Lean into your fear

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
Last new year’s eve, I made a decision for how I want my life to go this year. Somewhat of a new years resolution I suppose. But not as much a: I’m going to go to the gym more, I’m going to lose some weight, or I’m going to radically change something for a couple weeks and then fall flat on my face type goal.
I decided to give myself an overarching theme for my year. I chose to make this theme lean into my fears and the things that make me uncomfortable. While I’m great at doing this in some areas of my life, there were other areas, specifically in business, that I was still falling short of my goals and what I wanted to accomplish!
I’m going to share a couple times this showed up for me right after making this declaration and how it has been impacting my life. And I’m going to leave you with a very simple, yet very powerful way to start applying this to your life and start reaping some of the benefits!
The morning after making this declaration I got my first test of my commitment. I was sitting around with some awesome friends enjoying a great breakfast, and we started chatting about what everybody was up to on this sunny yet frigidly cold January 1st. How were we all going to start off our new year?
Unbeknownst to me, every New Years Day since 1920, the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club holds a polar bear dip in the ocean at English Bay! From their first one with ten people in 1920, it’s now grown to over 2500 people!
It came up in the discussion that some of my friends were going to go down and watch the festivities. I was asked if I wanted to come or do the plunge myself. At first though, going swimming in the ocean when it was below zero outside didn’t sound like a great idea. And then I realized that was exactly what I’d asked for just hours before! I’ve asked for opportunities to stretch my comfort zone and expand what I’m capable of, and this was a great example of just that! And after all, if 2000 plus people could do it then what did I have to be afraid of?
So I went for it! And it was awesome! And, other than the soles of my feet getting pretty damn chilly from walking around in the wet sand before and after, it wasn’t all that bad! After doing it, I realized that I had made it out to be way scarier in my head than it ended up being!
So that’s all well and good but how has this helped me out since then? Well every so often, when something is there for me to take on, and it makes me feel like: “I don’t wanna do that!” I pause and think about it for a minute and check in. I ask myself, do I choose not to do this? (Like not seeing a movie that you just have no interest in) Or am I afraid of doing this, afraid of failing, afraid of looking bad, or afraid upsetting someone, when I know deep down it’s something that would benefit my life and the lives of others?
If it’s the former, then don’t worry. You obviously don’t have to do things you just have no interest in doing. If it’s something that you are just afraid of doing, then lean into that fear and take action!
Susan Jeffers wrote an amazing book on this topic called “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” In it she talks about how having fears is completely normal, and how everyone experiences them. People that seem like they don’t have fear usually just have more experience pushing past it when it comes up. Stepping through your fears is just much a skill as learning to walk, play guitar, or learn a new language. At first it’s super awkward, uncomfortable, and you suck at it. But then as you practice, it gets easier and easier until you don’t even have to think about it anymore!
If you want to practice pushing past your fears, there are lots of things you can do to help with this! Reading about it in books like “Feel the fear and do it anyway” can give some simple techniques to help out. As with pretty much everything else, regular meditation practice can help as well, as it helps to develop the ability to be the observer of your thoughts, instead of being ruled by them. Once you start to get better at this, it’s a lot easier to observe those thoughts of fear and choose whether or not you want to listen to them too!
The easiest way to get better at leaning into your fear is to start doing it and build your skill! You don’t have to start with the big ones like asking your boss for a raise, asking that super cute girl or guy out on a date, publishing your first article for the world to see, etc. To practice the skill, I’d recommend starting small, with the little things you put off doing, but that you know you would benefit from. Like getting out of bed when your alarm goes off the first time, going for that run or to the gym, cleaning up the kitchen before going to bed, downing a big glass of water first thing in the morning when you wake up, etc.
These things aren’t scary at all, they just make you a little uncomfortable. They bring up the “I don’t wanna” voice in your head. Your head might try to convince you that you shouldn’t do it. That it would be easier to just leave it, or do it next time, but your higher self wants to do it. That person you want to be wants to do it. And by choosing to push past that little voice you build your skill at stepping past it so when it’s time to face the actual fears you’re that much better equipped to smash them out of the park and live the life you truly want to be living!
I’ll leave you with a great quote from Jack Canfield that reminds me daily to keep pushing past my own fear and discomfort:
“Everything you want in life is on the other side of fear.”
May all beings be happy and healthy; peaceful and prosperous; liberated, loving and loved.

Dave WealeDave Weale

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked what I wanted to be wen I grew up. I wrote down “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon

That is the foundation of Dave Weale’s beliefs and what he teaches all of his clients. Dave is a happiness coach. His clients end up being able to free up their time so they are able to focus on pursuing their passions and truly live a life they love!

He does this by teaching about mindfulness and meditation and works with people to help improve their Health, Wealth, Love and Trust. He helps people reach peak health, make more money, create more love in their lives, and trust that we are all in this together and that everything is working out perfectly!

Connect with Dave on his websiteInstagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Hypem, and Pinterest


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