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A Simple Process to Turn Fear into Power

“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.” ~Yogi Bhajan

Have you ever stopped to think about your definition of fear?

As my dear friend Mr. Webster states, fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”

Simply put, I disagree with this definition of fear.

My definition of fear goes something like this….

“An opportunity for self discovery and self growth; a well of untapped personal power and strength; the gateway from wishing and wanting to doing and being.”

Yes, fear can be a drag, and there are certain situations and life-threatening circumstances that stir up a whole slew of fear that I would never wish upon any one.

But there’s another spectrum of fear that comes from within and the culprit is often our very own “monkey mind” and self-worth. Most likely, it’s this very fear that is holding you back from living the wildly successful, abundant, joy-filled life that you crave and oh-so deserve!

I never really thought about fear before, but last year I decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge and it opened a whole new can of worms for me. This is when my relationship with my personal forms of fear took flight.

I was fearful that I wasn’t smart enough to run my own business, my skills and knowledge weren’t as strong as my business partners’ skills, I didn’t have enough experience to prove to potential clients that I know what I’m talking about—and why would someone want to listen to what I have to say?

The list of crazy thoughts and irrational fears that surfaced for me over this past year are endless. And guess what? I now realize that they are not true.

As I typed that last sentence I had a smile of relief cross my face, because I now realize that my fears aren’t me, and they don’t control me anymore.

The truth is, for most of us, fear is present on a regular basis, but the form that it chooses to present itself in is constantly changing. Maybe you experience anxiety, a deep nervousness, confusion, lack of motivation, uncertainty, or something unidentifiable deep within.

Chances are, you’re experiencing fear on a magnitude of levels and in multiple forms all at once. (Fear is sneaky like that! It’s always showing up in disguise to try to trick you!)

Now you might be wondering, “How do I know if I am experiencing fear and what do I do with this feeling, regardless of whether it’s fear or not?”

The answer is simple.

Know that where there’s fear, there’s power. 

Everyone on this planet experiences fear (nope, you’re not alone on this one) but what sets successful (and might I add, happy) people apart from everyone else is their ability to act in the face of fear.

Turning your fear into power might seem unachievable at first, but here’s a simple process I use to pursue my personal passions and visions, despite my fear.

4 Steps To Turning Fear Into Power

Warning: This is powerful, juicy stuff and your life will start changing for the good when you apply these tips!

1. Indulge in self-reflection and positive self-talk.

Next time you feel nervous, anxious, afraid, or uncertain, I challenge you to dig deep and look what’s underneath those feelings.

Are you nervous to apply for that job because you’re afraid of rejection? What if you don’t get the job? Does that mean you’re not good enough and that you’ll never experience the career success you long for?

Of course this isn’t true, but it’s far too common to indulge in harmful self-talk. In most cases, it comes down to thinking that you’re not worthy to experience happiness or success.

Be honest with yourself and identify what’s at the root of your fear.

Now take that negative statement and write an empowering statement that’s the opposite of your limiting belief.

For example, if your limiting belief is “I don’t deserve to experience true success because I haven’t worked hard enough,” flip it and write the reverse:

“I deserve to experience success on my own terms, all while having fun and living in abundance along the way!”

Say this affirmation out loud every morning when you’re getting ready to start your day.

Better yet, look yourself in the mirror and repeat it proudly, 10 times!

Sound cheesy? Yeah, maybe it is a bit cheesy. But, it works and besides, nobody has to know that you talk to yourself in the mirror!

2. Weigh your options. 

Make a pros and cons list of what would happen if:

  • You pursued your passions and vision, despite your fear
  • You choose to maintain status quo

I’m guessing you’ll realize that there are actually more pros to acting in the face of fear vs. maintaining status quo.

Not as scary as you initially thought, right?

3. Act.

The arrows are pointing in the right direction. Yes, you can act in the face of fear without the whole world crashing down on you.

The next step is to actually do it.

Take that very first step in the positive direction. Yes, the first step is often the hardest. Remember to take one step at a time.

As good ‘ol Buddha said, “A jug fills drop by drop.” Remember this when the going gets tough and be patient with yourself and the process you’re going through.

4. Celebrate.

Give yourself a pat on the back for facing your fears and celebrate your successes (no matter how big or small) along the way.

This will feed your positive momentum and will keep the good stuff coming your way!

The best part about following these four simple steps is that each time you choose to look beneath the surface and uncover what’s truly behind your fear, you step more and more into your personal power.

You become more aligned with who you are and what you want in life, and it gets easier to pursue your dreams with each step you take.

Are you ready to turn your fears into power? What’s your first or next step?

Photo by GS+

Avatar of Leanne Kallal

About Leanne Kallal

Leanne Kallal is the Co-Founder of Juicy Geniuses and she’s on a mission to help women world-wide make a mass impact doing what they love. Her raison d’être is to give real, practical advice that any woman can follow to build a purposeful online business and get their message out to those who need it most.

