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Bringing the Butterfly to Light: Overcoming Fear

By Debi Hebel

Today I saw a butterfly come out from it's cocoon. It fought, it struggled, and it emerged... strong, free, vibrant, and ready to fly. Like the cocoon of the butterfly so many of us have self-imposed cocoons made up of fears. Our fears, which we create to protect us, are in many cases the barrier that is holding us back. We should pattern the actions of the butterfly and emerge from our cocoons of fear. Imagine a life in which there was no fear holding you back from what you truly want. Being able to have that life depends upon how determined you are to break free from your cocoon.

When it comes to fears, we need to understand they originate from a perception of a situation we deemed to be negative. Our perceptions are a compellation of our past conversations and experiences. These perceptions create our thoughts and emotions that are linked to our fears. So, at the root of our fears are our perceptions. Therefore, since we are the creators of our own perceptions we also have the power to change our perceptions. If we change our perceptions we change our thoughts and emotions thus, giving us an avenue for alleviating our fears.

Since my passion is helping people achieve their full potential, I have assisted many to overcome the fears that are blocking them from their great potential. One of my clients, Sarah, had a fear of being judged by people. This fear inhibited her from speaking up in meetings, public speaking, and even pursuing her passion of dancing. She was allowing this fear to keep her in her protective cocoon that was holding her back from what gave her the most happiness in life.

When we began working on this fear Sarah told me about how she had danced from the time she was four until she was eleven. At eleven she no longer had a desire to dance. Going back to when she was eleven, she remembered a time when she was on stage at a rehearsal. Her mom sat in the audience with some of the other parents watching the rehearsal. When Sarah was dancing she remembered looking out at her mom in the audience and saw that she was looking at Sarah and laughing. Immediately, Sarah's perception was that her mom was laughing at her. Sarah's thoughts and emotions that surrounded this told her that she was not good enough, she must look stupid up there, she felt embarrassment, and humiliation. This then produced her cocoon of the fear of being judged by people.

When working through Sarah's fear we decided that whatever perception she had as an eleven-year-old child may lack validity. We agreed that she could not hold herself hostage by something that she saw through the lens of an eleven-year-old.

Next, we worked to change Sarah's perspective of the situation of her mom laughing at her. I asked Sarah if she knew without a doubt that it was true that her mom was laughing at her. Her answer was no. We determined that Sarah's mom could have been laughing for many other reasons since sitting around her was several other parents with whom she was talking. With this new perspective Sarah was able to reframe her thoughts and emotions to be positive rather than destructive.

Last, we set up a plan for Sarah to begin breaking free from her cocoon. She began getting back to what she loved; dance. Sarah has worked very hard and next month will have her first ballroom dancing competition. Sarah is allowing herself to live her passion.

Have you ever felt like you are the butterfly struggling to get out? Do you feel there is more you should be doing, but your cocoon of fear is holding you back? What would you do if you had no fears holding you back? How limitless would your opportunities be? Now is the time to flex your power over your fears. Now is the time to change perceptions from your past so you can move forward on your dreams. Now is the time to emerge from your cocoon ready to fly.

Copyright © Debi Hebel, 2009
Debi is a Certified Master Coach, focusing her efforts on helping clients raise their level of life-satisfaction. As a coach, she has been able to follow her passion of inspiring people to uncover their individual greatness allowing them to grow in self-confidence, self-awareness, and ultimately life happiness. In her coaching practice, The Human Factor, Debi offers programs that take the most appropriate theories in psychology, life coaching, and emotional intelligence and uses them to help her clients advance and deepen their understanding of themselves. To contact Debi please email her here.
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