Manipulating Fear: 4 Questions to Exploit It

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“You ride that motorcycle? I could never do that…” I get that a lot, especially from women who get one look at my Harley Davidson Street Glide. “Really… why do you say that?” is my typical response. The answers vary from not being tall enough, strong enough, young enough, or confident enough.

Number one on the list? Fear.

Afraid to try.

Afraid to fail.

Afraid to lose control.

Afraid to tip over.

Afraid to do something new.

When I was learning to ride, I was afraid, too. I was afraid of trusting myself to step outside my comfort zone to do something I’d never done before… something that was so unlike me. I was afraid to let myself believe that I could actually do it.

But deep down inside there was a speck of courage… a hint of confidence and conviction I wanted to connect with.

Sometimes we’re more loyal to our fears than our dreams. We let imagined, made-up fear keep us living in a state of comfort. We’re afraid to fail or embarrass ourselves so we don’t challenge the status quo. Ego, image-driven fear conflicts with living a fulfilling life. (Click to Tweet)

Two years ago, I was crippled by this kind of fear. I was at a point in my career where I faced a potentially life-altering decision. Do I continue in a corporate job I’ve given my life to these last 20 years that no longer lights my fire? Or… do I take a big risk to chase a dream that’s been on my heart for a long time? Do I stay in my comfort zone or do I step into the unknown?

I made the choice to walk away from a very stable, lucrative career and step into living a more fulfilling, intentional life. As a result of looking fear directly in the eye, I founded Full Throttle Living, a speaking and coaching business. I became a certified motorcycle safety course instructor. I became more involved in the lives of my children and salvaged my marriage. I joined a gym I actually go to and started writing a book. I’ve got plans to start an online business… the list of possibilities is endless!

Fear no longer scares me.

Since making this decision, I’ve begun to look at fear in a different, more positive light. The presence of fear simply means I’m stepping into a space I haven’t occupied before…

a space where I would experience freedom…

a space where I would learn and grow…

a space of opportunity and potentiality…

a space where I would fulfill my calling.

We must learn to acknowledge our fear and manipulate it to motivate and inspire us. (Click to Tweet)

But how do we do that?

When you’re coming face-to-face with fear, ask yourself these questions:

What am I afraid of… really?

Is it fear driven by ego or is it fear driven by potentiality?

If it’s a negative fear, how can I turn it into positive fear? Instead of asking “what would happen if I fail”, ask “what would happen if I succeed?”

If it’s a positive fear, how do I envision my future if I were to choose X over Y? Use this image to motivate you!

Whether you’re getting married, having a baby, starting a new job, moving to a new city, writing a book, starting a business, raising teenagers, getting a divorce, going back to school, or learning how to ride a motorcycle, fear will play a part in your life. Learn not to fear fear but rather use it to connect to the bigger, more courageous, confident version of yourself. You can do this… life is an exhilarating ride for those brave enough to climb on!

This post is a part of the Blog Tour, which leads up to the Power of the Road Conference, hosted by Liz Jansen. I’m thrilled to be part of an event that inspires motorcyclists to take action while helping create more opportunities for others in need, focuses on interconnection and common ground, and champions non-partisan change. You can be the change you want, by signing up for the Conference here.

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