Happy Sunday, friends. How is it already March? ☀️
I’m writing this from my oversized couch, my feet up in a state of blissed out exhaustion.
We celebrated our littlest love's third birthday at the beach this weekend, and I could not keep count of how many fish tacos I consumed. My batteries are fully recharged, but I'm also going to enjoy an extra early bedtime tonight after all that time in the sun.
On the work front, I'm cruising through my mental health training, and it's already making a huge difference in my sessions. I mean, the sheer relief and excitement on folks' faces by the end of our calls is everything. Helping people feel better and get closer to their ideal life at the same time is a dream come true.
Now, I must find a way to bring this to more people. (Read to the bottom for how I'll do that.)
Which leads me to this week's topic...
How can I stop fear from getting in the way of achieving what I want?
But first, a giant welcome to the 104 new folks who've joined this week. Thank you for being here and doing your self-work.
I put a ton of time and energy into this weekly newsie, and it means the world when you share it with a friend or teammate.
Now, onto the scary stuff. 👻
Despite what your brain might tell you, fear is not spelled S-T-O-P.
That's because not all fear is created equal.
Over the years, I've come to think of the things I fear falling into one of two buckets:
The first is survival.
This bucket is full of the things we should obviously stay away from: big snakes, falling off a cliff, not having food, shelter, water, air.
We want to be secure and safe so we have longevity.
Friends: heed the call of survival. I like you alive and well, please and thank you.
The second bucket is abandonment.
Humans are programmed to avoid being alone. (This is related to survival, of course, but for some reason it just hits different than a big snake.) We want to feel like we belong, that we have others to lean on in times of need, and that we'll receive love and affection for all the warm fuzzies.
This is the type of fear I'm focusing on in this newsie.
No matter the bucket, steering clear of things we fear comes natural to us. We do it instinctively from a young age because fear helps us avoid pain.
But being afraid of feeling any kind pain is already a type of pain itself.
A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.
Fear gets a bad rap.
It all gets thrown in one pile of yuck, but sometimes fear can be extremely valuable.
When I reflect on my past, I realize all the big wins and everything I value have been linked to fear of some kind.
I think of when I went into labor the very first time, terror filling me with every contraction. Or when I published my first podcast episode, wondering if people I know might laugh. I think of when I accepted invitations to speak at large events, a feeling of self-doubt filling my stomach.
In those moments, fear acted as a signal, a compass that guided me towards massive growth opportunities.
Fear is a magic door. When I do what makes me feel afraid, I make make massive progress toward achieving what I want and building my ideal life.
One of my very favorite authors puts it this way:
What if my anger, my fear, my loneliness were never mistakes, but invitations?
Every time you feel afraid of doing something—of failing, of humiliation, of not being good enough—think of the airport ground crew who expertly guide planes to their gates.
When I feel afraid, what kind of opportunities might I unlock if I seriously considered walking in that direction?
What are the magic doors?
People say growth happens outside your comfort zone, and I agree, but I’m a very practical person. I need to know ways I can apply things to my own life.
So, let’s get specific.
The drive to be successful and the fear of failure are, like the head and tail of a coin, inseparably linked.
I listen carefully for fears related to what I'd like to improve in my life. This might be part of my personal life (say, a struggling relationship) or it might be part of my work life (a dream client I'm afraid to reach out to).
I'll walk through the type of fears that serve as signals and how I'm heeding their call in my life right now:
1. Taking big leaps of faith.
When I quit my toxic job in January, it was a long-time coming. Honestly, I had a quit-worthy experience my very first day on the job. But when I left, I knew I wanted to dive head-first into mental health.
The problem? All the programs I looked at were pricey. I was afraid of what it would mean for our family's financials.
Instead of shying away from the price tag, I leaned in to take a closer look. Something about signing up for a program was calling to me. After just one day of searching, I found an option closer to my price range that was even more aligned with my future plans.
I went for it. I'm half-way through the program, and my life is so much better for it.
2. Pushing through discomfort to do things that might help me.
I know the type of person I want to work with and the type of impact I want to make on their lives, but I don't necessarily have their contact information or the right message to send them. At the same time, I know the only way to grow my business is to find them and talk to them.
It makes my stomach churn to think about asking people I know for help, but I've started doing it anyway. I'm asking for warm introductions, for brainstorming sessions, for branding help, and more.
I can't say it gets easier (sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't), but seeing the value it brings to my life motivates me to keep going. My next steps are clearer because of it.
3. Believing I can figure things out (because I have before, haven't I?)
Self-doubt happens to all of us at some point in our lives. Who am I kidding, it happens at many points or sometimes even many times a day.
But to grow as a person (as a mother, as a friend, as a marketer, as a coach, as a teammate), I can't just keep doing the same thing over and over. To grow, I have to put myself in situations that require me to stretch.
The first time I spoke in front of 500 people. The first time I potty trained a toddler. The first time I pitched a podcast guest. The first time I negotiated compensation with my boss. The first time I coached a client.
Stretching can be terrifying, but I ground myself in the knowledge (and facts) that I've figured things out before when I felt I had no clue what I was doing. I can do it again.
In the end, it all comes down to this:
Your willingness to withstand fear's discomfort will determine your ability to create your ideal life.
How willing are you?
Fear will always be uncomfortable.
It doesn't feel great to stare at a pitch email, my cursor hovering above the "SEND" button, nerves on fire in the pit of my stomach. It also doesn't feel great to publish a video of myself on LinkedIn knowing some people may cringe or poke fun. Worst of all, it doesn't feel comfortable to not have complete certainty around the future status of my bank account.
But pushing through that discomfort and taking action—now that's truly satisfying.
Fear doesn’t want to feel itself; it’s actually afraid of itself.
My job isn't to make myself feel great all the time. My job is to get myself closer to my ideal life.
And so, I constantly ask myself questions like:
- What exactly am I afraid might happen? What future state am I trying to avoid?
- Where and how do I feel this fear? Is it in my stomach or my chest, perhaps? How can I move it out of my body through exercise or a good laugh?
- Do I want my vision of the future enough to push through the fear? Which is more important to me?
- Where do my courage and fear meet? What action can I take, be it large or small?
I drill down with questions like this to better understand what's happening inside myself.
Because I know this:
I will not let the fear that I might fail cause me to create the very failure I fear will exist.
Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer Resistance.
All humans are programmed to avoid feeling uncomfortable emotions, and chief of those is feeling afraid.
Fear is the magic door to achieving what you want. Walk through it.
You got this.
That's all, folks.
I have so much work to do to action all this, and I'm excited where it'll take me.
If you're doing your self-work along with me, I'm sure your brain is churning with a growing to-do list, as well.
If you want support along the way, I've got an opportunity for you.
I've got a few spots open for 1-on-1 and group coaching. If you want to work closely with me to feel and perform better, fill out this quick form.
No worries if it's not the right time for you — this newsletter will always be 100% free, and you can still learn from it every Sunday.
Whatever you decide, thank you for being here. More self-work strategies coming your way next week!
Now, off to that early bedtime. It's getting late.
Sending you all the best vibes ✨
— Marcella ✌️
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