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  • http://twitter.com/CathatTheMacsX Catherine McAtier

    I love the idea of fear being a gateway from wishing and wanting to being and doing – gonna do some being and be some doing. Cx

  • lv2terp

    Fantastic blog and steps to really get to the root of the fear and overcome. We all really do know our truth, and what is holding us back…it is just practicing these steps to become aware of them. Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom!!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/leanne.kallal Leanne Kallal

    Hi Ladies! Glad to hear you’ve enjoyed my post! I think that fear is natural for ALL of us and when you look at it with a new perspective, magic will start to happen. Definitely takes some practice but it’s worth it in the long run! Let me know how it goes if you use this “process”. Would love to hear from you :)

  • Learning2live

    “…be patient with yourself and the process you are going through”. This struck a chord so deep in me, because I often find myself criticizing myself for the fact that I am not “there” yet, but I fail to recognize how far I have already come in my journey. What a great and powerful reminder! Thank you for a wonderful post.

  • http://optimalternative.com/ Mark B Hoover

    “Fear is excitement without the breath.” (Fritz Perls) If we breathe through our fear we find we can vanquish trepidation with exhalation. That’s why action is so instrumental in conquering fear and foes; it prompts us to breathe more vigorously, putting ourselves out there and acting instead of reacting. Meditation places emphasis upon the breath, not the fear. Once fear becomes secondary it disappears.

     

    “Fear is the little-death…” (Frank Herbert) We die a little when we give in to fear. It is as though we are at war with ourselves, surrendering before the fight has even begun. The litany continues: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Fear is not a destructive force, as we tend to view it. It is a passing emotion meant to kick in our survival instinct and, more recently in evolution, our reasoning processes. We live better through regarding fear as no more real than an imaginary foe. Tear the fear page out of the script and the next page is there to continue life’s play. I recall a WWII veteran’s narrative of storming the beach and becoming caught between mortar fire and machine gun fire. No retreat into the ocean and no certainty in staying still, so they moved forward, step by step. His eyes became sparkling, he spoke with renewed life and vigor. He once again felt the sense of urgency, felt closer to life than he had ever been because he was so close to death. Imminence can do that, can force us out of paralysis from fears realized OR imagined.

     

    “False Expectations Appearing Real.” The acronym: FEAR. It’s somewhere we’d been before that turned out badly or a path unknown with imagined dangers. It’s the Grimm Brothers’ tales that haunt us, or visions of failure and destruction from books and movies. We play the scenes out in our heads with ourselves as protagonists. Most of what we fear will never come to pass. And if it does, we will have found a way through it instead of a way around it. Then it is no more. Unconquered fear lends itself to depression, a gathering of anxiety, anger and fear. Depression is a melting pot of negative emotions we feared to face and consequently internalized, allowing them to marshal their forces behind our facade and attack us from within. “When faced with a challenge, look for a way, not a way out.” (David L. Weatherford)

     

    Fear is “An opportunity for self discovery and self growth; a well of untapped personal power and strength; the gateway from wishing and wanting to doing and being.” I love this. By putting a positive spin on a negative emotion we virtually neutralize it, allowing the free flow of benevolence and productivity. It’s like putting clown faces on our nemeses, reducing them to frivolity, laughing and creating a powerful moment of positivity. We can access our better selves and summon strength from what once was weakening.

     

    Thank you Leanne. Your words are highly evocative.

    ~ Mark

  • shoppegirls

    I have shared the 4 tips on my blog. Thank you for your constant words of wisdom.
    Vicki
    http://www.shoppegirls.blogspot.com

  • http://www.sagegrayson.com/ Sage Grayson

    Great tips! Fear of success is something I deal with on a daily basis. I’m afraid of what will happen if I actually succeed at my business. Weird, right? You’re spot on with your advice about taking action. The only thing that makes my fear go away is taking small actions toward my bigger goals. I don’t need to change the world today, but baby steps are very effective at killing my fear.

  • CJ

    One of my “favorite” definitions of fear is false expectations appearing real. I have finally learned as you so eloquently have written that sitting with my fear allows powerful learning to occur and I often find something else behind the fear that is the real challenge I need to deal with.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leanne.kallal Leanne Kallal

    Hi Sage! Thanks for the great comment and you’re spot on with your approach…Taking baby steps towards a bigger goal is the perfect way to overcome your fear and build confidence. I know that every time I achieve a “baby step” I’m that much more motivated to tackle the next baby step and mountain ahead.

    And I’ve actually experienced fear of succeeding in my own business too. I started to pay attention as to why success was so scary for me and overtime, I started to see where my limiting beliefs were. Once I was aware of them, I was able to start overcoming them!

    Something tells me you’re on the right track and you’ll definitely have to keep me updated on your successes :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/leanne.kallal Leanne Kallal

    Hey CJ! Yup, what you said is exactly what I’ve experienced. The fear is almost like the excuse generator and it tricks you into believing that you’re afraid of something for one reason, when you’re actually afraid of something completely different.

    My experience has been that my fear usually extends from my limiting beliefs and of course these LB’s aren’t true…they’re just a story I’ve told myself somewhere along the way and that story somehow became my reality.

