30 Dec To fear is human.
I went to bed full of anxiety. Yet, I can’t tell you what is wrong. I can only describe it as a feeling of heaviness. The emotions I was feeling were my fears, plus I am also carrying the worry of friends who are also suffering during these challenging times. The worst part of this COVID pandemic is the loss of choices for many of us. Being confined to our homes, our freedoms to make choices that improve our quality of life was stripped away. As an immigrant, I have spent a lifetime doing this – moving from India to Singapore to Canada – multiple schools – lack of real relationships – sacrificed in search of a better life. My parents gave up so many choices to live in Canada. Maybe that is why I become an entrepreneur, in reaction to the life I was presented – When I was asked recently during a keynote in Brazil, “Why did you choose entrepreneurship?” I didn’t know how to answer it, but now I do. When these emotions were riding high last night, I tried something a little different this time.
Be fearless – I said to myself.
Be brave and push forward through your emotions – I said to myself.
Nothing worked. It is human to fear the uncomfortable. So, I finally gave up and decided to let my imagination take over and host its parade of worst-case-scenarios in my head. My fear-parade started.
I stopped fighting and decided to let that parade finish. I have not given it time and space -to explore the fears?
- Loss of income?
- Getting sick again due to stress?
- Failed marriage as I can’t support the family?
Ok. Let it all play out.
Bring it out into the open.
I noticed that my anxiety level dropped once I allowed the fear-parade to finish up. Now I can see the full picture, and once you see the things you fear, it becomes a little easier to move from emotional to rational.
- Loss of income; ok, if my startup idea fails and DESIFEST is not income-producing, I get a job – somewhere, anywhere and continue to do impactful work
- Getting sick again due to stress – double down of morning workouts. Cut sugar and holiday foods, get 8 hours of sleep.
- Failed marriage – talk to your partner. Be transparent with what is happening and how you feel. No surprise. Make it a team effort. Allow them to help and not watch from the sidelines.
The thing about fear is that it creates a bubble around you. Fear takes away your ability to choose. Its power is in deceiving you that there is only one possible outcome – the worst kind.
When you give yourself choices, you no longer fear the parade regardless of what it may be. It can do its thing, and you can watch it without anxiety than choose to change the channel and move ahead.