I recently did an online survey to ask women what their biggest block to moving forward in their lives was. Almost overwhelmingly, the response was fear: fear of failure, fear of what others might think, fear of success, fear of being laughed at, fear of getting hurt. The list goes on. Since overcoming fear is pivotal to my programs, I want to talk about how to put a F.A.C.E to the name of fear.

As I've said before, fear is one of the most crippling emotions you can have, and one you truly do have control over (assuming you are safe in life and limb). So how do you "release your fears?" By first understanding where they come from, looking them square in the F.A.C.E. for what they are, and allowing them to dissolve once you shine your light of awareness on them.

Fear basically comes from four sources:

F: Forgetting who we are.

When you forget that you are a divine being, with a divine purpose on this earth, (or substitute the word "unique" here) you slip into fear when life seems confusing and hurtful or you become unbalanced. This fear is because you are not grounded in a sense of yourself. That sounds like a lot of woowoo words to describe feeling unmoored, but you know this feeling of when you can't "right" yourself when you are down, feel confused about next steps or when something causes you to feel "unglued". The best thing you can return to in those moments is knowing Who you are (with a capital W - your "inner who"), what you stand for, what your values are, and what it is that drives and motivates you. These are extremely important, though sometimes not easy questions to answer. Remembering "Who you are" helps you face fears.

A - Assuming the past will repeat itself, or your worst fears will come to pass

Making assumptions is one of the biggest reasons you feel fear. Remember that assumptions are just thoughts - because something happened in the past, you often assume it will happen again. Ask yourself, "How do you know that to be true?" You don't. But because you are afraid that it will come true, you begin to look for confirmation that it will. By looking for that confirmation, you create more of what you are afraid of! Your brain is programmed to see (mostly) things that confirm that your assumptions and fears are true. (Remember the old analogy that when you're considering buying a certain car, you seem to see them everywhere?)

Checking in with your thoughts (for assumptions are merely thoughts, just like fears are merely thoughts) is pivotal to removing the assumptions and moving past fear.

C: Comparing yourself to others

One of the most powerful fear-inducing behaviors you can have is to compare yourself to others. Your brain has built into it old behaviors that you believe will keep you safe and alive. You may not even realize you are doing it, but you compare yourself to others constantly. This comes from an old brain pattern of "survival of the fittest" and one that really doesn't serve you if you use this trait as a source of fear - which many often do.

A young child walks into a room with other children and assesses within seconds where s/he falls in the "pecking order." You do the same thing when you walk into a room full of adults. It's natural, but not something that helps you overcome fears. It's natural to measure yourself against others, but if you become adept at the instant reality check, you'll F.A.C.E. that instant fear, and realize you measure up just fine. One of the ways you can do the "reality check" is by remembering "Who" you are, and standing strong in your sense of Self. (See "F" above!) Additionally, realize that you are unique and meant to be so. When you think your path should look just like another's, or "better" than another's, you disregard your divine uniqueness and purpose.

I like to use the analogy of cars and roads: If you're driving on a bumpy dirt road, you're not meant to drive a fancy sports car. If your path takes you down the highway, then a dirt bike isn't going to do the job. You all have your own path and pace at which you will move, grow, learn and achieve. Your learning comes in the journey and choosing the vehicle that is perfect for your journey, not anyone else's!

E: Envying those who are more successful, happier or "better off" than you

Envy implies you are not enough, or that there is not enough joy and success to go around. When you come from a place of abundance, you will know that envy comes from a fear that there won't be any for you. When you celebrate someone else's success, you vibrate with the essence of success. When you feel jealous or envious of others who appear to be doing "better" than you, have found their soul mate, or are more "successful" than you, you are making the assumption (see "A" above!) that there is only so much to go around, and if someone else has it, there's less for you! Flip that on its head and think of it this way: would you say that there is only so much love in the universe? How about success? And even, how about money? When someone else is successful or happy, celebrate with them, instead of feeling envious - you will begin to vibrate more in the success mode, and fear will begin to dissolve.

I look forward to sharing my upcoming Fall Classes with you: Move Fearlessly Forward - and fall in love with your life again, in which these topics will be covered in more depth. In the meantime, begin to look fear in the F.A.C.E., and take steps toward your most brilliant life, and seeing the real you!

Author's Bio: 

Teresa M. Goetz is a Transformational and Spiritual Coach, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist, who has spent her career helping women realize their potential at all stages of life. Her work has paralleled her own personal experiences and includes specialized work in all women's major life stages, including pregnancy, child birth, parenthood/ mothering, partnership/ marriage, divorce, and middle life.

Teri gets enormous satisfaction from watching women grow into who they truly are meant to be. She creates and holds a safe space for her clients so that they may turn personal crises, like divorce, into defining moments to transform their lives. She helps women achieve clarity and confidence, and then breathe fresh air into their futures.

Teri speaks and writes about women's issues and health, works with clients one-on-one and offers workshops for women.

She is the mother of 2 daughters, step mother to a son and daughter, and married to a wonderful man!