Thursday, May 13, 2010

Get the F out of here!

I've just got to sound off today about something that's been bugging me for a long time now. I'm learning that the best way to deal with things that frustrate or upset me is to just get them out in the open. I'm a verbal processor, so that means I have to either write or speak about those topics so I can move beyond them.

So today's rant is about that terrible four-letter F word that just sneaks into every part of many of our lives. It's not a new word or a new concept, but it's something we just don't deal with, so it keeps affecting us without us even realizing it.

Yes, I'm talking about F-E-A-R.

The really interesting thing about fear is that a great majority of the time the things we fear never really happen. In fact, I've heard FEAR has used as an acronym: False Evidence Appearing Real. The only authentic fear is fear caused by a situation which threatens our physical survival. In that case, we have a built-in "fight or flight" mechanism which triggers adrenaline and causes us to get to safety.

But anything other than that stimulus is actually inauthentic fear.

The most curious inauthentic fear I know is not the fear of failure. That's probably the most vocalized inauthentic fear - and probably the safest one to admit. Fear of failure keeps you from taking any action, and allows you to stay in the comfort zone where you can maintain some level of control over the outcome. It may not produce a desired result, but it produces a familiar one.

If you take no action, you won't fail, but you can't possibly achieve anything other than what you currently have.

No, the most curious fear I've identified is the fear of success. What if we really do achieve those goals we've dreamed about? Then what? What action will that force me to take? How much further out of my comfort zone will I have to be pushed then? The stories we make up in our heads are so often much worse than reality ever will be. That's the sneaky part about inauthentic fear.

What's a solution? Take a step - a BABY step - in the direction of your dream or goal. Even a baby step out of your comfort zone will provide a new perspective. Identifying the fears in our lives would be a super first step. Where are you complaining about something over which you have no control? That might provide another clue.

The conditions will never be perfect for taking action as long as you are stuck in alibi mode. That's where "Old Man If" has you bound. The entire epilogue of Think and Grow Rich is called "Outwitting the Six Ghosts of Fear" and one section identifies 57 alibis that may be preventing us from achieving our goals. Here's the greatest one of all, according to Napoleon Hill:

If I had the courage to see myself as I really am, I would find out what is wrong with me and correct it, then I might have a chance to profit by my mistakes and learn something from the experience of others for I know that there is something WRONG with me or I would now be where I WOULD HAVE BEEN IF I had spent more time analyzing my weaknesses and less time building alibis to cover them.

Where are you holding yourself hostage to a ghost of fear? How committed are you to changing that? Start today! Get the F out of there!


At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Don Weyant said...

Here's what Dr. Wayne Dyer says about self sabotage and fears of success, " cannot find moving ahead and moving forward by hanging on to what you used to be. If there's any advice that I could be giving you right now, it would be giving up your personal history."

Did you get that? What he's saying is that so many of us never move forward because we hold on to the past. We spend so much time focusing on our past, that we let it run our present lives.

It makes sense, if you think about it. If you keep living in the past, especially if you're not happy about your past, guess'll keep getting the same results. Nothing will change.

No matter what you do, it begins with who you are. Do not worry about what might happen, the worries may never be real. Follow your passion and your success will come. Your success depends on you.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Phaedra said...

What a nail-on-the-head post! thank you for sharing!

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At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Lou Ann Bennett said...

Thanks for the article! It really resonates!

Fear is our body and true self letting us know there is something incongruent with our lives. It's a trigger to wake up and become aware of what story or old belief is driving our thoughts and behaviors.

I have found the kind of insane fear you described is usually attached to thinking...not being in the moment.

Thinking is always where stress and fear originate.

Thanks again for sharing this!

There is no fear now!

At 6:28 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Thanks for the great comments, everyone! I agree for the most part - fear exists because of our thinking, and our thinking resides in the past. However, that thinking that keeps us in fear is rooted in reacting, not in responding. Responding is being in the moment and using our feelings as a guide instead of what we've been taught is the "right" thing to do in similar circumstances.

One of my favorite quotes is by Emerson (actually, many of my favorite quotes are by Emerson): "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

His point is that we should say what we feel today even though it may contradict what we said yesterday. If we don't abort our old actions when we get new information, we will be doomed to live in an endless loop of past thought, which is reacting to everyone and everything else instead of being - really BEING - in the present.

Fear can only reside in the past and based upon past experiences unless it is authentic fear, which has to do with physical survival.

So trust your instincts and your intuition as your guide, even though it may be unfamiliar at first.

When has your gut ever steered you wrong in making decisions?

Thanks everyone for this opportunity to respond here! I have a feeling this could be another post in itself so watch for this as the basis for the next one!

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Mas-Raden said...

very nice blog

hi from mas raden

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Thanks, Mas!


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