Fear– An unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.
We are not immune to fear. It comes to us like waves and is usually unwelcome. There are global fears such as the war in Ukraine, global warming, food shortages, death. Death of a loved one, or our own amount of time on this spinning globe. I will touch on some of that later, but today I want to tackle some fears that we ourselves can have control over to allow us to stretch outside our comfort zones, try new things, and find peace and joy in our lives.
Fear stems from uncertainty and doubt. How do we face it? We have to sit with discomfort.
“Never be afraid of not knowing, find out”
Discomfort- make (someone) feel uneasy, anxious, or embarrassed
The internet has become something that has made us more afraid than ever and extremely comfortable being more than an arms length away from coming face to face with our discomfort.
Discomfort is why most of us never face our fears or step outside of our comfort zones. Think about it. Who wants to feel uneasy, anxious or embarrassed… nobody. The problem is when we avoid these feelings we create a bubble of safety around us that isolates us and keeps us fixed in our habits, patterns and zone of comfort. Let’s look at an example of this.
You get invited to a party, and at first you have every intention of going. You knew what you were going to wear, what to bring. You looked forward to seeing some friends you haven’t connected with in a while. The day of the party comes and you suddenly think to yourself. “What if I don’t know anyone there? What if nobody talks to me? Staying home and watching The Durrells in Corfu sounds amazing, I don’t have to go. Nobody will miss me.”
Now, I am not saying that a little couch introvert time isn’t needed by all of us, but I am sure there have been situations where you wanted to attend an event, and discomfort or fear of the unknown held you back.
In order to conquer and face our fear we must push past discomfort. It takes a leap of faith to delve into uncertainty… How do we deal with uncertainty?
“The unknown is just something we don’t know yet.”
This statement is 100 percent fact. Uncertainty is just having doubts about the unknown. Not knowing something gives people anxiety, it fuels self doubt, and ultimately makes them feel self-conscious and uncomfortable.
Think about it. If you know a subject very well, you would be happy to speak about it. Someone gives you a topic you know nothing about, and suddenly you are freaking out. All that is, is you learning about the topic!
How incredibly powerful is that fact?! That you have the power to shed your fears by learning what you don’t know. It is simple, yet something we overlook due to massive amount of distraction. Our minds have power over our joy and happiness, it just takes some discomfort getting there.
Here are some personal examples of this…
I decided to push Phil’s and I’s boundaries this year by signing us up for Improv Comedy Classes. Getting Phil to go was not an easy feat. He was ridiculously upset that I signed us up. He didn’t want to be put on display. When I finally convinced him to go, he was miserable, and extremely anxious the entire two hours before we went, acting like a 10 year old that is being dragged to church. Once we arrived, he was fine. I even caught him smiling a couple times. The second class was the same, only this time I caught him laughing.
Third class he was beginning to loosen up on stage, having more fun with it. Now he looks forward to our classes, and goes to shows every weekend! It is a new hobby he never would have discovered if he wasn’t brave enough to try and learn this new skill, make new friends ands with his discomfort.
He now knows the process. He knows people who are going to be there, and he is more confident because he is starting to understand improv and open up communication with others.
I use Phil because he is a classic example of someone who was extremely uncomfortable with showing up for something new, BUT after going for a while, now loves it! Improv has since improved our communication with one another, we laugh and joke more, listen more, and has brought increased joy and playfulness back into our lives. Hence, why they are sponsoring this episode.
Do you have a something like this in your life? Something you know you would love, but you avoid because of the discomfort or fear of going? How do we move past these feelings?
I actually encourage you to ask for help on this one. Working up the nerve to do things alone can be intimidating, but I know there are people out there that probably feel the exact same way and would love to join you on your new fear busting journey.
FRIENDS are the key to helping you overcome your fears. Try this…
Grab a piece of paper or a journal and write down-
- A list of fears that you have.
- At least three activities or experiences you have always wanted to try but haven’t due to discomfort.
- A lists of friends or family that would help you overcome this fear or complete something you want to do.
Now comes the hard part of pushing past your discomfort and ASKING them to help you achieve the results you want which can look like-
- Having them do some research on the subject and explaining it to you.
- Asking them to listen as you talk openly about your fears to them.
- Asking them to go with you to a class or adventure so you don’t have to go alone.
I too need those people in my life to help me break past my comfort zones and face some anxieties and fear. For all of us will just require some vulnerability on your part asking for help, which is never easy. I promise you that if you sit with your discomfort a bit, you will find the root cause and possibly overcome it.
