Category Archives: fear


“The sparrows jumped before they knew how to fly, and they learned to fly only because they had jumped”
― Lauren Oliver


Just jump!

It’s easier not to.   Growth doesn’t come from sitting in the same place doing the same thing you did yesterday.    The chasm doesn’t shrink by waiting another day.   Are you getting better at your craft?  Are you preparing not just for tomorrow but for the next year, the next decade?

What stops you from making the leap?   What stops you from preparing for your new future?

Fear … that little four letter word that inhibits action, that stops dreams, that kills desire and thwarts growth.   The ingredients for success are well-known.  Fear is the thing that stops people from mixing together the ingredients for their future success.

What do you want to change in your life?   What will it take?


crossing the abyss

“Life is painful and messed up. It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do. Lots of times people just let themselves get lost, dropping into a wide open, huge abyss. But that’s why we have to keep trying. We have to push through all that hurts us, work past all our memories that are haunting us. Sometimes the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest. A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. And that’s why I tell everyone that, even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living.”
― Alysha Speer


What holds you back?

What would make your life better?

What stops you from having that better life?

Maybe a better life would be simply preparing a resume’ so that you could get a job that you really want to do.  Cross the abyss and start today.  Design the life you want to live rather than feel like there is no other career that would possibly offer you the work that you really want to do.   The abyss is the fear that believing something else is possible really isn’t.

A relationship is desired and nothing ever starts.  The abyss is the fear of rejection, the fear that someone would find out that you aren’t who you really want to be.  Why not become the person you really want to be?   Take a step, and then another and cross over the abyss and become the person you were meant to be.

For some people the word is “shame” and breaking through the wall of shame is like  an abyss that is far to wide to cross.   There is no bridge strong enough to hold you up until you reach the other side.   Instead you hope that the shame will melt away and that you can find a harbor of contentment right where you are.  Let the shame go and cross the bridge to the other side, let your life flourish.

What is the abyss you have in front of you?   What would you do if the abyss wasn’t there?   Where would you be if you crossed the abyss?


your work matters

“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”
― Aldous Huxley


Imagine working for a company that wants to make work exciting, fun and challenging while offering top quality service and yet not all companies care about their people, those both inside and outside the business.  There are organizations that value their staff and the result is that the employees desire to do their best for their customers and for the company.

Recently I’ve come across a number of people who are being bullied within their company, micro-managed and intimated by threat or coercive pressures by poor management practices.  The bully doesn’t belong as a leader or manager in any company and yet they find a way to maintain a position of power in their organization.     Results matter and how they are achieved matter as well.

There are some companies that boost results and have better ways to manage people and better ways to get results as well.

Take a look at these values, what do you think?   Is it a top company?  Does this company value its employees and customers?

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

What company do you think has these values as part of their business structure?

The company that has these values is Zappos.   Is this an organization you’d like to work for?

What kind of organization do you want to be a part of?   What kind of culture would you fit best into?

how to become more powerful

“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.”
― Susan Polis Schutz


Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “fake it until you make it”, the idea that if you really want something you can fake it until you figure out how to do it.   That might be the case that attitude trumps aptitude, believing that you can do it results in the ability to do it.

That might be the belief that many winners take, an attitude of doing what it takes to make it.   That is the attitude of success.    The book “The Secret” wraps a story around the attitude of believing first then achieving second.    While there is no real “Secret” to success other than having a profound desire to achieve “The Secret” would have you believe that the universe conspires on your behalf to generate the results you think about.   The reality is that as you think about your success and start working on goals to realize that success you generate success.   It is about your attitude of success that delivers results.

Creating a positive vision for your future and taking action upon that future will lead to more positive results than thinking about a future you can’t have or achieve.

There may be times that you feel unqualified to do something or achieve something big in your life and this is where you “fake it until you become it”.   Believing that you can do something and working at doing it will be far more productive than believing you can’t do something and not doing it.

The idea is explained in this video and the key idea is about 15 minutes in.  So if you are short of time skip over the first 15 minutes and then listen in.

