What Disguise Does Your FEAR Wear?

Clients come to coaching because they want change.

There’s dissatisfaction with the status quo and they want
something to be different.


And yet.. very often, they resist making the changes they
so deeply desire.

The Number 1 obstacle that gets in the way is F.E.A.R.

Fear can paralyse us. Keep us stuck. Procrastinating.

For a day, a week or a lifetime.

It can result in us making fear-based decisions.

Decisions that are never going to serve us in the long-term.

Or no decision at all (which, by the way, is still a decision!)

The Voice of Reason

Our fear is clever.

Often, it doesn’t show up as plain ol’: ‘I’m afraid to do this.’

Instead, it masquerades as the voice of reason.

With solid, logical sounding explanations.

Our fear wears many disguises, including:

  • I haven’t got time for this
  • I don’t know what I want
  • It’s not realistic, it’s never going to happen
  • I can’t afford it
  • It’s better the devil you know
  • I haven’t got enough experience
  • I’ll do it next week/month/year/lifetime
  • ‘They’ won’t like it if I do that
  • It would be selfish of me

If we dig just a little beneath the surface, very often we’ll find fear lurking.

I see this all the time with clients.

I get it.

Fear is a natural, human reaction to the unknown.

It’s part of the human condition.

It puts our brain on red alert, and gives us the urgent message: Danger! Stop!

My Personal Reminder

I had a reminder of this myself a couple of months back.

In early April I moved house. I had been trying to make this happen since last summer. It was going to be positive on so many levels. It was to be the first house I would own solely in over 20 years.

After many false starts, we were finally ready to exchange contracts.

The point of no return.

My fear kicked in.

It spoke to me in a calm, rational voice:

  • “You don’t have to do this”
  • “Just stay where you are”
  • “You’re going to hate the new house”
  • “Do you really want to live there?!”

I recognised it was my fear talking.

But that didn’t stop me listening.

For a very short while it sounded like the voice of reason.

Change is Scary – and that’s Okay

The truth is – change is bloody scary.

Uncertainty is scary.

Going into the unknown is scary.

Sometimes we may choose to listen to our fear.

And that’s okay.

It just means we’re not ready yet.

Recognising our fear – even when it shows up in fancy dress, is the first step.
The next step is acknowledging it, staring it fully in the eye and, when we’re ready, moving forward anyway.

This is how we grow.

This is how we become more of who we are.

In case you’re wondering.. Nine weeks in and I’m loving my new home!

What disguise does your fear wear?

How can you learn to recognise and acknowledge it, without it preventing you from moving towards the change you know is right for you?

Posted in Life.


  1. My fear, Julie, says “if you say what’s in your heart (to a dear friend who has hurt me), it’ll open up a can of worms, involve those around me, and maybe I won’t be any happier by doing that and I’ll be very unpopular with those who may become involved because of what I’ve said”. So I stay quiet and I put my feelings, for most of the time, in a little box in my head.

    • I used to do that but I have learned the hard way it will come back to bite you either way, you do take risks by speaking about how you feel but if you don’t say it can fester and become even more toxic, so for what its worth find a nice way to say it but say it nevertheless. You may be pleasantly surprised by the reaction i know I was!

      • Fear of the unknown is huge but I need to stop looking backwards and start looking forwards! Stop believing the negatives and start to believe the positives!

  2. Hi Sheila, Thanks for your comment and your honesty. Something to consider is that most of our suffering is caused by the thoughts in our head. It’s “what we make it mean” about what the person said or did that hurts us, not the circumstance itself. The stories we tell ourselves can be very painful! What do you think? As Anna said, sometimes we need to tell the other person how we feel, and we can find a kind and compassionate way to say it. Another thought is that when we forgive someone, we do it for ourselves first. When somebody has hurt us, we carry the pain, not them. When we choose to forgive them (which is not the same as condoning their behaviour), we can let go of the pain. It is an act of self-love. Hope this is helpful Sheila. xx

  3. Hi Anna, Thanks for your comment and your feedback to Sheila. I would ask you to examine the thoughts that are creating the negative “beliefs” and realise they are just thoughts, not fact. Then start replacing them with thoughts that feel better (and are also true). You have lots of evidence that will allow you to believe a positive story – why believe the negative ones? They just feel crap and give us a negative result! Julie x

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