NEXT045 Learning How to Look at What You Fear, Differently

Posted on : 29-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

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Ever since January of this year, I’ve been speaking with a really good mentor/Coach/friend of mine Mon-Thur.  Before we began this coaching process (prompted from my new “Cut-to-the Chase” Coaching program) we were part of a group of four Coaches who met once a week every month every year for the past eleven years. Suffice it to say, we know each other pretty darn well and have been there for each other through all kinds of ups and downs in life.

Fortunately for me, my friend is willing to tempt my reaction to fear (defensiveness, abruptness, aloofness) to speak of the elephant in the middle of the room so that I can make informed choices rather than skirt around the elephant avoiding potential conflict as well as success.  As it also turns out, both my friend and I share a lot of traits to the point that I know if I’m seeing something in her that I want to jump in and make suggestions about that it’s probably something in me that I don’t want to look at. In other words, “if you spot it, you’ve got it”.

In my case, I think there’s probably a whole herd of elephants in the middle of the room and any recognition of in the smallest of them even  in the most benign  manner will start a stampede!  This herd represents all kinds of FEAR (false evidence appearing real) for me.   And all of that fear is tied like a spider web to money.  One of the bugs caught in my money web is the fear of rejection.  I will go to the farthest corners of the Earth to be completely isolated by myself rather than invite the possibility of rejection. Especially if that rejection is about the work or service I offer.  Of course you realize that this kind of reaction to the fear of rejection has also tampered with some very good experiences of acceptance and possibly even celebration.  I think it’s probably another facet of a control issue as well.  All this fear can also quickly become resentment after awhile if I steep in it long enough.

Elephant Herd

The ultimate resentment is of myself for severely limiting myself from what is possible.

It occurred to me today as my mentor and I embarked on the tango up to my fear of money and rejection and then fast on those heels, resentment that I could look at the fear differently this time.  I could look at it as an indicator to respond in an entirely different way (some know this as being counter intuitive) to the way that I “usually” would respond and see what happens.  What was it Einstein said?  “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”    I don’t know about a touch of genius in my case, but I think I can garner up a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

In what way are you willing to look at your fear differently?


DINK #206 Feeling The Fear And Doing It Anyway!

Posted on : 12-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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One of the slogans we learned when we first took lessons on how to scuba dive was to “Plan Your Dive and Dive Your Plan”.  For someone like me who can get completely distracted and pretty much leave my body in times of excitement, fear and stress, planning my dive and diving my plan is a great metaphor for what I need to do so that I can live my life well. I’ve blogged before about how I have a love/hate/love relationship with scuba diving. I love it because I love to swim, I love the water, I love seeing all of the fish and plants and animals but I hate feeling claustrophobic and I hate it when I have an anxiety attack about 70 feet down when I have to ascend very slowly to get to safe ground.  For me, planning my dive from how much air I have in my tank to paying attention to my remaining air in the tank that will tell me when my diving time has come to an end, to noting what we’re probably going to see on a particular dive and finally what depths that we will descend to is essential.  I also have to know how my equipment works, that it is working well and have an understanding with my dive buddy about what our signals mean to each other.

The same thing to planning my scuba diving applies to my life above the water.  My friend who I am co-creating a talk show with and I were talking today about this experience of creating this talk show and how we can feel excitement and fear at the same time.  For weeks now we have been putting together the scripts for three pilots, figuring out who the guests will, what topics we want to explore and how we will do this in the time period we’ve allotted for the show.  We’ve also been creating a dynamic web site for the show and exploring how we can give to our audience in this capacity as well.  There is absolutely no guarantee that this bird will lift off the ground and fly so we are just putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next thing on our agenda to accomplish the eventual launch of the show.  Right now I am feeling less fear about whether the show will happen or not than mine friend but I know as we get closer to “D” day for the show to go live and most especially if a producer takes the pilot episodes and runs with it and it actually does happen that I will then feel my fear full throttle.  At that time I might recommend y’all to purchase plenty of stock in pampers!  But by then I will have immersed myself in the show so fully that I won’t be able to back out — which is what I’ve done quite a few times in my life when I have felt overwhelmed with fear.

Today though I have tools to help me create a plan for when I want to accomplish something and then to do the steps laid out in the plan which give me hooks that I can hang on to as I climb the potential mountain of fear that could prevent me from accomplishing my plan.

What instances in your life can you point to that let you know that you know how to feel your fear and do (the action) it anyway?

