Dec 11, 2022

Have you ever been faced with a big challenge and felt your body quake with a sense of who am I? Who am I to go do this thing? How am I qualified? Maybe there is someone else who can do this thing, but I certainly cannot.

What I have come to realize through my own challenges is first we need to take an honest look at what is scaring us. Fear is usually a signpost that lets us know we are heading into unknown territory. We are afraid because we have no experience in this area; no proof we can do this thing. We may have experience in other areas, but not this one. And so, there is uncertainty as to whether we will be successful. With this uncertainty, we can doubt ourselves and undermine our growth by shrinking and succumbing to the fear. This can lead us to inaction, a maintenance of the status quo where we repeat things we are good at, and neglect our areas of deepest potential. When we do this, we stay in our comfort zone and do not reap the benefits of our growth and development.

What if instead we learned to experience fear as life’s way of letting us know what we must go and do. I have found there is an alluring quality to the things that scare me and an inner urge to not allow them to get the better of me. I do not want to be controlled by my fears in life. I want to live free.

And so if you’ve made a similar declaration in your own life, we know we need to begin to work with our fears. We can begin to face them, one by one, and develop a habit of consistently reflecting on the fear and developing a strategy to take small steps forward to prepare to act and then ultimately, to do the thing.

There is a time to prepare and a time to do. I’m big on preparation. We can study it, practice doing it in a safe space, visualize our success. These are all essential strategies to help us put our best foot forward on our early attempts. But there comes a time when more preparation will not increase our likelihood of success. By staying in preparation mode for too long it can make us more anxious as we may notice we are now using it to avoid doing the thing. It’s important that we notice this so we can nudge ourselves forward when it’s time. Ultimately, it’s the doing of the thing that trains our body and mind to trust ourselves and adjust our identity.

Once we have done the thing, once, twice, three times, the fear diminishes and we begin to see ourselves as a person who does that thing. Our identify shifts as we associate ourselves with this new ability and we have also gained confidence as a result of our progress. One thing I have noticed in this process is that although we may have developed confidence in one area of life, it may not overflow into other areas that we have less experience in. We may gain a small boost that causes us to feel more confident in general, but we still need to go out and take action in the other areas of life that cause us to feel fear and doubt. The common theme is taking action. Let your fears guide you to the areas you need to take action in.

And so once we have zeroed in on an areas of growth and prepared ourselves to take action, there comes the moment where we have to step into what we fear. In the lead up to the the day, the fear can be the most intense and so it has helped me begin to develop a response the nagging question of who am I?

When developing your response, remember – you are someone who has charted a course through life that is all your own. We can so easily forget all the experiences and choices that led us to where we are today. Take time to remember what you’ve done and who you’ve been. It can be powerful to create a roadmap of your life to help you remember why you made certain choices at key moments, and how they all led you to this moment. You may find, you have been choosing this moment consciously or unconsciously your entire life. And so then the question of who am I? begins to flip into who am I to say I am not the one to meet this moment? It is your time, you chose this, and all you have to do now is accept your destiny and believe in yourself.

If not you, then who? Who is more prepared for this moment?

When I have charted my roadmap and reflected on the thousands of decisions that have led me to this moment, I usually realize there is no one more appropriate to do this thing than me. I am the one in my life, and you are the one in yours.