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The Power of Fear

I was talking to a client the other day, and told me that she had an epiphany - she realized that she was living her life in fear. Fear of rejection, of failure, of embarrassment. In one single amazing moment, she decided she didn’t want to be the girl who was afraid to live or put herself out there. Coming from this client, it was an incredibly powerful moment. We’ve worked on helping her nurture her self-confidence, using daily affirmations to establish a positive base of support within herself. To hear her speak, without my prodding, about using this fear to launch her forward, I was completely reminded of two things: 1) I love my job – my clients inspire me every single day; and 2) that fear is necessary to reach beyond our goals.

In the process of setting goals, we don’t talk about fear enough. We talk about making the goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-oriented). We talk about making them action-oriented, so you can put more control in your own hands. We talk about breaking goals down into smaller chunks. And while we talk about barriers, which sometimes include fear, we don’t discuss fear specifically all the time. As in – “What are you afraid of? What holds you back, and what failures do you fear?” These questions are crucial, because they are connected to a deeper, underlying goal that may not be otherwise identified. In the example above, the client grew a surplus of self-confidence in one single moment of harnessing her fear.

Fear is relevant to everyone. It can be what cripples your goals, sucking the oxygen from your fire until you’re left with ashes – or it can be what ignites you and launches you forward. Coaching is very difficult (but highly rewarding) work, and I admit that sometimes I worry that I haven’t helped a client as well as I perhaps could have. But this fear makes me a better coach. I think constantly about reaching these clients, re-connecting in ways that we haven’t tried yet, trying new approaches to keep them focused on their goals. I worry sometimes about offending others with my professional opinions about weight loss products, gimmicks, or plans, but I also know that I can’t let a fear like that hold me back from providing sound professional advice. The alternative is just not an option, so I can’t let that fear hold me back.

Granted, not all fears are created equal. Being afraid of spiders and going to buy a tarantula will not directly translate to completing a marathon, for example. But, harnessing the fear by buying the spider may plant the seed of self-confidence, or be the water it needed to really grow. And when the self-confidence has grown enough, you can use that to tackle your true goal of running a marathon. Whatever your fears are, let’s take a look at them. I’d love to know – are you willing to harness the power of your fear?

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