    Simply sitting with the fear and looking behind it is the first step to dissolving the fears. Looks like you have this figured out! Nice work :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/leanne.kallal Leanne Kallal

    Happy to hear that and thanks for sharing :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/leanne.kallal Leanne Kallal

    You’re welcome and I’m so happy that this spoke to you! I actually got a tatto that says “The journey is the reward” to remind myself that it’s not all about “there”, but rather it’s about everything that happens between here and there :)

  • Froehlig Girlz

    Fear is often just a single answer to the question, “What if?” The fear then keeps us from actually pursuing that question fully. It can never hurt to contemplate possible outcomes and evaluate your odds.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leanne.kallal Leanne Kallal

    Mark, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Your insight is amazing and much appreciated!!

    Meditation is definitely a great way to move through fear. Aside from the primary focus being on the breath, I find that meditating actually helps me to deal with my irrational fears and limiting beliefs from a much calmer and more rational space :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/leanne.kallal Leanne Kallal

    Agreed! Contemplating possible outcomes and evaluating odds is a good thing. It’s also important to not over think and become paralyzed by uncertainty :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/kkruger68 Kathy Kruger

    Hey Leanne – enjoyed your post and love you and Alex at Juicy Genuises. The steps are really logical (a little bit of yin reflection and then some yang action) and then celebrate! I do struggle with fear that is somehow underlying, that undefinable something deep within. Recently I started my blog http://www.yinyangmother.com but I’ve also been weighing work options (because the bills have to be paid). I went for two really good jobs that I didn’t get shortlisted for, but felt I had to put myself out there after living and not working in Canada last year (near you in Vancouver) and losing my ‘work identity’. I am actually working part time with some good options coming up (with the opportunity to balance the blogging and parenthood) but still I have this fear. I’m working on it!

  • manny

    this is the best it has changed my life

  • LASHPAL

    Thank you for this article. Really fear is nothing but sometimes we face fear in the form of worry and confusion. Thank you again for all inspiration.

  • Wendy Merron

    Leanne, I enjoyed reading your technique! I have a feeling lots of people will find that when they use it they’ll be surprised. Thank you :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/leanne.kallal Leanne Kallal

    Glad you enjoyed reading about my technique and I hope you’re pleasantly surprised when you use it too!

  • Christina

    What an awesome article! I put this technique to good use this summer. I’m still new to college (at almost 28) AND I work full time. I signed up for summer classes which nanny I would have to leave my house at 7:00 am every morning, going to two hours of class, followed by eight hours of work, and then back to school for two more hours of class after work, putting me home at 10:30 every night. EVERYONE told me not to do it, that it was too much, and that I was setting myself up for failure. Anyway, I was determined to do it. I noticed that every night as I was leaving campus and my long, tiring day was coming to an end, I would be ecstatic. I would be SO proud of myself every single day just for getting up and going to class. Then, part of me would feel silly for being so proud of myself simply for not skipping school. But, I took a step back and said, “You know what? It may not be the biggest accomplishment, but it’s still something. And if being proud of myself is what motivates me to keep going, then so be it! I an awesome and I WILL do this!” Not only did I go to class every single day, but I made all A’s!! I’m so glad I ignored the negative words from others as well as my own thoughts and stepped up to the plate. I have every right to be proud. :)

  • Christina

    What an awesome article! I put this technique to good use this summer. I’m still new to college (at almost 28) AND I work full time. I signed up for summer classes which meant I would have to leave my house at 7:00 am every morning, going to two hours of class, followed by eight hours of work, and then back to school for two more hours of class after work, putting me home at 10:30 every night. EVERYONE told me not to do it, that it was too much, and that I was setting myself up for failure. Anyway, I was determined to do it. I noticed that every night as I was leaving campus and my long, tiring day was coming to an end, I would be ecstatic. I would be SO proud of myself every single day just for getting up and going to class. Then, part of me would feel silly for being so proud of myself simply for not skipping school. But, I took a step back and said, “You know what? It may not be the biggest accomplishment, but it’s still something. And if being proud of myself is what motivates me to keep going, then so be it! I an awesome and I WILL do this!” Not only did I go to class every single day, but I made all A’s!! I’m so glad I ignored the negative words from others as well as my own thoughts and stepped up to the plate. I have every right to be proud. :)

  • Chris

    Absolutely what I needed to hear Leanne! Thank you for your eloquence, honesty and love!

  • Peter Scott

    Great blog post Leanne! On my journey of designing a fearless life, I’ve learned that everyone experiences fear sometimes — it’s part of being human. But no matter how overwhelmed and paralyzed your fear is making you feel, you can break through to fearlessness.

    Fearlessness is not that absence of fear, rather it’s the mastery of fear. Fearlessness is about getting up one more time than we fall down. The more comfortable we are with the possibility of falling down, the more fearless we will be, and the easier our journey will become.

    So here’s to going boldly in the direction of your fears, no matter what the cost!

    To Your Fearless Life,

    Peter Scott