What Scares You?

Happy Halloween!

On this day of spooky and scary, here’s a question for you.

What are you afraid of?

I was at a leadership conference last weekend and at one point, the facilitator asked this very question. 

As he went around the audience, people said things like:

I’m afraid to speak out
I’m afraid of being seen
I’m afraid of being stupid
I’m afraid of failure
I’m afraid of success

The list went on and on. I thought,  “Holy cow, there are people in this audience who are high achievers, making a big impact in the world as well as people just starting to find their most authentic selves…and yet, they all had the same fears”


Somehow, I thought that after one achieved a certain level of success, all of those fears and discomforts just faded away.

Apparently not.

Then I began to wonder what fears were REALLY driving me.  So I got out a sheet of paper and I made a list (try this at home, really!)

At the top of the page I wrote THINGS THAT SCARE ME!

And then I listed them.  And went deeper.  And listed some more. Then went even deeper, pushing the edge UNTIL I got to the core.  When I was done, there they were – out in the open, nothing held back.  Boy, oh boy, did I feel uncomfortable.

That’s when it hit me.  If I want to grow and create something extraordinary, I am NEVER going to not be uncomfortable. AND, as soon as I start to get comfortable, that’s when I need to push my edges some more.  Because that’s where the growth happens.  At the edges.

I’m sure I’ll still get scared.  But maybe Fritz Perlz was right when he said that fear is just excitement, without the breath. Perhaps the next time I get scared…I’ll just BREATHEEEE into it and see if the feeling shifts rather than use the experience to back down and hide out.

Try this exercise yourself and see where it takes you.  Send me a note and let me know how it went.  (I love hearing from my community… 😉

Of course, you might just LOVE being scared.  In which case, I recommend anything written by Stephen King.  That man scares the pants off of me!

Expect Good Things!

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