It’s Just a Paper Tiger

(Clarification, I am not talking about an acute disaster.)

I want to be frank with you.  Most of us have carried fear around for… a… long… time. Some of us to the point of reacting to almost anything with fear, from partnering up with someone at yoga class to trying something new. We’ve even used fear as a motivator, and it worked!!

We also make such a big deal out of our fears and we listen to them. “You can’t do that, what will your mother say? You couldn’t do it last month so you probably won’t be able to do it this month! She didn’t call back so what does that mean?” And so on. Fear is like a companion, a well-known companion who is constantly complaining in our heads. Sometimes we wish we could get rid of him.

The Paper Tiger Looks Ferocious

But I want you to consider this… that your fear is just a paper tiger. It looks ferocious but it’s just made of paper. You could cut it up or throw it out! It’s just ferocious because you’ve given it so much of your time and energy.

Here’s what I suggest next time you’re in your habitual fear:

  1. Let it be ok to just feel what you are feeling – most of us just want to run and hide, blame, or complain. Now I just said let if be ok, I didn’t say agree with it or be happy with it. Just let it be ok and you will see that it will dissipate. Remember, if you convince yourself that you are in fear then that is what you will see and experience.
  2. Look at your experience and see that it is the contrast of what you want – just identify, with appreciation, that that is clearly NOT what you want.
  3. Slowly walk away and close the door on the fear – I mean this metaphorically. In your mind, gently move away from the fear thoughts and move toward thoughts that represent what you really DO want.
  4. Find a way to WANT to move forward – I put this extra step to emphasize that if you didn’t do step #3 well, you must try, try again. And to help you, focus on a way to WANT to move forward like, “I prefer to learn more about believing in myself, I prefer to feel good when I’m planning my next business launch, I prefer to be at ease and calm.”

So go ahead and pet that cute paper tiger till he purrs, or throw him out! You own it!

Hope this has been helpful to rid you of a habit that no longer serves you.


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