Are you afraid to tell your spouse how you really feel? Are you terrified about making that big career change? Are you fearful of standing up for yourself when someone is treating you unfairly? Routinely we tell ourselves to hold back because it doesn’t feel safe. Most times though, it’s not the person or the situation that is unsafe.
What drives our discomfort in these moments is fear of stepping out of the familiarity in our established patterns of handling conflict (or not), standing up for ourselves (or not), using our voices (or not), setting boundaries (or not), believing in our potentials (or not), etc.
The tension comes in having to face stepping out of who we have known ourselves to be and into new dynamics, opportunities and ways of being, but more often than not this tension is projected onto the other person or situation rather than owned within ourselves: I am scared of HER. I am too afraid of THAT. HE makes me uncomfortable. THEY wouldn’t want me to.
Identify the “thing” you’re scared of in the other person or circumstance. Ask yourself, “Is it possible that I am primarily concerned about that within myself, more so than from the identified other?”
For example: “Am I only scared that he will be mad at me addressing this conflict directly, or am I bumping up against a pattern globally in life of fearfully refusing to give myself permission to be assertive?”
In terms of alleviating anxiety and generating energy for a creative life, it’s imperative that you know the root of your concern rather than focus on secondary symptoms. If you recognize the conflict is within you, then you have total control over the resolution. Woohoo!
Don’t resist your power, voice or potential. You aren’t here to play small. Don’t let fear-based ego fool you into thinking you are less than you really are, or that you are better off staying “safe” by hiding within the status quo.
Understand the difference between being scared of someone or something and being scared to step into yourself and your power.