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  • Writer's pictureConnie Leach

Dare to be Fearless

Being fearless means having the ability to push through the roadblocks that can keep you stuck in self-doubt and uncertainty. It means you understand what's driving your fear, so you can manage it and achieve your goals.

Fear is an instinctive protection designed to keep you safe from harm. Its role is in the self-preservation of life and alerts you to any nearby danger. Unfortunately, fear can work as both your friend and your foe. As a friend, fear can warn you about imminent danger such as the smell of gas or a stranger walking behind you late at night.

As your foe, fear can appear when there is no real sense of danger. It can work against you by sounding the alarm when you're embarking on a new experience. It tries to warn you not to venture out too far, thus protecting you from rejection, hurt, failure, criticism, and so on. Its defenses can be so strong that it can frighten you into not achieving the life you want or need.

As your inner defense system attempts to get your attention, it takes on the voice of an inner Critic, trying various methods to keep you from any type of risk. This inner voice will try to shame, berate, and bully you into playing small in your life. The inner Critic can be so loud it warns you against changing careers, starting a business, finishing college, and so on.

Everyone, young and old, has a Critic's voice in their heads. Sometimes this voice can sound like a person in your life: a parent, teacher, colleague, relative, and so on. The Critic presents itself as a pessimistic and discouraging voice that compares you unfavorably to others. This voice might say things like, "I'm fat, I'm stupid, I'm no good enough." The Critic constantly reminds you of your weaknesses so that you don't venture out too far into unsafe territory.

The inner voice can never be conquered completely, but it can be quieted down or muted. The trick for taming or quieting this inner voice is to first notice it. Pay attention to what it says and how often? Who does it sound like? What does it look like?

Draw or find a picture that depicts your inner Critic. Make it outrageous and silly. You want to call out your Critic for what it is...a pest that tries to keep you playing small. Post your picture as a reminder. Next, think of a word or phrase to say to your Critic when it gets too loud. Try something like, "I'm not going to listen to you," or "Thanks for your advice, but I've got this."

Take control of your inner Critic. Go after what you want. Dare to be Fearless!

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