#088 Lean Into Your Parenting Fears

The world has taught you to runaway from your fears. I’m telling you to move towards your fears.

Most People Move Away From Fear

It’s natural as human beings to want to move away from fear.

Fear is usually uncomfortable, and most humans try to move away from and avoid discomfort.

In the past, moving away from fear served us very well, both as a species and also individually.

As a species, moving away from scary animals and circumstances helped keep our species alive.

As individuals, avoiding scary things has helped keep you comfortable and safe.

Avoiding scary situations is a natural response.

Fear Isn’t Always Bad

Fear isn’t always bad. Having a healthy fear for things that could harm you keeps you safe. Fear has the power to paralyze and the power to make you run.

Fear can also help you grow. It’s often, as we go through fear, that we grow the most.

Things Are Rarely As Bas As You Fear

One of the things that makes human beings special is our ability to imagine and dream.

This is seriously one of our greatest strengths, but it is also one of our greatest weaknesses.

With this ability comes the ability to catastrophize.

If you’re like me, you are a fantastic catastrophizer. You can see hundreds of ways that things could go wrong, and it’s super scary.

So, we spend tons of our energy and attention avoiding the thing that we are scared of.

How Fear Affects You As a Parent

Through the years that I’ve coached parents and teens, I’ve noticed a few things about fear.

NOBODY likes how they behave when they’re being driven by fear.

NOBODY!

In a conversation with one of my teen clients, he explained that when he is driven by fear, he holds back. This affects him on the basketball court, in his relationships with friends (especially cute girls), and in life in general.

In a recent conversation with one of my parent clients, she explained that when she is driven by fear she tries to control things outside of her control. This has a negative effect on her relationship with her children, with her spouse, and it completely changes how she parents.

When you parent from a place of fear, your brain goes into overdrive to find all the things that you “should” be scared of.

If you’re like me, fear makes you more controlling, less trusting, and it shifts your focus from things within your control to things outside of your control.

Fear Is The Answer?

One of the things that I’ve been noticing with both the parents and teens that I work with is that their fears are actually the answer.

If you’re like most parents that I work with, you have some fears about your teens.

“Are they okay?” “Will they be okay?” “What if they . . . ?”

How To Manage Your Parenting Fears

  1. Identify and Acknowledge Your Fear
    • Get to know what your afraid of.
    • Understand it.
    • Acknowlage that you are afraid and that it’s okay.
  2. Mentally Go There
    • If you are scared, you are likely focusig on things outside of your control, and you are likely catastrophising.
    • Understand that and mentally go there.
    • Picture yourself in the experiencing the thing that you fear.
  3. Decide Who You Want to BE In The Face of Your Fear
    • This is hard, but explore, who you want to be in the face of your fear.
    • See yourself BEing that way in the face of your fear.
    • Understand why you want to be that way.
  4. Explore How That Way Of BEing Would Apply To Your Best Case Scenario
    • Once you’ve identitfied who/how you want to be in the worst case scenario, your fear, see how that would serve you in the best case scenario.
    • How does this way of being apply to both scenarios?
  5. Practice BEing The Parent Of Your Dreams
    • No, get back to reality and practice BEing the parent of your dreams.
    • This doesn’t make the fear go away, but it gives you a guide for how you want to be.
    • This shifts your focus back to the one thing you can control, YOURSELF!

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