Got butterflies in your stomach? How to make them fly in formation
Nothing is more terrifying than the fear of fear. Will I be safe? Will my family be safe? Will I make it? What will other people think of me? Am I making the right choice? How will this turn out? What if more goes wrong? Sound familiar? Fear is an essential part of being human. There is an abundance of it in our lives and this can hamper your growth and prevents many great things from occurring.
It’s ironic that so much of what we do aims at limiting our exposure to fear. We risk less and clamor for safe routines. The ultimate irony though is that we do not really like the routine at all. In fact, just look at the many books and movies that we consume which tell us of heroes that seemingly fear nothing.
That is not what fearlessness really means. Having fear is essential in self-awareness. How else would you even know that you are risking anything? What is often so damaging is our primal instinct from our early human existence that kept our ancestors safe: freeze-fight-flee. Problem is simply that because it’s instinct, we resort to freezing (fearing) first by default.
That is also actually the first step to letting the butterflies in your stomach fly in formation. Realize that what you are going through is normal and expected should provide initial comfort.
- Take a deep breath and slow down. Get time to work for you. The moment you allow for thinking time, the greater the chance that you can think of alternatives to your situation.
- Seek community. Your brain thinks isolation is best when in fact you should be seeking community. Share your thoughts and collaborate with folks about options.
- Exercise. What? Yes, that’s correct. Get up and get your body going. The moment your blood starts pumping hard throughout your body it will start changing chemistry and flushing out the bad stuff with it. It does wonders.
- Stop what you are doing and do something completely different. Take yourself out of the situation that keeps messing with your brain and do something that you really enjoy doing. Best thing to do is to do them in public, or with other nice folks.
- Remember that you are only afraid of the first moment. Whenever we are afraid to do something we are really afraid of taking the first step. Once you are rolling you will get back in your “zone” and gain momentum. It is the first moment of announcing to everyone that you will do something different that we fear the most. What can possibly happen during this brief period of time?
- Listen, read, or watch something by your favorite person you look up to. The reason why you look up to that person is most likely because they did master their own fears.
- What is the worst that can happen? Your mind will tell you all sorts of things that are really meaningless. Read Bob Williamson’s book “Miracle on luckie street”. If a homeless, drug addicted thug who was thoroughly on his way to go to prison (again) or getting killed on the street can get back up on his feet through finding God and now be a multi-millionaire helping other people achieve greatness, so can you. His life could not have gotten any worse. Please read his book. It is a fascinating story.
- Call a friend or mentor. Everyone should have a mentor, but a great friend will do as well. Shared thoughts are always better than getting all wigged out on your own.
Ask any public speaker and they will tell you that they have butterflies in the stomach prior to going on stage. It is natural and in fact, a little fear creates a healthy tension within that helps delivering a great speech. This “healthy” fear is a good sign for you as well. Fear means that you are risking something. Without a little risk in your life you will never break away from the things that hold you back.
Please share this thought and post with people who you think could need a little nudge. Thanks!