Do you live in a state of fear? Perhaps you are worried about retirement, aging, losing your job or getting a divorce. You may find your heart pounding, hands sweating and your mind racing with multiple “what ifs”. When we are in the grip of anticipating the unknown, our vision is blurred and we can be consumed by our worst fears.

A great deal of fear is a result of just “not knowing”. We do not know whether we can deal with it. The sooner we learn what it entails, the sooner we can dissolve our fear.    Eleanor Roosevelt

These words written by Eleanor Roosevelt may help you to pause and take a deep breath! Her  life story was filled with conquering her own fears and gathering her courage to accomplish extraordinary things.

Recently someone recommended a new read for me. I was immediately drawn to its title: “My Year with Eleanor” by Noelle Hancock. The author discovers the history and writings of Eleanor Roosevelt just as she is in the grip of her own fears and searching.

Noelle decides to embark on a yearlong journey of finding inspiration and encouragement with Eleanor Roosevelt as her role model. Her book chronicles her path and what she discovers about herself.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.    Eleanor Roosevelt

If you are holding fears about retirement or aging, what are those fears? Looking fear in the face is all about naming exactly what frightens us. Loss of our work identity or fears of fading vitality and ill health may be where our fear is rooted when we anticipate retirement and aging.

The process of divorce can be a fearful and painful path. You may have multiple anxieties about where you will live, how you will live and what it will be like to be on your own. If you are anticipating being a single parent, there will be additional trepidation.

Job loss may have you feeling panicked and terrified of not being able to find another position. How will you pay your bills? When your confidence gets eroded after each job interview and rejection, how can you dig deep and find the resilience to keep trying?

It all comes down to facing our fears, naming them, knowing them and feeling them. That is the start to overcoming them! Here are 7 steps to guide you.

7 Steps to Facing Your Fears:

1.   Admit your fear with compassion and empathy.

2.   Own your fear. Our fears exist within us and only we can change it.

3.   Feel your fear. We may fight mightily against this, but by allowing ourselves to find that deepest place in our body where the fear resides, we can send love to our fears and let them pass through us.

4.   Express your fear. Speak them, write them, yell them. Repressing emotions, especially the ones that are hardest, only get us stuck.

5.   Let go of your fear. In the act of choosing to let go of your fear, you are also choosing to use its energy in a positive way.

6.   Visualize the positive outcomes you are looking for. This will lead you to empowering yourself.

7.   Take action over your fear. Stand your ground, plant your feet firmly and do the thing which frightens you. This will build your confidence and allow you to move through your fear.

Can you recall times when you faced your fear, walked through it and effected positive change in your life? I’d love to hear your story. If you are searching for ways to face your fears, I’d love to hear your story as well.