I am surprised how much we (myself included) expect that once we get over fear the first time that it’s never supposed to come back. That once we’ve walked through making a huge change or tackling a major new area of growth that we won’t be afraid anymore. We say to ourselves, “okay, I did it!” and we expect that we won’t have to feel afraid when we take on the next big things.
But really, each stage of growth is going to come with fear again because it’s new and it’s different. And when we move into unfamiliar areas, we’re inevitably going to have to face all those things again- all the bad habits that you thought you were past will come back up! All the “I’m not good enough,” and “I don’t know what I’m doing,” and “maybe I shouldn’t be doing this” thoughts that are trying to keep us small! And it feels very scary.
When we’re pushing ourselves to expand into new areas and grow into the best version of ourselves, the fear is always going to come back! But it doesn’t have to get so loud that it stops us. We just have to remember that the fear means we’re challenging ourselves to grow. And that’s a good thing! It’s how we get good at all the things we never thought we could do in the first place!
We see kids do this all the time. They don’t think they can play soccer, then they take it up, get good at it… and then suddenly they’re bored with it. Right!?We’re the same! We get used to “the thing” that once challenged us and then before you know it, it doesn’t challenge us anymore. Then we start looking around for excitement and challenge, and we go out and try to find our joy! And when you do that, all the old fears come back into play, which feels really confusing. It feels like, “WHAT?!?! Why am I feeling like this again?! I thought I was past this!” But knowledge and awareness of fear doesn’t mean I get out of experiencing it.
The critical thing at this point is the ability to cultivate trust. To reflect back on all the things you’ve done that you never thought you could do, and trust that you’re going to be able to do this one, too! Whatever it is! And that you’re not crazy for feeling the fear. It’s totally normal, and it means you’re growing into who you’re meant to be! So my conclusion is that the best we can do for ourselves is to feel the fear & do it anyway.