Feel the Fear / Take a Leap

“Life is huge; if you want to be happy, commit to making your life one of rejoicing.” Susan Jeffers

It’s taken a while to get back into work mode after the Christmas break and I’ve been pondering what the theme of the first Coaching Tip of 2013 should be. Yesterday I was saddened to learn of the death of Susan Jeffers who wrote one of my all-time favourite self-help books — the brilliant Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. And all of a sudden the focus of the Tip became clear.

How often do we hold ourselves back from doing and being what we want because of fear or because we worry that we’re not good enough? The thing about fear is that if we’re prepared to face it head on and to take action it can have a profound effect on our confidence and self esteem. Quite simply, facing the fear and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone means that your life will never feel quite the same again.

Back in 2000, when I’d just started my coaching practice, I had to face one of my biggest fears: public speaking. Having always claimed that you couldn’t pay me a million pounds to stand up and speak in public, I made a commitment to give a talk at my local gym. I hardly slept the night before and as I stood to speak I was shaking like a leaf. In the end the talk went well and I can remember driving home feeling as if I had somehow expanded into a larger space. That’s what happens when you push yourself out of your comfort zone: your world expands.

If you listen to the news programme PM on BBC Radio Four, you may recall that on Leap Day last year listeners were invited to do something out of the ordinary on that day: literally to take a leap of some kind. The most touching example was Geoffrey Harris who chose to get on a bus from Neath to Swansea. Not a remarkable feat for most of us, but Geoffrey had suffered years of depression and panic attacks and had been unable even to open his front door. So his achievement in making that bus journey was hugely significant.

So with this, and Susan Jeffers, in mind … I invite you to consider what leap you’d like to make this year. Perhaps it’s something that will take you out of your comfort zone — it might make you fearful — maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, but never quite dared… or simply something you’ve never done before.

What will you do to make 2013 a memorable year?
© Annabel Sutton, Coaching Tips – 2013

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