[Note: If I were to boil down the root cause for why people don’t take action it would be fear. Today we are going to explore fear and how it impacts our capacity to take action.]
Of all the emotions that we experience, fear is the most powerful.
I don’t mean that it is the strongest emotion. In my experience that is sadness.
When I say fear is the strongest what I mean is that if we are feeling a number of different emotions at once, fear will override all others.
It Is Good To Be Afraid
This is actually a very good thing because fear’s job is to keep us safe from danger. No matter how sad I feel as I am crossing the street it can be a matter of life and death that I am aware of the car bearing down on me.
In that moment the fear overrides my sadness so I can recognize danger and get to safety.
The way it overrides the other emotions is much like if you and I were sitting in a coffee shop having a conversation and someone ran in the front door and started screaming. No matter how hard you wanted to listen to what I have to say, your mind would focus on the person yelling.
That is what happens inside us. No matter what else is going on, the moment fear shows up it overrides all other emotions.
When Fear Runs Amuck
The problem comes when fear shows up warning us about dangers that aren’t truly dangers.
I see this all the time with my clients. For example, this week I was talking to “Jason” who was in the process of raising his prices. He had known for a long time it was something needed to do but some reason he just couldn’t do it.
Every time he was going to tell one of his current clients that he was raising his prices the words would get caught in his throat. The moment the client walked out the door, after not telling them about the price increase, he would beat himself up.
We spent a little time feeling our way into the anger and I asked him what would go wrong if he told clients that his prices were going up. He replied:
They will think I am greedy. They will think me ungrateful. They will think I am selfish. They will think that I don’t care about them and only see them as a pay check.
On the surface those are reasonable concerns except the fact that most of his clients:
- Know he is running a business.
- Know prices go up with time on everything.
- Know that he really cares about them and their progress.
The fear he was feeling was much bigger than the reality of danger. The fear is worried that he will lose all his clients, which is just not true.
Because of this Jason’s fear (like the person screaming in the coffee shop) was making so much noise he couldn’t take the action he needed to.
There is a very simple and straightforward response to this situation. It is called conversation tapping. In conversation tapping you have a conversation between the fear and your rational thought.
As you give voice to this imagined conversation you move from tapping point to tapping point. Each time you hit a new tapping point you state the other side of the argument. In Jason’s case it might look like this:
- I am worried my clients will think I am being greedy and ungrateful.
- But they know I run a business.
- They will think I only want their money and not to help them.
- But they have seen over the years that I really do care about them and their issues.
You would continue in that vein until you ran out of fears and felt relief. It is a simple and powerful way to get your fear in check and take the action you want (and need to take).
More Support To Eliminate Fear That Is Working Too Hard
If you are looking for more tools, instruction, and tap-alongs that will help you to concqure the over functioning fears that are trying to keep you safe, but are really holding you back, I would encourage you to check out The Ruach Center.
If nothing else imagine what it would be like to receive an email every morning with a tap-along audio written specifically to help you take action. All you have to do it hit play and tap. Check out the details! You will be glad you did.