How do you know if your fear is helping you or holding you back?

I was reading a blog post by Jonathan Fields the other day that talked about the discomfort of growing and expanding into the unknown, and being willing to be vulnerable and facing the fear and discomfort because he knows that he will be stepping more fully into himself on the other side.

It sounds like he is stepping more fully into his kick-ass dream life to me!

An interesting question came up in the comments of this post:

How do you discern the difference between the fear of moving forward into the new unfamiliar-yet-appropriate direction and the fear that’s trying to tell you, no, this isn’t right for you. I sometimes have a lot of difficulty telling these two fears apart and they often seem to be disguised as one another.

This question got me thinking……

How do you tell the difference?

On the surface they may appear to be the same thing, but if you take a real close look at them you can detect some differences between the two. They feel different in your body and you will find that the way it shows up in your inner dialogue will be different. Once you dig down into it, you will discover that they are rooted in two completely different places.

To me, the fear of moving forward into an unfamiliar- yet appropriate direction seems more ego driven, where as the fear that is trying to tell you that you are heading in the wrong direction is more intuition based.

The question is which one do you take more stock in?

I always trust my intuition. My ego is often full of shit so I like question what it is telling me

For example, when I examine it closely I see that  my fear around moving into unfamiliar-yet appropriate territory is really more about the outcome or results. I feel it more in my head and neck. I am not sure what to do or expect, and I don’t want to make a mistake, or look stupid. Once I get clear about what I am really afraid of, it is so much easier for me to move through it.

On the other hand, if my fear is my intuition telling me I am heading in the wrong direction, I feel it in my core and have a sense of being held back. I am unsure if I should move forward, and find myself very unwilling to take action. I am dragging my feet. I find that it is best to wait a while and gather more information, or test the waters very slowly.

In my mind, the best way to deal with fear is to meet it head on and get up close and personal with it.

The thing is that most people do not want to cozy up and get intimate with their fear. They’d rather look at it from across the room or ignore it completely. That is why it has so much power over you!

If you want to grow and expand more fully into yourself and your kick-ass dream life, you are going to have to learn how to deal with your fear, and to get familiar with what it’s trying to tell you. It is your unexamined fear that has power over you. You need to stand up to it and look down deep into the depth of it to see what is really going on for you if you want any chance of effectively moving forward. This involves self-inquiry and being willing to sit with the discomfort that you are feeling.

I would love to hear your thoughts about dealing with your fear in the comments down below.

If fear is something that you struggle with, my new e-book  The 3 Steps to Kicking Fear’s Ass can help! I break down my 3 steps for moving through your fear and provide you with all the tools you need to dig down deep into your fear and see what is really going on. I also tell you how to replace your fear with something that will help you propel you forward towards your kick-ass dream. You can learn more here.

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