I recently returned from the International Coach Federation convention, and have been thinking through a lot of things – some thoughts that I picked up there, as well as some thoughts that were spawned by the things I picked up there.  In no particular order, I am going top share some with you.  I am doing this as much for me as for you, as I often find that just writing things down helps to clarify my thoughts.  And I also think that some of these thoughts may spawn even more thoughts for you.

I am thinking about fear today.  This may come from the final keynote speaker we had – Steve Farber.  If you want to know about Mr. Farber, by all means look him up – I thought he was a phenomenal speaker with a phenomenal message.  To say just a little about him, I will quote from the book jacket on The Radical Edge, one of his books (which I read on the plane on the way home, and it was great).  “Steve Farber is president of Extreme Leadership, Inc., an organization devoted to changing the world through the cultivation  and development of Extreme Leaders in the business community.”  From what I saw at his talk, he is passionate about this.

So, the thoughts on fear seem to have started with his talk.  He spoke of that moment before you do something when that moment of fear hits you.  That really resonates with me, as it seems to happen to me a lot.  And what I took away from his talk was that most of the time when that moment of fear hits me, what it means is that I am just where I am supposed to be, doing just what I am supposed to be doing.  Many times that big sign that the fear is putting up is NOT a stop sign, but rather a sign that says “go for it, have fun, and enjoy the ride.”

I am a big believer in listening to and trusting your intuition (or your gut, or your inner voice, or whatever you call it).  I also believe in fear as a way to keep me safe.  For instance, when I was younger, it was probably fear that kept me from touching the hot stove, or from running out into the busy street.  Fear was a good thing in those situations, and kept me from getting hurt.  But  I am a big girl now, and I don’t always need fear to keep me safe.  For instance, I no longer need fear to keep me from touching a hot stove – my brain is developed enough to know what will happen if I do.  Not to mention that I may have experienced the consequences once or twice in my life, and I remember.

I have a lot of fear in my background, and to this day fear still plays a pretty big role in why I do or don’t do things.  Maybe it’s time to stop letting fear make those decisions for me.  Do I really need to not go in a certain direction in my business just because I MIGHT fail?  Is the fact that I might fail based on reality, or is just a vague fear of failing?

Personally, I would like to thank fear for the positive effects it has had on my life in the past; forget about any negative effects it has had on my life in te pset; and move forward with some discernment about any fears that I have in the future.

The next time I think about doing something new and fear shows up, I am going to spend a little time thinking about where that fear is coming from and what it means.  Is it a stop sign, or is it a  “go for it, have fun, and enjoy the ride” sign?  Is the fear simply because I am stepping out of my comfort zone, or is it a real sign that I am about to do something not-so-smart?  And I truly meant a “little” time; my plan is not to over analyze it, just to ask the questions, and trust my gut.

How about you?  Does fear play a big role in your life, or a small one?  Does fear stop you from doing things you really want to do?  How do you deal with it?  Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.

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