Turning my fear into excitement.

I remember the day I put on my vision board a speech contest with toastmasters. When the time came to put my name forward, I hesitated. Then I found myself saying yes. Gulp.

Why did I hesitate? Because I was afraid. OK, but of what? I had no good answer and still don’t.

In Tara Mohr’s book Playing Big, she talks about looking at fear a different way. She shares two words for fear:

  • Pachad – the fear of projected or imagined things.
  • Yirah – the feeling that we have when (1) we suddenly come into possession of more energy than we are used to (2) when we inhabit a larger space than we are used to (3) when we are in the presence of the divine.

First of all, isn’t the description of Yirah wonderful? Seriously, we feel fear when we imaging things that haven’t even happened yet. If we lived in the moment, would we experience fear? I think not. I live a lot in the future… the what if. I believe that this is why I fear a lot of things. I am working on being more present.

The hesitation to say yes, evoked Pachad. But Tara goes on to explain that playing big evokes both Yirah and Pachad. Playing big is, in part, about shifting away from Pachad to Yirah. We need to be mindful of when Pachad emerges and then work to manage it. Pachad can mislead us, causing us to retreat from something that will help us grow, help us get to the next level. It can, and often does, prevent us from sharing our voices, stretching out of our comfort zones and pursing our dreams.

Yirah, sounds exciting. Its growth, it’s playing big! When I think of moving outside of my comfort zone, I do feel bigger, I feel excited (and scared). So Yirah is a great word. I would like to experience more of that!!!

I remember reading that excitement is fear with breath. Think about it, have you ever noticed that when you are afraid, you hold your breath. When you are excited, you breathe. When you experience Pachad, I believe you can help shift to Yirah by breathing into the fear. I did that in Disney. I was on a virtual ride in Pandora world and I was feeling fear on the ride. The ride was visually stunning and I wanted to enjoy it. So I breathed into the fear. To my surprise, I found myself smiling, enjoying myself and sad that it was over so soon!

The speech contest is today. Today, the day I write this blog (even before my website is ready for blogs). Am I feeling Pachad, a little, but I’m breathing into my fear, trying to move to Yirah. I am going to do my best, learn and grow from the experience. Tonight I will play bigger than I have just by competing. There is no losing because just the journey has been a win!

Update: I made plans to write a blog a couple of years ago and as my website was being modified I started to create content. Thus, this was written a while ago. I then decided to start my business and I delayed my blog.

I still try to move Pachad to Yirah. This morning (as I write this update) I did my second Talk. The 24 hours leading to the talk I start to experience Pachad. I do my best to breath into the fear and move myself into Yirah.

What do you do to move yourself from Pachad to Yirah?

“How do you want to live your life? How do you want to play the game? Do you want to play in the big leagues or in the little leagues, in the majors or the minors? Are you going to play big or play small? It’s your choice.”

T Harvey Eker