We are now moving into the self-confidence stage of self-awareness which is Stage Two in the Change Journey book. This stage is all about stepping out of your comfort zone. Now that you've got your goals, your plan, you know what steps to take, things may start to feel a bit scary. All change is scary so we bring in Brave Bridget to help with that.
Brave Bridget is all about courage and being brave and helping you to step out of your comfort zones. Her flower, which is the Waratah means courage.
When we attempt to step out of our comfort zones, one of the things that kicks in the most is fear. But I just want to clarify that we're not talking about life threatening, real fears. The fear you get if somebody pulled a knife on you or your car was hijacked or something like that, that is a real fear, where the adrenaline takes over and that kind of becomes Brave Bridget for you. We're not talking about that fear, we're talking about the other types of fear, of which there are three.
1. Conscious Fear
2. What If Fear
3. Subconscious Fear
Fear No. 1: Conscious Fear
Your conscious fears are the ones you already know about. They might be your fear of heights or a fear of needles or something like that. You know those fears and you know what scares you, and you know how that fear makes you feel in your life.
So you choose to live your life around those fears, you avoid them if you can. And if you have to face them at some point you will bring in your Brave Bridget and face the fear. For example; let's say your fear is needles, you would avoid them at all costs but when you have to go and have a blood test, you would bring in your Brave Bridget and go and get your blood test in a brave manner.
For me I have a fear of rickety bridges, especially the ones you can see through to the valley below. We were bushwalking recently in Thredbo and we got to a suspension bridge and I chose not to walk over it. I could have, I could have brought in my Brave Bridget, but to be honest with you, I didn't feel the need, I didn't have to prove it to myself, I don't like them, I didn't need to be a hero that day, and I didn't have to face it so I just watched my husband go back and forth over it and I sat on the river underneath.
So it's not always about “having to” face your fears, it's about having the choice. And that's the power of your self-awareness. If you have a conscious fear, you can choose to face it or you can choose not to. So, identifying what your conscious fears are is really important.
Fear No. 2: What If Fears
What If fears arise when we are stepping out of our comfort zones, when we are entering into the unknown on the outer side of the zone. Our comfort zone is a really nice comfy place where we know what to expect, we know how we feel, we know the reactions we're going to have, we know how the people around us are going to behave and that it really easy. So even if our comfort zone isn’t a great place to be, or isn’t making us happy, it’s easy to stay there because we know and understand the moments within in.
But if we're going to do something different, if we're going to step out of that comfort zone, if we’re going to change things up, it becomes a little bit scary and the fears that creep up are all the “what if fears”.
What if this doesn't work out?
What if X, Y or Z happens?
What if I can't afford it?
What if I fail?
What if people think it’s weird?
These are all very real fears and the way to combat them is to bring in your Brave Bridget and flip them over into positive what if questions:
What if this does work out?
What if X, Y or Z happens and it’s amazing?
What if I make more money from it?
What if I succeed?
What if people love my new idea?
Because just as real as your 'what if' fears are… the 'what if' positive is just as real. Stepping out of your comfort zone provides you with opportunities and there is just as much chance of it going amazingly well as there is of it not going well, but if you don’t try you’ll never know.
Fear No. 3: Subconscious Fears
These are the ones that you actually don't really know you have, and they can be big fears; like a fear of failure or they could be as small as a fear of tripping over. All these fears are generated from our beliefs, our upbringing and our past decisions and experiences. They can even come from group consciousness (what others believe).
The subconscious fears operate in the background. 95% of our thoughts and actions are from our subconscious and the fears are there to keep us “safe”.
For instance you may have a subconscious fear of being rich. Sounds weird right. Who would be scared of being rich. But when you start to investigate what being rich means to you; it may mean snobby, entitled, drama queen, who suddenly gets an English accent and looks down her nose at others. You don’t want to be that person. If you were that person all your friends would leave you. You’d be rich but you wouldn’t have any friends. So your subconscious reads your thoughts and says “gotcha, don’t want to turn into a snob, doesn’t want to have money. Great, got it. Let’s stay poor so we are safe from turning into that snobby rich woman”. Then despite what you do to try and earn more money, it doesn’t seem to work. The thing that is stopping you is your subconscious fear of “being rich”.
So what we want to do with our Brave Bridget is these instances is bring her in and get her to help us through that situation.
The best way to find these subconscious fears is when you're moving forward on your Change Journey and you find yourself stuck at a certain point (i.e. never earning more than a certain amount) you need to look for what is stopping you, what is keeping you stuck.
This is when your journaling comes into play, because you want to conduct free flowing journaling, like I talk about in the book, to really get to the root of your subconscious fears.
In this example, I would say to the journal at the top of the page... “Why can’t I earn more than $$?” and then I just start writing. I write what I feel, I write down my anger at the problem, I ask the journey “why is this happening to me?” Keep asking questions until you have all your answers in front of you. Why… is the best question to ask. That's how you find what your subconscious fears are.
If that becomes too hard, you can always use a practitioner to help you. There are many healing modalities that look into subconscious fears; Theta Healing is the one I studied, but there is also hypnotherapy, RTT which is rapid transformation therapy, kinesiology and there is also the Pillar Code, so all these things are available to you through the resources area of the website.
If you have purchased and read the book and you are looking for help, you can go into the Assets Area of the website and there are a heap of resources of people that can help you. They can take over the question asking and help you find subconscious fears and also clear them for you.
So there are three levels of fear and the different ways that you would bring in Brave Bridget to help you through those scenarios. Like I mentioned at the beginning, it's all about having self-awareness.
The other thing is, if you are always in your comfort zone, something nice to do to help your body get used to stepping out if it, is to just mix it up your routines a little bit. Let's say you drive to work every day via the same route and you order the same coffee every day, you sit at the same desk at work, you talk to the same people during the day. Then you drive the same way home, you shop at the same supermarket and have the same night time routine when you get home. All these routines are great, but they're keeping you in your comfort zone, your body is really used to staying in your comfort zone so it makes it harder to step out.
So one of the ways that we can increase our bravery and our courage is to step out of our comfort zones in really simple, safe, things like mixing up your routine. Drive a different way to work, buy your coffee from somewhere different, shop at a different supermarket… these are some really safe ways that you can start to step out of your comfort zone and start to bring in your Brave Bridget. Then your body will get used to it and you can start to increase the size of your steps outside that comfort zone.
The other way to overcome some of your fears is to start doing them in small doses. Let's say one of your fears might be public speaking, and you need that skill to progress in your Change Journey. Then you start speaking publicly in small doses. Maybe you present more in meetings at work, or maybe you do some Facebook Live presentations.
When you start to do something in small increments you start to get better and better at it and that means you become more and more confident in it, until one day, something you feared is now a part of your normal life.