I recently read Dr. Lissa Rankin’s book The Fear Cure. Given the nature of my nervous system, I’m always on the lookout for books that help me calm down. One of the funny things about my life is that people always tell me how calm I seem to be, and I feel like I’m always walking around revved up like a race car. Luckily, I’ve got a fear cure. And I’m sharing it with you in this post.
I’ve managed to get to a place where walking around revved-up doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I’ve gotten used to the jitters, the jumps in my heart, and have figured out how to sleep. And, I get to design my days in a way that lets me meditate and exercise in the morning, go down to the water in the afternoon, and spend zero time in a car commuting anywhere. Plus, I work with really, really great people.
Still, I’ve noticed that there’s been a strong upswing in the fears and nerves category lately. And I can guess why: my new book is now open for pre-orders. This is so exciting, a dream come true, and something I’ve been wanting for nearly my entire life. It’s also kind of terrifying.
I have a list of things I worry about related to this:
1. That nobody will read my book.
2. That tons of people will read my book, even people I wish wouldn’t.
3. That of those people who read it, two will like it/find it helpful.
4. That of those people who read it, all of them will like it/find it helpful and I’ll be swamped with requests for…stuff.
5. That my closest friends and family will think parts of it are far too weird and woo-woo, and I’ll have to figure out what to do about that.
And I’m just getting started.
Thankfully, right at this very moment–the moment I’m typing this–I am starting to laugh.
That’s what the fear cure does for you. It lets you laugh at your fears. Lissa Rankin has some neat ideas about how to handle fear and develop courage in her book.
And I’ve got a few up my sleeve these days, too. And, since I have a hunch you sometimes have a list something like mine, I’m sharing them here with you.
Here you go.
1. Take your fears to the next level. When I voice my fears aloud I use a cartoonishly loud and wacky voice. I shout them out: “Nobody will read my book! Everyone will read my book! People I don’t want to read my book will read my book! Some of my friends and family will think I’m a total weirdo!” Picture me standing on chair as I do this. With a megaphone. I also like to add in a “Aaaaaaaa!” sound.
The truth is, my fears are funny. They’re so contradictory and unfounded, with so little evidence to support them. And I can see this when I exaggerate them. It makes me laugh.
2. Look for evidence. Oh boy does our mind loooove to look for evidence. It’ll pull in the most outlandish things to prove that a fear is founded and definitely going to happen. Knowing this is key. ‘Cos we can pull in way more real-deal, actually true, not outlandish evidence to prove the opposite of our fears. Nobody will read my book? How about ‘Lots of people will want to read my book’? I can list at least three reasons why I know that’s true. And I bet you can for your opposite thoughts, too.
3. Feel for peace. Truth feels like peace. It feels like a sigh of relief. It feels like the opposite of worry, stress and anxiety. So feel for when you feel peace, and test out taking action that stems from the thoughts that generated that feeling. Not the ones that made you feel more fearful or anxious.
Need a clear example? How about this: when you worry about money, do you confidently go out and create new business, new clients or ask for a raise? Or do you tuck in and hope things get better? On the flip side, when you think the peace-thought “My fears have never come true, and I’ve always had a roof over my head and food to eat”, what might you go out in the world and do?
4. Stay in the now. Fear likes to project us into the future–and it’s not a pretty picture. Fear says things like “What happened once will happen again and again! People can’t be trusted! You’ll fall on your face! Things will never get better!” Stay in the now. Look around you. Notice the roof over your head, the food in your fridge, the people who will always be there to help you. List at least thirty things you feel grateful for, right now.
5. Ask what truth and love would say. We all have access to a wiser part of us. We can call this our Higher Self, our Soul, our Heart, our big-S Self vs small-s self. Call it whatever you like. That part of you is connected to truth and love and it’s verrrry intuitive. Ask what truth and love would say.
For me, truth and love would say “Oh, sweetie, calm the frick down, you are hilarious. There’s nothing here to even worry about. Take one step at a time. Be gentle. And be open to what might happen. Magic is coming your way. Just you wait.”
And, you know what? Truth and love is right. I’ve experienced this time and time again. And when I hear this part of me speak, I feel a big sigh of relief, a great sense of contentment and peace. And I know: I’ve stepped into truth.
With much love, and light ahead,