You’ve chosen to follow your dreams! You’ve handed in your resignation letter. You’ve said goodbye to your coworkers. You’ve fielded every “What’s next?” question with a brave smile and a generic “I’m not sure yet but I’m excited for this adventure.”
Then you go home, collapse on your bed…and stay there.
All that goes through your mind is: What have I done?
When you choose to follow your dreams, it often means doing things differently. And it’s not always easy to be different.
As a social species, humans are programmed to follow the pack. So it’s no wonder our mind and body freak out when we challenge the status quo. You know what I mean: the racing thoughts and physical sensations that stop you in your tracks.
Do these physical sensations sound familiar?
- Heavy shoulders
- Pounding heart
- Tight throat
- Holding your breath
- Punch in the gut
They may be signs that you’re afraid of something.
Knowing your body’s fear response is an important step in recognizing and naming your fears. When you know your fears, you can better deal with them.
In a room of purpose-driven people with interests in sustainability, development, education, the collaborative economy, and more, we all had surprisingly similar fears:
- Self doubt (e.g. I’m not good enough.)
- Making excuses (e.g. I should be looking for a job.)
- Failures / Rejections (e.g. They don’t like me.)
- Negative self talk (e.g. I have nothing to offer here.)
It’s a telltale sign that your fear is speaking when you feel closed in. It usually has a critical and urgent voice.
With a bit of courage and vulnerability, you can expand from fear’s restrictions.
First, recognize that fear can serve a purpose.
Fear asks you questions. You can respond back. Fear challenges you. You can choose to accept the challenge. (Even if not now, hopefully later down the road.)
You might want to seek extra support as you listen to fear. Call up a friend, find a counselor or coach, or attend a support group. Get yourself into a place of courage and vulnerability so you can truly receive fear’s message.
Second, know that fear will show up again and again. Prepare for it.
It takes practice to build resilience and to reduce the impact of fear.
Learn about short and long term strategies for doing so. Head to Part 2 of the Fear series.
What is the SIGroup?
The Social Impact Learning & Support Group is a monthly gathering of purpose-driven people in Vancouver, BC. Someone called us a “creative, caring, and authentic” group. Sign up for the newsletter to stay in the loop.