What is My Fear Saying? Head to the Observation Deck to Find Out

I absolutely adore the wild adventure of creating my podcast and watching it all unfold – including the shadow work that comes along with it. Bearing my soul, episode by episode has definitely dredged up a lot of different things that I had no idea I was carrying around with me. I thought I was somewhat “done” with processing my own shit, but putting myself out there and leaning into finding my voice by launching my podcast basically walked me right into the belly of the beast without realizing it.  

It feels really, really good to allow my voice to say what it wants. I can feel it shift my overall energy, like I’m moving to a new level, and all of my resistance and my baggage need to be healed and my loose ends tied up before I can truly arrive at that next level. The things that come up feel ridiculous and sometimes repetitive, like the morning when I woke up eager to record my fourth podcast episode (I had literally done this three times already in as many days) and then sat and aimlessly brainstormed ideas for hours, feeling nervous and unsure of what to say.

Why was I suddenly back into this energy? What was this nervousness all about? I almost felt like I should have outgrown that already, and I caught myself slipping into a self-critical place (not unlike during a vulnerability hangover.) Rather than beating up on myself, I pointed my attention to the “observation deck” as I call it, and I observed those emotions. I asked myself, “What are you so afraid of? What is it that you’re actually worried about?” and allowed the mental space for a response. Honestly, I still couldn’t really come up with anything. All I got were some old ideas and thought patterns – as they came up I could immediately identify that they weren’t valid. Things like, “What if people don’t like it? What if they think less of me because they’re seeing the real me?” resurfaced when I thought I had worked through that already. I had already decided I wasn’t going to let those fears hold me back anymore, so why were they creeping back up, telling me the same old story?

I learned (and am still learning) that we never really graduate from our baggage once and for all. It’s something that happens in layers. You can make your way past it in the moment only for it to come back sooner or later. When I woke up that morning so excited to record an episode of my podcast and then felt nervous and fearful, instead of becoming self-critical, I observed that fear and asked it, “what are you afraid of?” And it turns out, this was the key.

It was only by asking that I could realize the fear I was feeling was rooted in outdated information. I didn’t believe that reasoning anymore, and what I learned is that you can feel a fear, observe it, and then choose to weigh other information against it. I factored more things into the equation, things like my passion and the fact that I wasn’t able to sleep the night before out of sheer excitement to wake up the next morning, have my coffee, and record a podcast episode. I really wanted to do it, but this familiar fear crept in and came over me. The experience of consciously choosing to have this conversation with myself, realizing the source of my fear, and remembering the lesson I’d already learned lead me to move past the fear with intention. In this process, the fear shrank, and I learned that each time I’m faced with this same fearful feeling is yet another opportunity to shrink it more and more.

Fear wants to protect. Its presence in your body triggers the fight or flight response, releasing adrenaline and sending you into survival mode, ready to defend your life. The fear, while well-intentioned, can get blown out of proportion in our subconscious, where it lives. It bubbles beneath the surface and by the time it reaches your conscious mind it feels real and “right now.” The trick of the observation deck is to allow emotional energy to move and to recognize it’s not permanent. The best thing about our emotions is that they’re all temporary. Moment to moment, second to second, our emotions are shifting. You don’t have to discount the energy that’s present, though, because it shows up to have a conversation with you. As any piece of yourself rises to the surface and wants to be heard, try your best to hear what that piece of yourself has to say. Even though some pieces may sometimes show up as fear, which is scary and painful as it reminds us of the “what ifs” and worst case scenarios, it’s still a part of yourself which deserves love and acceptance, just like the rest.

In all of this, I’ve learned that the only way to get used to something new is to repeatedly expose yourself to it. As a Taurus rising, I’m pretty comfortable in what I know, but at the same time I have all this Gemini energy that is constantly forcing me to step out and learn something new, do new things. This is one of those times where it’s so easy to stay in comfort, but so worth it to step outside of it. I learned that I’m still a little nervous about what people are gonna think of me – and at only four episodes in, I think that’s perfectly okay. As I’m telling these stories and revealing my true self through my podcast, I’m really not trying to be anything or anyone else. I’m just being. And yes, it’s scary, but as I settle into it little by little, I’m realizing it’s pretty damn comfortable here in this place of self-acceptance too.

Thank you for reading, dear friends! Find more articles like this one on the Owning Authenticity blog and hear more stories on my i Learned podcast. Explore the rest of my offerings on my website www.owningauthenticity.com

Content from Episode 4 of “i learned…” podcast by Carly Whorton, adapted by Maddie Billings

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