It’s 3am and the covers are now just annoying. I’ve been tossing and turning for what seems like an eternity. The wires inside my head are on overload and won’t switch off. This activation was once caused by thoughts of a big day ahead delivering for someone else but now the stimuli is different. It’s the F Word, dare I say it, FEAR! It’s crept in thanks to that massive change I decided to make by leaping into a new career after 16 years of comfort and perceived security.

Every career leaper I connect with shares, after a little caffeine abuse, the F Word. Fear acts like a hand break on the leapers dream often stopping progress before it begins. Fear of failure, of what your friends might say, of not being to able maintain the same standard of living, of being an imposter and being disclosed… and the list goes on.

So here is the reality check, I am sorry to say that for most of us fear doesn’t go away. But I can tell you this, you can choose how you deal with fear, process it and manage it, so that you can release the hand break, roll over, get some sleep and start chasing that dream again tomorrow.

Whilst I am yet to find a silver bullet here are some of the ways I choose to deal with fear:

Keep Moving // I choose to believe their is a solution to every problem and this enables me to keep moving through my challenges even when things are uncomfortable or scary. The likes of Elon Musk, the founders of Thankyou Group and Google have proven this theory. These guys have or are solving problems many thought were impossible to fix. They do this because they know the journey to success is going to be uncomfortable, they keep moving, they accept that they will fail along the way, but they learn from their failures, get up, dust themselves off and push on.

Bed Time Ritual // I have created a bedtime ritual to calm my mind before sleep rather than over stimulate it. Simple changes that have made a big difference to fear waking me at night include:

  • Setting a sleep alarm: my phone goes off around 9.45pm advising me its time to get ready for bed. We set an alarm for waking why not set one to notify our bodies it’s time for rest?
  • I have a Gratitude Journal that I write in each night, noting 3 things I am grateful for today.
  • I have the Smiling Mind App on my phone and I do a 5 to 10 minute mindfulness exercise to clear my head.
  • I remove my phone and my ipad from my bedroom 30 minutes before sleep. I now use an old school alarm clock to wake me rather than my phone.

Positive Energy Enables // I choose where I invest my energy and focus on giving it to positive or value adding activities, experiences or people. A wise woman recently said to me when you wake each morning think of your energy as a $100 note. Throughout the day you can choose what you spend that $100 of energy on and you need to ensure that you invest wisely. Do you want to spend that energy on worrying about a problem or do you want to spend it on fixing that problem, do you want to spend it with people who are positive and constructive or people who are stuck in a victim mentality. Negative energy will leave you with a $0 balance by 12pm if you’re not careful making moving through the rest of they day exhausting, overwhelming and more likely for fear to creep in.

Write It Down // I love a list and I find getting things down on paper very helpful in working through fearful situations. Whenever I fear a particular challenge in my leap I take some quiet time and write down what’s that absolute worst thing that could happen if I stuff this up? I also write down ways that I can mitigate against those things happening. Clarity brings perspective and I find that the things I have feared the most often don’t deserve the fear they are receiving and that the worst thing that could happen is not so bad after all.

Talk It Out // There’s a lot to be said for positive self talk. You heard me correctly I talk to myself, not out loud of course that would look crazy. But on the inside I push to be my own cheer squad. I tell myself I’ve got this and that if others can do it so can I.

I also talk to others (humbly of course) about the wonderful opportunities I am working on and how what I do can impact the happiness of many. If you start to believe in yourself it comes through when you share and soon you find others start to believe in you too creating a virtuous circle of positivity.

Get Help // At the beginning of this year I sort some independent help from a Mindset Therapist to deal with some of the fears that were holding me back. The experience was transformational in relation to resting better at night and not feeling overwhelmed. The Combined Therapy Cocktail (CTC) performed by Amy Crawford of The Holistic Ingredient fundamentally shifted my mindset and the effects have been long lasting.

So if you feel that fear is your hand break and limiting your ability to leap into the career you love I challenge you to test a couple of simple changes to help you keep the fear monster at bay.