What have you believed you can’t do that you’d love to do?  Start doing to start becoming.

step into the fear and do it anyway

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Frank Herbert


Then end of the year is approaching quickly, what changes have you made this past year that you planned on making at the beginning of the year.   Did you live your year the same way you started it?   Perhaps you started with big goals and those slowly melted away and the year suddenly disappeared.

Often times what I hear is, “I’ll start tomorrow”, “I’ll start losing weight”, “I’ll start looking for a better job”, “I’ll start going to school”, “I’ll start _________ tomorrow”.   Tomorrow never gets here, it is always a day away. The delay becomes a story, a story about what might happen when.   There is another story that is playing at the same time.  The story of fear, the story of delaying until the threshold of fear can be breached.

You’ve heard that story, most everyone has at some point in their lives.  It is a disabling story that results in living the way that is the same as it was yesterday.   You will live your next year the same way you are living today unless you take the steps to transform your life.

The question to ask, “is the dream worth it to me?”   Is that dream of yours important.  Is losing weight really important to you?  Is finding a career worthy of you worth it to you?  Is starting a new business really that important for you?  Is taking that special vacation really that important to you?

What would make you feel more alive?  What would feeling alive look like to you?

As Mandela put it: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

the rules of the cave

“Grug: Tonight we’ll hear the story of Crispy Bear. A long time ago this little bear was alive because she listened to her father. So she was happy, but Crispy had one terrible problem.
Grug: She was filled with curiosity. Yes, and one day she saw something new and died!
Thunk: Just like that?
Grug: Yes!
Gran: Same ending as everyday
Thunk: I get it, dad. I will never do anything new or different.
Grug: Good man, Thunk”

From the movie, “The Croods”

“The Croods” turns out to be a movie about change and adventure.   The movie starts out with a caveman family that hides in a cave when anything dangerous happens and relies on the rules of the past to play in a changing world.

If we look at the movie as a reflection on life you can see where many people live with a set of rules designed for the past and they just don’t work for the world today.   It doesn’t mean abandon the past, it does mean exploring, and investigating the current reality.

“The Croods” is an animated story about leadership and how it works and what happens when it fails.  Do we act on ideas or do we hide from them?   Do we take chances and learn and grow or do we hide in our cave?  The movie is about growth and learning.  It is a metaphor for life as it is today, challenging, sometimes difficult and fraught with change.

Is your life filled with “I’ll follow the rules” or are you doing something new each day?  Growth and change are necessary.

do you know who you are?

“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves.
But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. ”

 C.G. Jung


Do you know who you are?   Not who you think you should be but who you really are?   It is easy to cover up the true you in exchange for the perceived you, the you, you’d like to be.   Being authentic will allow you to express yourself fully and comfortably.

When people have been asked “have you ever lied?” and they say no, they are are probably not telling the truth then.   Most people live behind a mask,  a mask that is used to cover up and flaws or weaknesses they have.   It could be  character flaw, or an integrity flaw, or some other issue they don’t want others to see.    Anyone who has said, “I am not good enough” in some aspect of their life to themselves has probably not told anyone else that story.   That is their belief and it is a belief they don’t want to have.    What would happen if you told everyone “I am not good enough.”, what would happen?

How well do you know yourself?  How well do you want to know yourself?

Fill out the following assessment.    Score yourself for each line from 1 to 10 (using the labels below)

Statement as it applies to you. How do you
see yourself most of the time?
Hardly ever Some of the time Most of the time Almost always
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I speak positively about myself _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I support others and their ideas _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I get results frequently. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am compassionate _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I take responsibility for my actions _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I love myself _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I love others in my life without conditions _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am happy with who I am _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am happy with my finances _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am happy with my physical health _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am happy with my physical appearance _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am happy with my mental health _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am valued as a person by others _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I value myself as a person _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
When I make a mistake I can forgive myself _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
When others make a mistake I can forgive them. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I don’t hold grudges _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I do my best in everything I do _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I don’t make excuses _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I seek personal growth _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am competent _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am confident _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am strong (physically) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am intelligent _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am honest with myself _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am honest with others _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am authentic _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I am a person of integrity _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I meet my commitments _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I use my strengths and talents most of the time. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

When you are done just add up the scores for 1, 2 and 3,4,5 and 6,7,8 and 9, 10.    What was your score?  How many were 1’s or 2’s, or 3,4,5 or 6,7,8 or 9, and 10.

