When trying something new feels scary

Why does trying something new feel scary sometimes? Because your brain can’t distinguish between a real threat to your safety or a perceived one. There’s a part of your brain whose sole job is to keep you safe, to keep you alive. If it believes you are being threatened, it will pull out all the stops to keep you from harm. And what form do those stops take?  scary face of woman Your thoughts.

Here’s my personal example.

I’ve always said I enjoy coaching so much I’d do it for free. I’m not coaching as many clients as I’d like to be coaching right now, so I had this grand idea I’d offer subscribers to my Nurture Your Life Newsletter a free coaching session. What better way to introduce them to the experience, right? I get to do what I love and they get the benefit of life coaching. Total Win-Win!

And then…

That lizardy part of my brain crept in and here’s what she said. ”No one will sign up, even if it’s free…People won’t get the benefit…You’ll be wasting your time and energy…D-U-M-B idea”.

And guess how I felt after that rant?


And guess what I did when I felt deflated?

Nothing. No action towards offering free coaching to anyone.

See how that works?

Thoughts about circumstances in our lives create feelings, which create action (or none), which create my results, which ended up being me not offering those free coaching sessions.

Let’s recap. My brain felt threatened by me offering free coaching and threw up a bunch of blocks in the form of negative thoughts. Our brains are wired to keep us safe. That’s great if you’re about to get in a traffic accident, but the threat of people not understanding coaching is hardly life threatening. Again, our brains don’t know the difference.

So what do you do? Especially when your brain throws stuff like this at you. Which it does all day long.

You first recognize that you aren’t your brain, or your thoughts. You can observe when you have them. You can’t possibly observe them and be them at the same time.

Then you choose what you want to think on purpose.

Back to my example.

I changed my thought to “I’m going to experiment with this just to see what happens”. This thought caused me to feel excited, hopeful, and that it could be fun. With these feelings I picked a time that I could coach for my schedule and started writing up a blurb about it to send to my Nurture Your Life Newsletter followers.

I took action towards my goal rather than doing nothing.

I have no idea how it’s going to turn out and that’s okay. I can’t ever know how anything will turn out. The important piece is that I told my brain what to think, I felt better, and took steps towards what I wanted just by changing that one thought.

Your turn.

What’s something new you’d like to try but are afraid to?

What thought(s) are you thinking?

How do those thoughts make you feel?

What action or non-action are you taking because of those feelings?

What results are you getting?

Don’t like those results?


What thought can you think that would make you feel good enough to take action toward the result you want?

Perfect. Now go think it.

It is that easy. It does take practice. You have to take the time to notice what you’re thinking and feeling, but it’s worth it.

Do you want some free life coaching?

Sign up for the Nurture Your Life Newsletter below my picture near the top of the left sidebar and that option can be yours too.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

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If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to  hear from you.

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