Achieving a dream often comes hand-in-hand with overcoming a fear associated with that very ambition. Yet all too often, we only hear about the achievement itself. We miss the backstories about the work that went along with the ride. But these backstories of perseverance are blueprints that we can learn from.
In fact, overcoming fear is a skill that we can fine tune. Doing so allows us to approach and move through our fears in a more empowering context over time. This skill is so important because as we expand into new territory during our lives, voices of fear will inevitably rise up (and usually with increased intensity when we are about to conquer them.)
I like calling these threshold fears.
When these fears arise, it’s important to first notice them and then to zoom our perspective outwards. Make your perspective bigger and try to see these fears as a test. Threshold fears test us by forcing us to confirm that yes, we are that committed to the dream, so much so that we will push through the fears.
Think about it like this: if we don’t have enough skin in the game (or dream), chances are, we won’t cross the threshold, we’ll just turn back. In the short term, turning back is easier, but unless we power through our fears, we can’t live into our dreams. We just stop and turn back to the life we already know.
The next time you are confronted with threshold fears, try these techniques to overcome those voices and push through them.
1. Focus on your WHY.
Ask yourself about the why behind what you are doing. What is the intrinsic reason or pull that is guiding you?
2. Use your gut as a compass.
If you are acting in alignment with your gut instinct and with intrinsic motivations, chances are much higher that you are following the right path. Our gut instinct holds incredible wisdom when we ask it to guide us.
3. Focus on integration, not a departure.
Everything about your current life does not need to be left behind in order to pursue something new. Ask yourself how this new chapter or dream can be an extension from your current life (an integrated within it) rather than a total departure. Know that your current life and this dream do not need to be mutually exclusive or at odds. Look for ways to grow upon the seeds that you have already planted in your life.
4. Trust that you make good choices in your life.
Learning to make decisive and strong decisions for yourself is an empowering and lifelong skill. It’s a skill that you can return to again and again to help guide yourself down a path that is right for you.