As I sit here writing this I’m snuggled in my husband’s shirt, some fluffy socks, sipping a cup of tea and cherishing the kicks I can feel on the inside while my child is baking away. It’s dawned on me as I’ve hit my 25th week of pregnancy with my first baby that I will soon be welcoming an ACTUAL child into the world. While I’m not naive to the fact that there are millions of other women out there that have done the exact same thing and gotten through it like a trooper because let’s face it – women are truly incredible human beings – I can’t help but feel fearful anyway. Fearful about the prospect of labor, fearful that I’m not going to be a good mother, fearful that something will go wrong for myself or for my precious little person. Which from what I’ve read are all very common fears for mothers but what resonates with me is that they’re the kind of fears that can flow over into other aspects of our everyday life so easily and quite literally hold a person back from their true potential?
At this moment I’ve realized that fear is the greatest thing holding us all back. This may not be some big news flash, but regardless of how aware we are we still manage to let it control our lives. The thing about childbirth, or starting a new business, or taking a chance on a new relationship is that there’s such an unknown aura that surrounds everything. We have no idea how things will pan out and the unknown constantly causes people to talk themselves out of taking a leap and instead of staying safely in their comfort zone, no matter how lonely or secluded it might be. What we need to start realizing is that the unknown is the exciting part – it’s the part where we get to feel the butterflies and dream about what might happen and how it will change our lives. I have three steps to help you face your fears, no matter what scenario they may apply to, and use them as your weapon rather than running from them. They help me in these moments and I’m hoping they will help you.
1. Acknowledge the Fear
The first step is to acknowledge exactly what it is you’re scared of – whether it may be childbirth, or the prospect of getting your heart broken again, or leaving a job you don’t even remotely enjoy but it’s comfortable – and allowing yourself to analyze exactly why it worries you. Take a few minutes to yourself and really think about why. Write yourself a list of the reasons you come up with if it helps. Once you’ve acknowledged what it is that’s worrying you, you can harness it to your advantage.
2. Analyse the Possible Outcomes
Use the specific fears you’ve identified to help you determine what the outcomes could be of the scenario you’re facing. For example, you’re not sure if you should take a new job because what if you don’t like it, or you’re not good at it, or you don’t have the opportunities here as you would at your current job? These are all questions that have unknown answers, we can’t physically get an answer until we give ourselves the chance to try it. To me, this is embracing the unknown. Quite often the unknown leads you to the best moments of your life and we would never have ended up there if we had given into our fears.
3. Turn your Fears into Tools
Now that you’ve acknowledged what your fear is and accepted that yes things may go wrong, but they also could go spectacularly great, it’s time to use these feelings to drive you to success. Let the fear manifest and push you harder. Instead of worrying about failing let it make you more determined to succeed.
Using the unknown to your advantage is your superpower, you may not succeed straight away but your motivation will always be in the back of your mind and you can use it to comfort you in times of need. In my case, I am accepting that I will always do the best I can as a mother and that’s the best I’m ever going to be able to offer. In this world, that is more than enough – from all of us!