Kristin Noelle at Trust Tending has a great post up with interviews she conducted with 8 life coaches on advice for overcoming fear at the start of new things. This is something I've written about before and Kristin's collection of coaches offers some great advice.
Some of the best nuggets:
- Bridget Pilloud says to realize that fear at the outset of a new project or experience is normal and that it's better to just experience the fear without trying to fix it.
- Britt Bravo suggests finding a buddy. This has definitely worked well for me in those instances where I've been able to connect with other people who are going through a similar transition.
- Chris Zydel points out that waiting for the fear to go away before you get started means you probably will never start. "Fear is always related to taking action. It’s usually not too scary to spend time fantasizing about your project or making endless plans. But the fear arises when the rubber is about to meet the road." So true.
- Jamie Ridler reminds us that fear is just the sign that an adventure is beginning--kind of like the heart-pounding feeling you get when you ride a roller coaster.
- Kate Swoboda suggests that it's fear of failure that can get us in its grip. I think this is true--and also unfortunate. We have so little tolerance for "failure" in our society, but I've found that it's my failures that have actually provided me with the greatest opportunities for growth and learning.
- Kendra Thornbury reminds us to not believe in the fear. It's just a passing thought to which we should not give our energies.
- Tara Gentile says to not get so hung up on the "how" of our desires. Instead, we should pay attention to the "what" and "why."
- Tara Sophia Mohr points out that action will get us past the fear--"action absorbs anxiety."
Great stuff on fear and well worth a read.
For me, fear is something that goes with the territory when I start a new project, especially if it's something that is going to test my skills or that I know is going to play to the areas where I need to stretch. One of the best strategies I've found for dealing with fear is to write about it, acknowledging the feelings and trying to dive down into what information they are providing me about how I need to proceed. Often my fears are excellent clues to the areas where I may need to pay greater attention--for example when I know that I'm anxious about trying out a new technique with a client, this is a reminder that I should be sure to do my homework and to let the client know that I'm experimenting with something different.
I'd love to hear how you deal with fear when heading into a new project or transition in your life. What works well for you?