Feeling the dating fear, honouring the feelings, being curious … and doing it anyway!

I’m passionate about my vision, my mission, my calling – to help people to date more consciously and to have more loving relationships with others and themselves.  I’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes.  I’ve been keeping journals since I was 16 years old so I have all the ups and downs of my love life documented (and have made a mutual agreement with a close friend to burn our journals upon our passing!).  I’ve taken lots of courses, read lots of books, done lots of blogging, helped close friends… but playing it safe and being invisible really wasn’t serving anybody.  It wasn’t getting my message out into the world and it wasn’t stretching me.  I was happily in my comfort zone, but quite stuck.

Public speaking is a strategy for getting out there: so that people could get great information and get a sense of who I am and where I come from but, frankly, the thought of standing up in front of a group was terrifying for me.  I had lots of “but what if’s???” and I imagined feeling so exposed!  Yikes!  I felt the fear.  I honoured the fear.  I started getting curious about the fear.  What’s the worst thing that could happen?  How old was that part of me that was so scared of getting up in front of people?  Is it really true that people would be there to judge me – or were they there to learn?

I joined Toastmasters so I could get some experience in front of a group.  I could feel my heart pounding before giving even a short toast (about 1 minute!)  but I survived!  In preparing for my first public presentation  last month I had sleepless nights punctuated by feelings of dread and overwhelm.

Interestingly, after I’d prepared my talk and all the handouts (and some small prizes) I wasn’t nervous!  Interestingly, after all the dread I had about how badly it might go… I actually enjoyed it!  I’m looking forward to the next one!  I focus on how I can connect with my audience and how I can be of service.  I took the risk and got in touch with a gift I hadn’t realized that I had!

How does this story apply to you and dating?  For many people, dating is very nerve-wracking.  Feel the dating fear.  Where do you notice it in your body?  If you are observing safe dating practices like meeting in public, what’s the worst thing that could happen?  If you’ve allotted 20-30 minutes for a coffee date it’s not forever and you can always end things sooner if your date is rude or unpleasant.  How old is the part of you that is dreading the date?  Maybe feeling like a 5 or 6 year old on the first day of school?  You’re an adult now and you have a lot more resources and coping mechanisms than you did back then.

You can stay home and be invisible – but how are you going to share your gifts with a beloved partner if you never get out and meet people?   Yes, it can feel risky to put yourself out like that, but you never know what magic can happen when you take that first step!

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