DINK #179 False Evidence Appearing Real

Posted on : 15-09-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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But it’s so convincing! That FEAR thing, false evidence appearing real. One of the definitions (noun) for fear found at is: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. I know how fear feels because man have I harbored it, entertained it, seduced it, named it, left it, loved it, and hated it for many years. I’ve heard it said that faith and fear couldn’t exist in the same instance. But I think it is very possible to have faith and still be very afraid. It doesn’t mean you don’t have enough faith or have the “right” kind of faith, it just means that you are feeling fear.

On September 11, 2001, my husband and me, along with 9 of our best friends, were on a plane bound for Mexico for a scuba diving vacation. We were worried about making our connecting flight from Austin to Houston to Cozumel when our plane began its taxi towards the gate. For some reason our flight attendants got very, very calm and were talking to us in a very calming voice to assure us that we would make our connecting flights. Then cell phones began ringing and word began to spread throughout the plane. We all walked down the corridor in shock as we made it into the airport to see the first footage of the planes hitting the towers in New York. Clusters of people were gathered around all the television monitors throughout the airport in silence. I called my father immediately, since he used to be in the kind of business that would have been in the know about what was going on and it was my father who told me about the plane in Philadelphia.

My friends and I worked together like a fine oiled machine renting one of the last vans available in Houston to come pick us up at the airport, gathering our suitcases in the melee at the baggage claim area and heading off to a hotel in the Houston area. Because we were all in a state of shock, I think we still thought we’d be able to take a plane the next morning to Mexico. We pretty much stayed up all night long in two connecting rooms walking back and forth processing, processing, processing all night long while watching the news reports over and over and over. All of us had called every member of our families to make sure everyone was okay—and they were. I did have a cousin who lived in a town in New Jersey where several families had members who became victims that day. He doesn’t talk about it much.

And there is a preacher who knows how to utilize the media who had been threatening to burn the Quran today as a statement about what happened on 9/11. And there are Muslims who are trying to build a center near Ground Zero. And the United States is still entrenched in a war that has been going on since 2002. I have several friends who truly believe that 9/11 was an “inside job” which means that the U.S. Government was behind the towers collapsing and they believe that no one died that day…at least the way that it has been portrayed. I have friends and family members who believe that Islam is the most dangerous and prolific religion out there and that it is a very big threat to U.S. security.

FEAR can appear very big and very real in all kinds of shapes and sizes. It can cause men (and women) to unite together in a cause to hurt, maim, kill, and disempower the enemy such as the hijackers of the planes on that fateful day and then the echo of our troops for many years afterwards. FEAR can cause otherwise intelligent people to believe all kinds of scenarios about what things have happened and how they have happened and why they have happened to appease us with an answer to our questions. FEAR can turn countryman against countryman and world citizen against world citizen.

At some point, I hope there will be a gathering of minds, hearts and intentions to perhaps pay heed to some of the great Masters through the years who have taught us the antidote for FEAR such as to seek to understand rather than to be understood and to treat others as you would have them treat yourself and to love thy neighbor. The truth is that there just isn’t a gun big enough or a bomb powerful enough or prisons strong enough to overcome that which makes us fear for our very lives. At some point we have to use our brains in partnership with our hearts to find new solutions to very old problems.

I’ve heard it said that Courage is Fear that has said its prayers. I hope that we (humanity) will find the courage to move forth in different directions from that which FEAR would have us go.

DINK #129 What Dreams May Come

Posted on : 31-07-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I’m pretty sure my dream of a television talk show is at least coming true in as far as I’m an Executive Producer for one that looks like it just may happen. We got a bid back from a production company that we met with and if all goes well we will be shooting three shows. The production company we may hire will help us get these shows to a digital distributor so we will have to script out about seven more shows after that to be prepared. Then it will be a matter of attracting sponsors.

My only hesitancy is that I am not able to contribute any money towards even the getting the three shows produced. I’m only able to donate my time, creativity, connections, research, etc. As it is, my TS partner may have to borrow from their 401K (which is verboten in our household!). I’m asking for Divine Guidance as far as where the income may come from and I know that if this show is meant to happen that all kinds of doors will open for us. Now the challenge is for me to get my mental intentions in alignment with making this dream happen.

Have you ever had a big dream, goal or intention come true for you? How did it unfold for you? Was it instantaneous or did it happen through a series of movements that took you up to your dream and as it unfolded it felt like one of those flip cartoon books where you can see the action happening if you flip the pages really fast. This is how the talk show dream feels right now. I’m grateful that I am feeling fairly grounded as well and not hyper manic which I can hardly stand in my own body and I’m sure repels other people away from me (not a good trait to have when trying to attract good things to yourself!).

