On not being afraid of fear
Several years, I was listening to a radio talk show hosted
by a psychologist.
A young woman caller said, "I just got accepted to medical
"Congratulations!" said the host. "That's terrific."
"And," continued the caller, "I'm scared to
"Of course you are!" said the host. "Just
don't be paralyzed.
Keep going. Work in and through the fear."
I was reminded of that call recently, when someone said,
"People who go through transitions are fearful."
"And well they should be!" I replied. "There's
a lot to be afraid of in a transition."
"During a transition, you've got lots of things going
on. And lots of people are standing by, waiting to take your
money. You'd do well to be scared."
"But fear is bad."
"No. fear can be your friend. Fear is a signal from
your intuition that you need to be vigilant."
"But you can't make decisions based on fear."
"No. But if you're feeling scared, pay attention to
what's going on.
Deal with the fear first.
If you're trying to decide whether to quit your job,
fear can help you make a good plan.
Fear of getting sick can lead to a healthy diet, exercise
"What if you're paralyzed?"
"When you feel paralyzed by fear, take some action.
Start moving. See if you feel the fear easing up. You can
also work on your
anxieties by writing in a journal or talking to someone you
trust. As you
write or talk, you may feel less scared."
"What if you don't?"
"Full scale panic attacks call for professional treatment
If your fear is holding you back from reaching your goals,
you need to seek professional help.
For instance, if your job calls for driving and you're afraid
to drive on the freeway, you need to talk to a psychologist
who deals with phobias."
"What can a coach do?"
"A career coach or consultant can help you look at the
facts in a new way. I can
help you decide if your fear is realistic and, if so, how
to deal with it.
I can remind you that most people entering a transition will
"Yes. Don't let anyone dismiss your fears. Only you
can tell if
fear comes from your intuition or if this particular fear
is blocking your intuition."
"So fear is not something to be afraid of."
"I believe fear is a friend, a message from intuition."
"Or as Franklin Roosevelt said fifty years ago, in a
whole different context, 'The only
thing left to fear is fear itself.'"
"You got it."
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.