Doing this will not only allow you to try something new, but will create a more meaningful relationships with that friend because they will feel honored that you asked them for help with this. Instant joy!
“Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story”
On the flip side of learning about your fears to become comfortable and more certain, there is also the possibility that you will never have understanding, or even want to know something about the larger questions of our existence. Death, uncertainty and what will the future bring cause pain and anxiety in all of us. In this case. Sitting with your uncertainty and accepting that everything will work out IS possible.
It is when we are in a state of calm peace that the nagging uncertainty removes itself from our lives and we become open to possibilities and not worry about what we can’t control.
How do we accomplish this?
For me, it was through self care. Self care in the form of movement, meditation, therapy, shadow work. This is all very healing work, and the goal of all of it is to find stillness which leads to happiness because you are pulling yourself into the present moment.
It is why I love teaching meditation with my students. I know what that restlessness feels like, and it isn’t pretty. You feel trapped in it and it feels endless. It creates negative emotions, judgement, fear, and of course… uncertainty, discomfort and doubt. If we can all learn to sit with our emotions and bring awareness to the surface, peace CAN be found.
In the end…we have this one life, and that is a gift. We should soak in every minute of it and try and spread happiness. That joy starts within by sitting with discomfort.
Recent Personal Experiences in Conquering Fear, Change, and Uncertainty
I am on my own personal journey of exploring wishes, dreams, and experiences that I had either left aside in my younger years, or never stepped up to the plate to try.
So often as adults life has influenced our opinions about what we LOVE to do. It becomes blurry, and habitual. We can sometimes forget the dreams we had when we were younger. Through deep meditation, and journaling work, almost a year later, and I now have my list of what truly fills my cup, and what is preprogrammed to look like it does. (But it doesn’t… happy hour anyone?)
After I had my list I began digging into my fears, and traumas. There was a ton of discomfort through that process, but it uncovered a lot for me and is leading me to finding more joy, peace and meaning in my life. It is opening up doors to allow me pursue my passion of helping others lead their lives from their hearts.
If you are ready to grow, break some boundaries, and open your heart to lead your life with joy feel free to ask me about my classes or my new Marta on the Move Mentorship program.
I would love to hear about something you were fearful or uncomfortable with that you pushed past and overcame. Send me an email and tell me all about it for inspiration 🙂
I am not sure if you live in Pittsburgh, but if you do check out a show at Steel City Improv, or take one of their classes. I know that they host open classes on Saturdays where you can sometimes just show up and try it out! How cool is that. Super low commitment, and you can just try it on to see if you like it. My kinda style. I even asked them to sponsor this episode, because I talk a good bit about them and use them as an example in this post, so check out their information below and try it out for yourself.
Speaking of stepping out of your comfort zone, I invite you to try my Sunday evening Stress Relief classes. They are online hosted on zoom and are a pay what you can class. Beginners are welcome. Every Sunday evening at 8pm EST
Looking for private classes? I offer meditation and yoga classes hosted on zoom to help you find balance and peace. Send inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
This episode is sponsored by Steel City Improv.
“Steel City Improv Theater teaches and performs Long-Form improv comedy. In long-form improvisation, a group of improvisers take one suggestion from the audience and perform an entirely made-up show, complete with multiple scenes, characters, and ridiculous spectacles, bound only by its creators’ imaginations.
Steel City Improv Theater (a.k.a. the SCIT), teaches Applied Improvisation. The SCIT knows that improv classes make you more than just funny. By applying the principles of improv to your life, you can become a better parent, mentor, entrepreneur, employee and friend. Improv teaches you to deal with the unexpected in life. You become a better listener, more positive person, and improve your ability to truly live in the moment.
Steel City Improv Theater’s philosophy is best summed up in three words: “Listen. Commit. Play.” The SCIT combined the best practices from improv training found at New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles improv theaters into the SCIT Philosophy. Listening can be a hard skill to master, but, by staying in the moment can open up a world of possibilities. Accepting others’ ideas is difficult, but committing to our own ideas can be an even bigger challenge. With improv training, we learn to break through the inner critic that normally stops us. With a sense of play, we find an endless sense of possibility and inspiration. When our teammates have that same sense of imagination, it makes the word “failure” seem less scary and more exciting.
For a safe space to step out of your comfort zone, come listen, commit, and play at Steel City Improv Theater!”
As always I am not a doctor or Guru. By listening to this podcast or reading this blog, you agree not to use this podcast or blog as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others, including but not limited to patients that you are treating. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast or blog.