If there's one thing you could give up that would make the greatest positive impact on your life, what would it be?
Alcohol? Sugar? Meat?
For me, it's fear.
Fear is pretty scary, right?
So I'm wondering... What if I could give up fear for a whole month? What difference would it make in my life and the lives of others around me?
Maybe you've heard of febfast, the Australian initiative that encourages people to give up alcohol or sugar for the month of February while raising funds for a worthy cause.
Fasting is a great way to kickstart healthy habits or kick unhealthy ones.
While some fear is biologically inevitable - we wouldn't survive without it - a lot of the fear that we experience on a daily basis is unproductive, unhealthy and unnecessary.
That's why I've created From Fear to Flow*. It’s a 28-day self-guided coaching program that will enable you to:
bring greater Awareness to when and how fear is showing up in your life;
use Curiosity to open up possibilities for learning and growth; and
develop greater Trust in yourself and in life generally.
*This program was originally called “Fasting to Fear-Less”
Why am I doing this?
The short answer: I love helping people to realise their dreams - and fear is typically the thing that gets in the way.
The longer answer:
On a personal level, I strongly believe that we are responsible for our own lives and that the only way to truly live that is to overcome our fears - to "tame the beast within", so to speak. I developed this program by doing it myself - and also by enlisting and listening to feedback from my most trusted colleagues and friends. (That's what Being: the Change is all about, right?)
On a professional level, my coaching work has allowed me to support many clients in overcoming their fears so that they can be more effective at work and more fulfilled in their lives generally. I've learned a bit about what works and what doesn't, and I'd love to share some of these insights with you.
As a global citizen, I believe that fear is the root cause of most (if not all) of the problems we face as a society today. Turn on your television, check your smartphone, log in to social media, and you'll see that we are consuming a predominantly fear-based diet of news, advertising and entertainment. Noticed any conflict in the world lately? Show me a conflict, and I'll show you fear. So to the extent that this initiative might influence even one other person to dial their fear down a notch or two, that's got to be good for humanity, let alone the rest of the planet.
So what does it involve? Does giving up fear mean I have to do scary things?
Well, yes - but perhaps not in the way that you think.
This is not a “fake it ‘til you make it'“-type challenge. It’s not about leaping out of a plane, or hugging strangers, or anything like that. You’re not going to be doing scary things just for the sake of it.
At the same time, it will take courage. Perhaps the most courageous thing you can do is admit that you experience fear and be willing to explore it rather than sweep it under the rug.
This challenge is all about tackling everyday fear.
For some, it could be about worry - worrying about money, worrying about the traffic, worrying about the weather, worrying about what other people think of you, worrying about the planet. (Okay, you can keep worrying about the planet - but then go and do something about it.)
For others, it could be about anxiety - parties, conferences, first dates, public speaking, random strangers on public transport. (Yes, I have a thing about strangers.)
For me, personally, it's about procrastination. People who procrastinate are often regarded as being lazy or unfocused, but many forms of procrastination are due to fear. Fear of failure or fear of success - it doesn't matter. What matters to me is that I face it and get through it. Otherwise, I'll be back to worry - worrying that I'll waste my "one wild and precious life" (thanks for rubbing it in, Mary Oliver).
In practical, terms, this challenge is about training ourselves to:
Notice the fear: We can't change what we don't observe, so the simple act of noticing fear (rather than getting caught up in it) is very significant.
Assess whether it is serving us: Not all fear is bad. It's worth asking ourselves whether our fear is protective or over-protective.
Make better choices: Sometimes it's just about breathing through the fear (I'll be sharing some techniques for working through the physical experience of fear), and at other times it's about using that fear to inform our strategy about what to do next. It's important to be able to figure out the difference.
All will be revealed as the challenge unfolds...
Who is this challenge suitable for?
This challenge assumes a reasonable level of self-awareness and a desire to really take responsibility for the outcomes you're creating in your life.
If blame and excuses are your forté, this is probably not for you (yet).
While virtually everyone experiences fear (except this person), you might particularly benefit from this challenge if you identify as one of the following:
Closet Creative: If you've got a significant creative project or initiative that you'd like to kickstart or make progress on in the next 28 days, this challenge can support you to overcome any fears that may be holding you back and access the "activation energy" needed to take inspired action towards your goals.
Chronic Worrier: Do you get stuck in your head worrying about things that you cannot predict or control? Try this challenge before you chew off all of your fingernails or develop a stomach ulcer.
Champion Procrastinator: Yep. See above.
And if you find yourself in more than one category, you're going to get even more out of it!
Okay, so how does it actually work?
There are many ways to participate in this challenge:
Weekly emails: If you are "mildly curious but not quite committed", sign up for the weekly emails below (weekly during the challenge, that is). I'll be sharing some ideas, strategies and exercises to help you manage the fear in your life. You can read them, you can act on them, you can ignore/delete them - it's totally up to you!
Facebook page: If you'd like to be a "silent participant", you can sign up for the weekly emails below and like/follow the Facebook page to receive regular doses of inspiration throughout the challenge. You can participate as much or as little as you like, and no one has to know.
Facebook group: For those who are "super-committed" to taming the beast within, I'd love to see you in the dedicated Facebook group where you will have access to all of the above, plus some other goodies to support you on your journey. Importantly, the group is a place for us to share stories (both challenges and breakthroughs) and support each other to get the most out of the experience. It's a closed group, which means that your posts in the group can only be seen by other members of the group.
If 28 days seems like too much of a commitment, that's fine too. Give it a try for 7 days and see what happens. The longer you stick with it, the more likely you are to form a habit, but baby steps are better than none at all...
How do I sign up?
From Fear to Flow will be commencing in mid-February. As a self-guided coaching program, you can start it whenever you like and take as long as you need to complete it.
Please enter your name and email address below to be notified when it is open for registration.