What area’s would you like to change?   Where do you want to improve or did you resist doing the assessment at all?

The first step to change is recognizing the areas that you could change, that could help you be more authentic.   When you are able to live authentically you’ll experience greater joy and happiness in your life.

What do you really want to change?   Start today!

Voices of reason

“As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their “right” place.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen


There is a battle going on in your mind.    It’s the voice of doubt, the voice of fear, the voice of perfectionism, the voice of the victim, the voice of the over-achiever and others.   What voice do you hear when you are ready to make a change in  your life?

The voice you hear wants to stop you and in most cases it does.   It stops dreams, goals,  and desires from being realized.   Just  a small amount of doubt will stop people from doing something big in their life and push them back into mediocrity.    When you challenge yourself, when you want to make a change, what do you hear, experience and feel?

Shirzad Chamine the author of “Positive Intelligence”  labels the voices.  Meet the voice of the saboteur:

1. The  stickler,  looking for perfection

2. The pleaser,  gaining acceptance and affection, a rescuer

3. The hyper-achiever, performance means self-respect, external success driven

4. The victim, inwardly focused, blames others, seeks attention, gives up easily

5. The hyper-rational, data driven, arrogant, without feelings, aloof

6. The hyper-vigilant, anxious, always on guard, doubt filled, suspicious

7. The restless, seeking something better, busyness, rarely at peace, scattered, lacks focus.

8. The controller, desire to take charge and control situations, impatient

9. The avoider,  puts off challenging tasks, passive-aggressive behavior.

Which one do you hear most often?  Which one is the loudest?

Change happens when you are able to quiet the voice of the saboteur and listen to the voice of the sage.

Six steps to failure

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”   Paulo Coelho

There are many ways to fail as there are many ways to succeed.    Knowing how to succeed has been a challenge for many people.  How do I achieve success?   One of the ways is to understand what leads to the undesired results.

Here are six ways to fail.   Add your own.

1. Sleep in.   Don’t take an interest in making a contribution.

2. Stop learning.  The world is changing quickly, failure to keep pace will lead to fewer opportunities.

3. Be self focused.   Focus on you and you alone.  Without strong networks of people you become invisible.

4. Take rather than give.   Giving of your time and talents without the intention of getting a “reward”  can result in good things happening for you.

5. Don’t take a risk.    Risk is necessary for growth.   Learn from taking a chance, learn from trying something new.

6. Focus on the past.    By looking back to the past and only thinking about what was is a good way to stay in the past.   Put effort into “Now” and plan for the future.   In fact think about where you want to be in 20 years.

 Here’s some thoughts from a recent TEDx talk.   How are you living?

being alone with ADHD

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”  Voltaire

There seems to be a theme that runs through the lives of those with ADHD and that is a loss of self-esteem.    Over time people with ADHD start losing their ability to believe in themselves and that leads to a sense of being alone and loneliness.

Perhaps it starts in the first days of the education process.   A child with ADHD  (even if they don’t know it at the time) will over time be labeled as different either by the teacher or by their peers.    For a child the small differences, a little less acceptance and pretty soon a distance is created, a gap, few friends and a shrinking view of self.   Some children with ADHD experience higher amounts of bullying and spend more time in isolation.

The story doesn’t stop at the end of grade school or college, it follows the person with ADHD around.   For many it is a story of not being good enough and continually having to prove oneself.   It may be more difficult for some people with ADHD to make friends, lasting relationships and strong relationships because of the stigma that they carry.

If you have ADHD what have you noticed about friendships, isolation and loneliness?   What has your life been like?

If you are experiencing loneliness due to ADHD then one of the recommendations is joining or creating a support group.  You are not alone if you have ADHD and don’t feel connected.

What do you do to increase the size of your circle of friends?