5 ways to shift fear from inertia to action
Being an Adventurista teaches me to recognize my fears and lean into them, just like leaning into the rhythmic twists and turns on a canyon road.
Everything I learn about my inner landscape through motorcycle touring comes into play every day in relationships, business, creative endeavors, and just riding the highway of Life!
1. Know my Why
Knowing why I’ve gotten into this situation – what direction I’m traveling and why I chose this particular route – tells me how much oomf to bring to each twist in the road.
For trips and choices that are important to my Divine Navigation System, I’m going to lean further into my risk-o-meter, live closer to my own edge. Halfway across a desert on my way to a conference –YES! Talking with my son about taking steps toward his dream – YES! Fully present, wide open, YES!
Needing groceries the day after a snow storm… not so much. Take a rhythmic relax back into the seat of my car. Yes, I need food in the house, but I can go after them in a way that listens to the wisdom behind the tingle.
My big Why is not something I’m going to achieve or accomplish. It’s a movement, an expansion of mastery, something called forth for the world. Life is about direction, not destination.
What’s your big Why that makes continuing worthwhile?
How do you sift situations of “lean in” from choices to “lean back”?
Far from trying to suppress the fear, I recognize it’s exactly that edge that brings the exhilaration of the ride!
The more I can feel into precisely the curvature of the fear-line, where my steering arc turns, where I might lose traction, the way I’m using my self – body, mind, heart, and spirit – in riding that line, the more I can lean in and nail that sucker!
My inner artist has spent months creating a book – inspiring images and written words. My inner critic has been equally busy. What if… what if… what if… all the normal fears of an artist.
“I don’t know how to do this (yet).”
“What if I crash and burn?”
“Am I totally off track?”
Luckily, these sound a whole lot like the same concerns the critic shoves at my inner Adventurista. And she knows, the only way to prepare for a journey, is to take the journey! Including the feelings is part of the whole experience. Get on the road and GO! So I have created the book and the new level of fear is in releasing it to the world. Not gonna hold back now, dammit!
Fear doesn’t have to go away, just don’t let it run the show. By feeling into it rather than turning away from it, I’m fully experiencing the reality of what is in that moment – an experience of fear. I am not fear. I am experiencing fear. And when I listen in to it, I can learn from it.
What is the real message behind the fear?
What are you truly afraid of – physically, mentally, heart and soul?
What imaginary future circumstance has hijacked your attention?
Some dangers are real. Some are self-created. Real is my physical body is much softer than pavement. Real is my heart’s compass yearning for the transformational journey.
Imaginary is projecting that I’ll run out of money, lose every opportunity in my future if I take this opportunity, and the whole baggage of “what people will think of me” and exaggeration into never being a respected member of society again…
Because that’s what thoughts naturally tend toward: using whatever bait they can find to ruthlessly keep us in the safety of our status quo “comfort zone.”
Well, the truth is the comfort zone is generally a damned UNcomfortable zone!
So knowing that thoughts just do that, the same way that spaniels just find water to play in and get stinky wet-dog-smell, I can put ‘em on a leash and reel them back in… bring my attention back from the hijack.
A business innovation can take a lot of investment – time, money, attention, reputation. And it may not provide the return. The risk of loss is real. The benefit of creating new value to the world is also real! (See #1)
Fundamental risk management is part of the Adventuring mental skill set. Identify which assets are most crucial to continuation. Identify their vulnerabilities and the threats that could come up. Choose which to do something about and which to let go. Do what you can based on your reality check– buy a tire plugger, carry extra water, toss the right wrench and a flashlight in the bag.
What elements are crucial to continuing your Journey?
What are the real risks to those?
What other chatter have your thoughts offered that you can release to the wind?
4. Take inspired action
Now GO! The journey of Life isn’t about risk avoidance. Risk and its inner experience called fear, point directly to our transformational growing edge.
Pause for inspiration. Gather onto your lap the real risk and the feeling of fear, put your arms around them, and listen for guiding insight on the most joy-filled way to move forward together.
Get training or mentoring. Or make a list. Or throw a leg over the saddle and damn well hit the road!
Take that step. Push the “publish” button. Try something new. Pay attention. Learn and adapt. Keep edging toward mastery.
What is one action step you can take right now in the direction of your Why?
Here’s the lesson from the road that we so often forget. In our travels we feel the wind, the thrum, the dance. We notice the landscape, the meals, the friends. Take pictures – “I was here! I am LIVING it!”
There’s a quality of attention we bring to our Adventures that we can also foster in our everyday life. Some psychologists call it Flow. We say we’re in our groove. We lose of sense of self and time. Release into total freedom. Our attention merges directly into the action.
Here is where we learn that it’s never been about time management. Or stress management. Or even risk management. The quality of our Life journey has always been bound to the quality of our attention.
When we learn to bring our attention fully into the present moment, to the experience we’re actually having, we expand beyond our horizons. We get to be fully Present with the people we love. We get to be open to creative innovations that bring real value to the world. Leaving behind the baggage that has been hijacking our attention, our presence itself is a gift.
Where is your attention now?
With whom do you want to be fully present? (See #1)
What innovations are knocking at the door of your awareness? (See #1)
And where is your attention now?
I’ve taken my first step! I’ve ridden over the pass for the first time, on dirt for the first time, across country for the first time. I’ve fallen down and picked it all back up! I’ve launched the program. I’ve learned a thing or two about the road. About myself.
And I’m overflowing with gratitude.
Bonus tool for breaking through fear’s inertia. Gratitude is the antidote to the paralyzing side effects of fear.
Where fear has taken hold, recognize it. And find a place to inject Gratitude. Even a tiny, homeopathic amount of gratitude begins to unwind the grip fear puts into thoughts, to create a small spaciousness, and to reclaim your attention back toward Why you find yourself on this Journey to begin with.
What one step can you celebrate today?
What are you grateful for having learned and overcome?
What have you learned that can inspire others so we can enjoy this Journey together?
This post is a part of the Blog Tour, which leads up to the Power of the Road Conference, hosted by Liz Jansen. I’m thrilled to be a part of an event that inspires motorcyclists to take action while helping create more opportunities for others in need, focuses on interconnection and common ground and champions non-partisan change. You can be the change you want, by signing up for the Conference here. http://www.poweroftheroad.com