming to New York for a speaking gig the week after the launch. Would you be interested and available to do a little bit of publicity for it?

Sending the email was easy. I was thinking she would maybe rustle up a few small interviews, line up a couple of podcasts, and it would be fun in between strolling around the city, chilling out and catching up with friends.  I wasn’t really prepared for my response when she came straight back to me having looked at the manuscript, and said, Hell yes, I’m putting the entire team on it, we love it and we’re so excited!

I got what I wanted. She was in. What I also got was a palpable sense of constriction in my chest, my breath catching in my throat, my head pounding enough that I thought I would pass out, and a rising sense of panic.

What am I doing? I asked myself over and over. Why am I doing this to myself? I questioned. You’re really not ready for this. Just go and have a holiday, you don't need to put yourself through this. Why on earth would you put yourself out there like that? You’re really not prepared to be seen like this! And it’s going to be way too much work.

It was the panic that came from one thing: fear. And knowing that if I was to keep moving forward on my purposeful path, I was going to have to move through that fear – because it wasn’t new and it also wasn’t going anywhere.

That fear was the same fear that had come up as I started writing this new book, Simple Soulful Sacred. Did I have anything to say, would anybody read it, would anyone really care?  

It was the same fear that came up as I worked on my new branding and website. This is so not corporate and professional looking was the story that plagued me. What will your clients think? Am I making a really big, business damaging mistake here by following my inspiration and intuition?

It was the same fear that came up when I sent out the first pages of my book to readers. The same fear that came up when I got the first notes back on it from my agent, editor and my publisher. That fear sounded like this: what if they hate it? What if it’s really terrible? What if they don’t want it?

Here’s the thing with fear: it may have different language, it may even sound different from time to time, but it’s always exactly the same with the same mission: to keep you playing small, confined, stuck, in your comfort zone.  

It thinks it’s keeping you safe, but it’s really the tiny mad idea of your ego telling you stories that just aren’t true.

And there’s only one thing to do to deal with your fear: you have to keep moving forward, tapping into the deepest wells of self-compassion and faith that you have.

Compassion for when you fall into the vortex of your fear based stories, swirling around endlessly until you catch them and pull yourself out.

And faith that you can trust yourself, your inspiration and your ideas. Faith that no idea comes to you unless it's meant for you. That you have everything you need to proceed. And that once you start to move, fear will in fact, lose its grip ever so slightly. The more you move, the more slippery you get, until you’re out of fears reach, if only for a moment.

I’ve learnt so much in the past 12 months while on this creative process it’s quite incredible. It’s been a true heroine’s journey.

I had faith that these messages that were coming through me as I wrote this book were important for women to read and receive. That they were a transmission coming to transform me, and that they would then be an invitation for women everywhere to go on their own heroine’s journey.

I stepped out of the way of my fear just long enough to realise that the book actually had very little to do with me, I was simply the conduit - an idea that the ego hates because it wants us to think that it’s always all about us. It’s not.

If you can get out of your own way long enough to look toward who you are here to serve, your ego will quiet down.

And here’s a truth if there ever was one: Ego and fear have no place, no role, no belonging, in acts of service.

I also had faith that the inspiration that was coming to me about how I needed to show up in the world through my brand and website, was absolutely on point and would lead me to where I needed to go and to the people I was here to support and serve.

As I wrote in Simple Soulful Sacred, beauty is an opening to grace. And don’t we need so much grace right now. My online home is serving my community just as I had dreamed it would – it’s a soft place to land, a place of inspiration and empowerment, and of comfort when it’s needed most.

Here’s the thing: I could have talked myself out of all it. I could have written a different book, one that was a safer bet, where I could be less open and vulnerable. Where I could speak less truth. I could have created a different brand and website, just done an iteration of what I already had, and stayed safely in the lane that I’d created for myself.

Instead I chose to step in. To follow my inner guide, my intuition, the inspiration that was coming to me.

Here’s what I know. You can’t wrangle your fear into submission. It doesn’t work like that.  You have to move through it. Acknowledge it. See what it has for you. Then watch it release its grip on you by taking the next right action. And then the next right action. All the way through.

Here’s my message for you: Trust that you can do this thing, whatever it is you’re dreaming of. You can. Even if you don’t quite believe it today, you can take my belief in you and lean on that when you need it. Take your best friends belief, your sisters, your partners, your parents, your child’s. Take whatever small pieces of faith you have and put them into forward movement. Then keep going.

 

For more on confidence, courage and moving through fear, you’ll love Part 8 – Courage – of my new book Simple Soulful Sacred: A Woman’s Guide to Clarity, Comfort and Coming Home to Herself. Available now wherever books are sold.

 


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You can’t wrangle your fear into submission. You have to move through it.

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Photo Credit : Joanna Nix

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