Sometimes the feelings of being scared and excited can elicit the same physical response in our bodies.When new challenges and opportunities show up in our lives, we may diagnose ourselves as feeling scared when what we really feel is excited. Often we have not been taught how to welcome the thrill of a new opportunity, and so we opt to back off, indulging our anxiety instead of awakening our courage. One way to inspire ourselves to embrace the opportunities that come our way is to look more deeply into our feelings and see that butterflies in our stomach or a rapidly beating heart are not necessarily a sign that we are afraid. Those very same feelings can be translated as excitement, curiosity, passion, and even love.
There is nothing wrong with being afraid as long as we do not let it stop us from doing the things that excite us. Most of us assume that brave people are fearless, but the truth is that they are simply more comfortable with fear because they face it on a regular basis. The more we do this, the more we feel excitement in the face of challenges rather than anxiety. The more we cultivate our ability to move forward instead of backing off, the more we trust ourselves to be able to handle the new opportunity, whether it’s a new job, an exciting move, or a relationship. When we feel our fear, we can remind ourselves that maybe we are actually just excited. We can assure ourselves that this opportunity has come our way because we are meant to take it.
Framing things just a little differently can dramatically shift our mental state from one of resistance to one of openness. We can practice this new way of seeing things by saying aloud: I am really excited about this job interview. I am really looking forward to going on a date with this amazing person. I am excited to have the opportunity to do something I have never done before. As we do this, we will feel our energy shift from fear, which paralyzes, to excitement, which empowers us to direct all that energy in the service of moving forward, growing, and learning.