I’m sharing this process of the talk show with you so that if it happens and is wildly successful then you’ll have been with me/us from the beginning and can see how it has unfolded and hopefully, use whatever you can to help you realize your dream. Conversely, if it turns out that the talk show does not work out, well you will have been through this with me as well and you’ll see that I’ll still be walking around with all my limbs intact and that I’ll bounce back for another day.

Awhile back, I interviewed Author, Speaker and Consultant Bill Treasurer about his book, “Courage Goes to Work” Bill is a great guy and the book is focused on building workforce courage. What I love about Bill the most is that he not only overcame his fears but he dove straight into them such as in one of his first jobs of diving off of a high dive into a little bitty pool when he was terrified of heights. I bring up Bill and his message because to realize our dreams we’ve got to be willing to build up the courage to go for them and understand that there may be times that we will fail fantastically en route to our dreams and that is okay. The point is to keep moving through our fears and learning from our mistakes so that we can eventually get to where we want to go.

Using the Bill’s experience of the high dive (cuz I’m afraid of heights too!) in relation to making this talk show happen I feel like I’m on the second to the last step of the high diving board and I’m about to step up onto the platform itself. I can’t look down because if I do, I just may faint or my legs will give out from the fear so the only thing I can do is take a deep breath, remember that the pool was very full before I climbed up, look out to the beautiful clouds on the horizon and jump!

Last one in is a rotten egg!!

Blog #82 Flying So High That You Can Almost Touch God!

Posted on : 11-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I just love technology. I am typing this blog to you from 37,000 feet up in the air as we chase the sun to the west coast from the east coast. I love looking out at the tops of cumulus clouds (just stay the heck down there below us and please disperse before we arrive in Dallas!) and the way the sunlight glints off the various rivers, streams and lakes. It’s amazing how vast the North American continent, and particularly the U.S., really is and how there really are large patches of land, hills, valleys and mountains that don’t look to have much development happening on them or around them My geography is kind of screwed up right now but we’re flying over a state with lots of hills in it for miles and miles and they are all very emerald green.

I’m glad that I can enjoy this flight because one of the things that I’ve suffered from are huge panic attacks about (to the point of fearing like I was going to look like a Garfield doll with all four sucker paws attached to the window of the plane…) has been about flying. I’m sure it has something to do with having issues with control and having to accept how out of my hands this aircraft staying up in the air really is for me.

But when I can sit back and look out the window and enjoy the flying…there is just almost nothing better. My friend Bill C. likes to fly gliders and catch thermal waves (I think that’s right) when he’s not running businesses and creating technology that I can’t even understand enough to write about here. Evidently, Bill and his glider friends head out to places like west Texas and have races/contests to see how long they can stay up or maybe how high that they can fly (if Bill reads this, hopefully he can say a little bit more about what he does). The point is, I love hearing about what he does because the fearless part of me is right there in the cockpit beside him (or wherever a passenger would sit in the glider plane!). I must have an over abundant dose of whatever the chemical is that makes us feel fear strongly. And, if fear comes from our thought patterns I know that the one thing I have control over is how I allow myself to think my thoughts.

There have been many instances in my life when I have been so scared that I just want to give up and pull the covers over my head, but what an opportunity that I’d be missing if I did avoid the opportunity to grow and learn to listen to the still quiet voice within and connect with the understanding I have called a Higher Power, I can first of all, listen to the small quiet voice to see if there is any validity to my fears. Is there something that I am not paying attention to that could otherwise harm me or others? If not, the next step is for me to ask that voice to help me hear what it is trying to say to me. Sometimes it is just vestiges of the past left in my cerebral database still trying to get my attention from many years of in-attention. Then the next step is to look towards what I am afraid of and ask for help from my higher power/higher intellect/the force–whatever you call yours insert here–to help me overcome my fears so that I can do that thing that I have so much fear of doing.

Facing fear in a balanced manner is such a different approach for me. In the past, I would either have jumped straight into a fiery ring of fire or run like a bat out of hell from whatever it was that was causing me the fear. I’m coming to realize that fear, for me, is just my reptilian brain doing it’s job keeping me alive. The good news is that I have a highly developed brain that I can use to discern what is real and what is not, what to keep and what to let go of, where to correct my course and where to stay on course.

Right now, I’m just grateful that I’m sitting here in this plane feeling like I’m flying so high that I can just about touch God. Small steps. Small Steps.

Sending packets of courage your way to help you face up to fear when it comes-a-knockin’