Let me paint you a little picture. A picture of the past ten years. I’ve relocated twice. Bought my first (and then second) home. Dated, courted, got married. Attempted to climb the corporate ladder before realising, by way of serious anxiety attacks, that I was the proverbial square peg in a round, corporate hole. Discovered my passion, re-trained and gradually made an all-important career change. I’ve had highs and lows. I’ve set goals – I won some, I lost some. I pushed myself….. or so I thought.
A very small thing has caused a very big case of re-evaluation. The birth of my first baby. Something so very personal has had a profound knock-on effect in all areas of my life – especially, ironic as it my seem, my business. Until that sunny September day, I believed that I’d challenged and stretched myself. I thought I’d been pushing at the boundaries of my comfort zone. While the eventful ten years might tell a different story, my recent awakening has been that I feared change. More specifically, I have feared the uncertainty of change.
Sure, I flowed with the tide of my twenties and, so far, I’ve swum with the current of my thirties BUT I’d done the expected, the rites of passage. I had never bucked the trend. I’d never stepped out of my comfort zone and asserted my identity, what I call my unique sparkle. I’d never embraced change on my terms. Welcoming our baby boy into our little family was a crash-course in change and uncertainty and, all of a sudden, the symptoms of my fear became magnified. It was a chronic case.
And so I share my prescription for anyone showing similar symptoms so that you too can kick the habit:
We’re all human. No one of us is fearless. Fear is natural and so it’s not about trying to fight it – the first step is recognising what specifically you fear, the root of your uncertainty. For me, I was sabotaging opportunities for my own growth and business success as, it seems, I was irrationally trying to protect my status quo. My happiness with my now was hindering me flourishing into tomorrow. Question your fear. How is it trying to protect you? From what?
Once clear on what my ‘stinking thinking’ was, it came to the crunch – tackling those fears. As I was haplessly trying to control the uncontrollable, for me the challenge was relinquishing a little of that control. I knew I had to set myself some challenges outside of my cosy, little comfort zone and accept that I couldn’t control the outcome. In my business I pressed on with securing speaking opportunities which, for me, comes with a generous amount of uncertainty. In my home life, I let go of the ‘apron strings’ a little and let the proud grandparents bask in their maternal privileges. And I asked for help a little more, instead of fearing the uncertainty of delegation!
Having had a little taster of uncertainty and coming out the other side, I decided I needed to embrace it, not fear it. I wanted to keep facing situations that were toe-curling uncomfortable for me so that it became my new habit. And I did. With the momentum this brought, the easier it got. Action is the antidote. What action can you take today to make your toes curl? Whatever it is, do it now!
Emma Gwillim is a Life Design coach empowering women to live a life that sparkles inside and out. Emma coaches women to awaken to their unique potential, so they can make more time, more money and more life, through one-to-one sessions, virtual group programmes and live workshops. Sign up to the weekly newsletter here to get tips, advice and inspiration delivered to your inbox.
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