Holding on to a false sense of security often lures women away from the challenge of embracing their fears. Traditionally, men are the risk takers—they’re encouraged to play hard, get dirty, and try new things. Women, on the other hand, typically grow up with messages about the importance of being safe and secure. When I was on the verge of leaving my marriage, for example, my father was very afraid for me. “You’re giving up your security!” he warned. Even though I knew I had to leave, I was terrified. My own fear made it nearly impossible to take the next, right step.
At that moment, I needed a reality check. Maybe you need one now, too. We women take care of our households, our families, our friends, our careers, our health, our looks, and our finances. If we can handle all that (and more), we can handle anything! We wouldn’t have come so far in life if we weren’t capable.
So the first step to embracing fear is to give it a good dose of reality. Remind yourself of everything that you are already successfully managing in your life. Do you see that you’re stronger than you might think?
What no one else may tell you is that the sense of safety you’re used to isn’t as safe as you think. “Sure things” can always fall through, and here’s a perfect example: Recently, a friend approached me with a dilemma. She was stuck in a job she hated but made good money. Then she was offered her dream job, but there were some unknowns and risk factors. Agonizing, she asked, “Do I go for my dream and give up my security or should I stay with this job?”
As we discussed her situation, it became clear that she should go for it, but in the end she chose to let the opportunity pass her by. “I decided to stay where I am—it’s just safer,” she explained. Several months later, though, her “safe” job was eliminated, and she found herself without her sure thing or her dream job. If my friend had eliminated her excuses and embraced her fears, she might have noticed some red flags in her current job and realized that her magic-wand dream perhaps wasn’t as risky as it seemed.
Remember, don’t get stuck with what’s safe because nothing is set in stone.
You’ve heard the story about the frog in a pot of warm water, right? The frog becomes complacent and doesn’t realize that the heat is slowly increasing until it’s too late. Perhaps it was afraid to leap into the unknown despite its growing discomfort, which leads me to the point I want you to understand: Anything can eventually become acceptable, if you let it.
Why do we live in circumstances we dislike? Why do we tolerate the intolerable? Excuses. We all have them: “What will others think?” “I’m not good enough.” “It doesn’t matter.” “I don’t have the time [or money].” “My family needs me too much right now.” “I don’t know how/I don’t know the right people.” This is the voice of fear, and it sabotages our chances for a beautiful life. Those little words debilitate us and shut us down.
I tell my clients that once you eliminate your excuses, you can make better choices and have a much greater chance for achieving real, lasting security. When you do, you will be aligned with your foundation values and start to live your best life!
Excerpt: “The Beauty Blueprint” by Michelle Phillips