How’s it going for you? Are you slowing down in your work? Are you managing kids and homeschooling? What’s your life been like in the past couple months due to COVID-19?
When most people have slowed down in their work, mine has increased. Why? Because more conversations are needed to address things such as: the logistics of leading a team from your home office to personal issues of navigating relationships with kids, spouses, and overall emotional well-being. But no matter who I am talking to during the day, I am seeing the same issue emerge in each conversation—Fear Fatigue.
Fear Fatigue from the leader managing her team of 15 people from her home office as she keeps them connected, productive and engaged.
Fear Fatigue from the mother homeschooling her 3 children under the ages of 10 while her husband works from the “corner office” in their living room.
Fear Fatigue from the couple living abroad and making the decision to stay in a foreign country with their family.
Fear Fatigue from the family living abroad who had to pack up everything in a matter of days to catch the last flight back home.
Fear Fatigue from the mother waking up in the middle of the night out of a deep sleep wondering if she’s doing everything she can to keep her family safe.
Fear is exhausting. And it is contagious.
Do you see the toil fear takes on us? Worse yet, do you see it growing?
Yes, the hard truth is that fear breeds.
Whether we are grappling with the fear ourselves or trying to keep the swirling fear out of your life, people are showing the signs of what I’ve started labeling as Fear Fatigue.
So, here’s how to be mindful about rejecting fear AND actually be a part of growing peace–
Recognize Fear Breeds.
What is necessary to combat fear over a longer period of time is going to require more from you. For instance, I have noticed that I am having to work a little harder to foster my peace during the day. Usually, I need just 30 minutes to an hour in the morning to get centered for the day. But as the fear in our world has increased, I am noticing I have to work a little harder. I am taking daily nature walks, listening to more inspiring podcasts, reading literature that comforts and increasing my meditation throughout the day.
Reject the False Beliefs of Fear and Panic.
This is shockingly real. A couple weeks ago, I woke up at 3:00 am with the irrational thought of “I have to disinfect my house from top to bottom—NOW!” As I went through the cleaning supplies in my head and the ways in which I would start, it suddenly dawned on me that fear was wreaking havoc. It was so irrational. So, I staggered out of bed to go claim my peace back by first starting with rejecting fear—I will not live my life based out of fear.
Invite in True Beliefs and Foster it.
Going to my ‘peaceful place’–my favorite couch in my R&R room—early in the morning, I invited in my True Belief–I am being led and guided and I have everything I need. It doesn’t feel ‘true’ at all when you’re facing down the fear that ambushes us out of nowhere, so I have to anchor my True Belief in something bigger and wiser than me. For me it’s God. And Psalm 23 talks about Him being my Shepherd giving me all that I need. You know you have found your anchor securing your True Belief when you find yourself exhaling and starting to relax.
Living with this intentionality is what strengthens your mindset and allows you to step into each day from a place of peace rather than fear.
Be intentional about how you do this and create your own Peace Practice to reach for when the anxiety or fear starts to pull at you. For what we practice grows stronger. Many times we are practicing fear and wonder why we are living with growing anxiety. But here’s the good news – we can reject fear and grow peace. And this will also influence people around you as you intentionally grow your peace.
I wanted to share what I’ve been doing over the last couple months as part of my Peace Practices-
Dr. Heather Penny is a professional coach, trusted advisor and engaging speaker. She encourages individuals to step into their best life as they recognize the unique strengths they have to offer. Heather draws out fresh ideas and actionable goals to focus on forward momentum. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Services, with extensive global experience in consulting as well as an M.A. in Educational Leadership. As a professional coach, Heather serves her clients by drawing out their natural strengths and motivated direction. She guides her clients into clarity, confidence and courage through the professional coaching process and believes the world needs the gifts each person has to offer. The highlight for her, is a life well lived. Heather enjoys life in Northern California with her husband and two children.