Category Archives: fear

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

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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?

determination

“When the thunder rumbles,
Now the age of gold is dead.
When the dreams we’ve clung to
Trying to stay young,
Have left us parched and old instead.
When my courage crumbles,
When I feel confused and frail,
When my spirit falters on decaying altars
And my illusions fail —
I go on right then.
I go on again.
I go on to say I will celebrate another day.
I go on.
If tomorrow tumbles
And everything I love is gone,
I will face regret all my days, and yet
I will still go on.”
    Leonard Bernstein

Determination – facing the odds and not quitting in times of difficulty.   It takes determination to do anything of value in your life.    Remember back to a time when you were determined to do something, how did feel to accomplish that goal?

For some people it means pursuing a college education, it means having the resolve to face the challenges and push through even in difficult times.   For some people is going after a vocation that they believe in.   For some people it is climbing a mountain.    Whatever the goal it takes determination to reach the objective.    Rock climbers climb with determination to reach their goal, going beyond what most people would imagine possible.

In 1914 Earnest Shackleton set sail for Antarctica with the goal of crossing the continent.    Before Shackleton and crew could set foot on land their ship Endurance was captured in ice which quickly surround the vessel.   Months later the crew abandoned the ship as the ship became overwhelmed with the pressure of the ice.   The crew survived the harsh winter on Elephant island.    Shackleton was determined to get his crew rescued and set out in a small boat with a few others and made a long trip to South George island.

When  have you been challenged beyond what you thought was possible?   What kept you going?

Now

“Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.”  James Thurber

It fits neatly between the past and the future.   It is the space between the not yet and history, it is what we call “Now” and it is a very precious moment.   Now is always moving in some direction for some people it is forward and for others it is a link to the past.

Some people move from “Now” into the past, a past  filled regrets, anger, and disappointment.   They are so comfortable in the past that they can’t move out of it, they are friends with yesterday.   For those who are stuck in the past we are likely to call them victims.    For the victim life is about “getting” comfort from others and it is a way to survive and receive empathy.   While there is a benefit from living in the past as a victim it isn’t a place of strength and vitality.   Living a life in the past is more like living in a cage, safety being on the inside but there is no freedom in living in the past.

There are some people who live in the future, a future that is filled with dreams of what can be or a future that is filled with anxiety and fear.   Living in fear (panic attacks, high anxiety) diminishes the quality of life.   People living alone without a strong support structure can project themselves into an uncertain future and increase the chances of having panic attacks. 

The past or the future is not the place to cultivate happiness.   Happiness occurs in the “now”.  While we can have fond memories of the past that brings to us feelings of joy, these feelings often only pull us back into a place of “life was better then …”.   Now is the time and place for happiness and because it happens  in the moment it often feels elusive.    As soon as you think about your  happiness you are shifting your state of consciousness to a different time perspective.   Happiness in the moment is something that is and it takes no thought.

Now is the place where creation unfolds.   Now is the place the  memories bloom.   Now is the place that dreams are fashioned.   Many people refer to “now” as being present, not being in the past or in the future but being right in the moment, fully alive and fully energized.  

Where do you find yourself, in the present, in the past or in the future?

In this video the Dalai Lama talks about how our emotions are the source of our problems, and it is our emotions that impact our ability to be happy, to be present, to be in the “now”. What do you think?


 

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”   James Thurber

Fear

“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, Dune

What would you be doing right now if fear didn’t have its way with you?   That is right, fear is stopping you from living fully.   It is holding you back.  It is making you nervous and it is changing the rhythm of your self-talk.   What is it saying right now?   Is it saying “I can do anything I want to” or is it saying “I would do if it if I wanted to” or is it saying “I could do it but I don’t feel like it.”    What messages are you listening to, what is the talk of your unconscious mind saying right now?   It may not be saying anything, it may just be a feeling, a nervous feeling, a queasy feeling, an uncertain feeling, a feeling that says back away or a feeling that says quit now.   What is it you are feeling right now?   How does the word fear feel right now?

Some people fear changing a job that they absolutely know isn’t working for them.   They keep the job just to have a job and in today’s uncertain economy that is holding back people from doing what they love to do.

Fear rips through someone who finds out that they have a severe illness.  What is next?  What will happen to me?   The mind fixates on the worst outcome possible rather than focusing on what the best outcome could be.

What are you fearful about?

Write down those things now.

I am fearful about __________________________________________

I am fearful about __________________________________________

I am fearful about __________________________________________

Now that you have the idea, write down the things that you are fearful about.  Identify those fears.

What is a fear?  What is the rational thought behind the fear?

Examine the fear and look at it from 360 degrees.   Look all around the fear and write down what is true about the fear.   What is really true, not what you think is true.

Let’s say you are looking for a new job.  You’ve written your resume and sent it out to over 200 organizations and not one has written or called you for an interview.   Maybe you are thinking you are not good enough to be hired.  You feel rejected and then you feel that without a job then you won’t be able to provide for yourself.    The fear is that you aren’t good enough.   If you aren’t good enough then what.  What does the future hold for you if you aren’t good enough?

The fear  you are not good enough is just a thought you made up, where is the truth in that statement “you’re not good enough?”.

Take one step out of fear by creating a positive frame of mind.   To create a positive frame of mind think positive.   Tame the voice of fear and replace it with  the voice of creation.

“I am creating my future.”

“I am  living fully today.”

“I am enjoying the moment.”

“I am good enough.”

Replace the old thoughts with new ones.  Practice, practice and practice focusing on what you want as an outcome and move forward each day.

In this video Dr. Michael Duckett talks about overcoming fear.   Coaching also works to move people beyond limiting beliefs, assumptions and interpretations.

Take the next step to conquer fear in your life.  Focus on what you can do right now, right now and solve the problems rather than trying to figure out what will happen in the future.

“Be brave enough to live creatively…. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you will discover will be wonderful. What you will discover will be yourself. ”
Alan Alda

on this fateful day …

[New York Daily News 9/14/01]

The day the world changed.

It was a moment in time when people’s hearts started beating differently.  It was a moment in time when your world shifted.

It might have been a moment when it crystallized in your thoughts how fragile life is.   What changed in you?   What new realizations did you have?  What new actions were you going to take?

Sometimes people change the direction of their lives when tragedy strikes, for others it is a blip in the trajectory of their existence.   For some people it meant ensuring that those closest to them knew that they mattered.  It may have been a time to ask forgiveness or share their true feelings or to recommit to a relationship that had gone sour.   What changed for you?

What moves you to take action?  Does it take a massive and violent attack on your way of life or do you see what is best for you and then take action?

Everyone experiences some type of 9/11 experience in their life.  Some use that experience as a wake up call, a time to start taking action.  For others it means withdrawal and moving backwards and becoming a victim of the event rather than making a choice to take action.   Fear drives withdrawal, opportunity causes action.   What do you do when faced with great challenges?

Take this chance to evaluate where you are today:

Use a scale of 1-10, 1 = Not at all, 10 = Very much so

1. My life is close to my ideal

2. The conditions in my life are very satisfying

3. I am satisfied with my life

4. I have most of what I want out of life

5. I have no regrets about my life so far

Add up the score.

My life is very good – ( 40 or above)

My life has opportunities –  (30 – 39)

My life could use improvement  (20 – 29)

My life needs a lot of work   (  less than 20)

Make today the day you start working on your life.   Don’t wait for something tragic to motivate you.