It’s hard to face a fear. Especially a fear that comes from a failure. And this week I have had my fair share of that. A project I have worked on for a year looks like its not going to happen. A big blow, to both my dreams and my confidence. It happens to the best of us. But when it happens there is only one way to go, forward. But how? When we fail along comes fear and it tells us that we can’t do whatever it is we are trying to do. However really fear is just our bodies way of telling us we are crossing a comfort zone. Fears arising mean we are challenging ourselves and challenge means growth. But how to overcome those fears?
I know it seems daunting. However it is not impossible. No matter how difficult it is to fail there is always a way back up again. And that way up will make you stronger. No matter how big the fear you can overcome it.
This week I have (and still am) being tested hard. And I have two choices. Listen to my fear and give up. Or carry on in spite of the fears I have. Of course I am going to carry on. And this is how I am doing it.
Release and reach out
At first when a failure or disappointment hits it feels like crap. At this moment it’s ok not to fight. It’s okay to be upset, so be upset. I cried for a whole night. I reached out to the two people in the world I knew could help me Mr T and another man that I truly admire. Between them they comforted me and made me remember that I can create my dreams, even when it feels like I can’t. So call on the people you need to help you when you hit your low. Cry it out and release your frustrations (ofc not on others, that never helps anything). Believe me afterwards you will feel better.
Look for the teaching
Accept the failure and look for the teaching. Everything in life teaches us something, whether we want to learn it or not. Be conscious of this and look at the situation objectively. Why did this happen? Why did you create it? And what is the teaching that life is sending you?
How can you move forward?
Once you have identified the teaching how can you move forward? This failure has opened up other opportunities for you. What are they and how can you embrace them? Allow what you have learnt to guide you. Once you calm down and move out of the drama of your failure the way forward will become clear.
Identify the fears
Unfortunately (unless you are some kind of superhero or guru) when you have worked out how to move forward the fears will come. Recognise them. Fears are just an idea. They are not real. Unless you make them real by believing in them. Identify what is it you are really afraid of. When you rationalise a fear it is less scary. It becomes tangible and more importantly it becomes something that it is possible to overcome.
Face the fear
When we face our fears they do become less scary. It just takes that first step. Whether it’s a conversation you need to have, or a resignation you have to hand in, the first step will be the hardest. However with every step you take it will get easier. The double bonus with this is that when you have faced your fear you get not only a sense of pride, you also get a sense of freedom.
Remind yourself it’s ok to struggle
As I sat crying on our porch under the stars earlier this week, I began to talk to me 6 months from now. I asked myself to remember that moment. To remember it so that I will be able to celebrate the journey I will have taken and enjoy my success even more, because I survived what I was feeling then. Even though at that precise moment I wasn’t sure I will succeed it reminded me and reassured me that things will get better. So remind yourself that it’s ok to struggle. Struggle just makes success sweeter.
Ok this is challenging. And sometimes you have to just trust. The universe knows what it’s doing much better than you do. Remind yourself that the universe is conspiring to lead you along the right path. Be grateful for that. Tell yourself that this will work out somehow. You might not be able to see it, however it will work out. No matter how bad things seem they will eventually get better. Trust in that. Summon every bit of strength you have and keep moving forward.
Fear is not real, it is not an expert and it is not a truth. The absence of fear is not what bravery is. Bravery is having a fear and doing it anyway. When my Mum got divorced, it was scary for her, a whole new life. The day it came through I sent her a bouquet with the note
“The only way is up and left a bit”
And it is.
Hold yourself tall and move with the flow of events life sends at you.
Failure is just a block in one direction. You can take so many other paths. Fear is just a brainfog trying to stop you from trying something new and expanding your comfort zone. It’s not real so don’t let it become real.
Surf the waves, learn the lessons and see the new possibilities and everything will be alright in the end, because you are brave enough and strong enought to face whatever it is that life sends you <3