By Sarah Sarway
Have you ever found yourself so excited about a perspective career change or cross-country move that it felt like nothing could get in the way of you and all of the potential joy ahead? Until that pesky little voice kicked in, convincing you to play it safe and stay just right where you are?
“If you let fear, or False Evidence Appearing Real, create these false belief systems around you, you’re never going to be happy,” says empowerment coach and reiki master Kelsey J. Patel.
Instead, Patel says you’ve got to get to the root of your fear before it has a chance to prevent you from getting what you really desire. “True change and what you want all starts with you,” she says, “and this change all starts with releasing your attachment to outcomes and letting whatever is meant to happen happen.”
Last fall, Patel led a group of inspiring Masterclass participants through a series of exercises to help them identify their fears, understand where they stem from, and let them go. “It was magical,” she says. “These women were really getting clarity on whatever was holding them back.” (Trust us, there were a lot of tears!) It was so powerful, in fact, that we didn’t want you to miss out.
Fear not (ha!), because we asked Patel to break down some of her favorite tactics, here. Below, you’ll find six totally legit ways to quiet that voice in your head and go after the happiness, success, and love you most definitely deserve.
6 Ways to Conquer Fear
1. Check in with yourself.
First of all, “most people are on autopilot, so they never really know how they’re feeling,” explains Patel. To really get clarity, she recommends doing constant check-ins throughout the day. “Put everything down for 60 seconds, close your eyes, and take deep breaths.” This can even be done during stressful meetings, with eyes wide open. “Take a few seconds to come back inside your own body by actively listening to the sounds of your own breath.” By getting back in tune with yourself, you’ll be better equipped to understand what is going on in your head. “After all, if you don’t know what the boundaries are that hold you back, how are you ever going to get past them?”
2. Try a visualization exercise.
One key part of Patel’s Masterclass session was a meditation that offered an opportunity to peek into the future. “I had each woman meet themselves ten years from now to see everything—from what they would look like and what they were doing to how they would use their time and who they woke up next to,” she said. Once they snapped back into the present, Patel encouraged them to do a full-on assessment to identify their happiness-blockers. “Whatever they realized didn’t align with the future that they wanted needed to be cut out, because there’s no place for it.”
3. Write it all down.
“When you’re really excited about something, the big players usually come out to try and sabotage,” she says. Instead of letting your fear, ego, and stomach-churning nerves get the best of you, grab a pen and paper. (Forgo the note-taking apps on your phone, if you can.)
If you’re worried about a rainy forecast on your wedding say, let’s say, write out exactly what it is you are fearing. “Ask yourself what is true here and what you are choosing to believe and start writing these points out to see what is actually just a made-up story,” says Patel. “In this example with the wedding, you’ll realize that the story is that they’re predicting rain, but the fact is that no one truly knows the weather,” she says. “That is something that’s been proven time and time again.” And if your big day does turn out to be a big mess, accept that you have no control of the situation and just be present. You may even find yourself dancing in the rain.
4. Give that negative inner voice the silent treatment.
One super effective way to keep fears from getting the best of you is to ignore them. “If you give these thoughts airtime, they will always win,” says Patel. Instead, she recommends interrupting that voice with a stronger, more self-affirming message. “Tell yourself, ‘You know what? I AM good enough for this and that and I DO deserve it!’” she says. “If you make a conscious effort to stop playing and feeding into that inner voice, it has nowhere to be heard.”
5. Tell yourself a new story—but be patient.
“Many people operate on a misleading belief system or program that they developed at a younger age when things were scary,” says Patel. If you’re trying to reprogram, you need to be patient. “The same way that it took time to develop the old story that kept you away from joy and happiness, it will take time for the new story to develop.” The key to making lasting change is to be consistent. The next time a fear creeps into your mind, stop it in its tracks and replace it with something self-affirming. “You have to consciously make choices in every moment of every day,” she says. “Start telling yourself a new story—even if you don’t believe it at first.” Soon, you’ll be feeding yourself confidence-boosting words of encouragement instead of anxious and fearful nonsense. (How amazing is that??)
6. Trust in yourself and the universe.
There will always be moments where you’re going to have doubts about the outcome and your own abilities. Instead of pretending like you can control absolutely everything, take a moment to pause. “I always tell my clients to remember the mantra, ‘I am right on time’” she says. “No matter where you are, no matter what’s going on, just keep saying, ‘I am right on time.’” This mindset can provide you with a strong push back to all the nerves that tell you otherwise. “By trusting the universe you’ll realize that there’s no need to do any forcing because everything around you is in divine timing.”
(Featured Photo: Jenn Evelyn-Ann via Unsplash)