Is Fear Holding You Back?

author/source: Michelle Woerdeman

Is Fear Holding You Back, Photo Courtesy of Callie GibsonWith Halloween vibes in the air, I thought now is a great time to talk about fear.  Not the spooky kind of fear you may experience in a haunted house. I am talking about the FEAR we create in our minds.

False Evidence Appearing Real

Fear is and has been a normal and natural part of life.  A healthy amount of fear is what helps keep us alive. Our primitive brain, that back part of our brain, is what holds the natural healthy amount of fear we need to keep on keeping on.

It’s the unhealthy amount of fear, the fear we create in our prefrontal cortex that can do a number on you, and really wreak havoc on your quality of life. It can keep you stuck. Whether it’s with your own personal growth, a relationship, health and wellness, or career. It’s that kind of fear I love helping people through.

Have you ever created a what-if scenario in your mind that leads you to stress out, worry, maybe even panic, or lose sleep? Only to experience the what-if scenario never comes true, not even close.  But in your mind, it felt really real, you were convinced that this outcome was going to happen.  See our brains don’t know the difference between what we believe to be real, and what is actually real. Which can also have extremely positive effects and is one of the coaching tools I use in terms of visualizing your way to the desired outcome. But in terms of fear and the what-if scenario that has been created, the mind thinks it’s real.  This is why all the stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, start pumping in our bodies creating physical sensations based on what we are feeding our minds.

Photo Courtesy of Marina VitaleI recently helped a client who was stuck in her career. For years she had felt she was underpaid, overworked, and she didn’t even enjoy the particular work she was doing. She came to me looking for help in gaining the confidence to ask for what she wanted which was more money, and a different position within the company that allowed her more flexibility so she could have a better work-life balance.

 My client had convinced herself that if she approached her boss, and asked for the changes she was looking for, he would hands down say no, basically laugh, and she would probably even get fired for asking.  This is what was going on in her mind, and it was going on for quite a long time.  She really believed this story to be true because she practiced the scenario in her head so many times for so long. Her brain looked for all the reasons or evidence as to why this was true.  

This kept her stuck, which affected her whole life.  She resented her boss, she resented the work she was doing, she didn’t have the flexibility to be able to spend more time with her family and friends, and wasn’t making the amount of money she wanted too.

Mind Balance Wellness MBW LivingDuring our coaching sessions, I helped my client realize all the “stories” she was telling herself.  We broke things down between fact and fiction.  By the way, we all have lots of fiction going on in our brains.  Being aware of that is key.

We uncovered where the stories came from, why they were happening and how to create a much prettier story where things worked out exactly as she wanted.

Based on these new stories, my client started showing up differently in all the areas of her life.

By changing her stories, she changed her life.

I could go on and on about this, and I do in my podcast Episode, which you can listen to here,


Michelle started her coaching business after 17 successful years as a financial planner. Her passion has always been about helping people achieve their dreams. While she had a great career, something was missing. Michelle wanted more from life and knew her true calling for helping people was ready to take a different direction.

Life was more than helping people achieve financial wellness—Michelle wanted to help them achieve overall emotional and life wellness. We so often find ourselves on the hamster wheel of life without any idea of how to get off. Michelle provides her clients with the tools to get off the wheel, live with purpose, and achieve the life they never thought possible. It all starts with one thought at a time.