Tag Archive for Fear

What’s Hiding in Your Mind?

eye close upWould you consider yourself to be a fearful person? Most people would probably answer no to that question, yet fear is one of the most common hindrances that people struggle with today.  The reason for this discrepancy may surprise you:  fear can easily disguise itself as seemingly logical beliefs, thoughts and feelings so you may not even realize it’s there.

Rather than using the word fear to describe their feelings, many people might choose words like doubt, concern, worry, anxiety, uncertainty, hesitation, apprehension, procrastination, distrust or unease.

Ultimately they mean the same thing as fear. There is a thought, feeling, belief, or possible outcome that makes you feel uncomfortable or threatened and you will instinctively avoid things that make you feel that way.

Here are some common fears that could be hiding in your mind:

Fear of Failure

If you have ever held back on a goal or avoided taking action that would lead to a positive outcome, you may have been fearful that you might fail.  Fear of failure can be subtle because our minds can come up with endless excuses why it’s not a good time to take a risk right now, or how the odds don’t seem to be in our favor, and so on.

Fear of Success

It’s hard to believe that anyone could be afraid of success (isn’t success usually a good thing?) but it’s far more common than you might believe.  Most often it’s not the success itself that people fear, but rather all of the responsibilities and uncertainties that come along with success.  If you worry that you won’t be able to handle these things, you will resist putting yourself in a position where you would have to face them.

Fear of Rejection

Fear of rejection is usually related to low self-esteem, but may show up in subtle ways.  You may lash out at others when a possible rejection is imminent; sabotage relationships so you can be the one who rejects the other person instead of them rejecting you; or you may simply withdraw from social interaction to avoid the possibility of being rejected at all.

Fear of Not Being Good Enough

This is another fear that is connected to self-esteem, and it often affects everything you do in life.  You may avoid making changes to improve your life; settle for a dissatisfying job that pays less money than you are capable of earning; or continuously sabotage your goals.  If you don’t believe you deserve to have better life circumstances you won’t allow yourself to create them.

Once you have identified one or more of these fears, you can begin diffusing them with mind and body techniques that will calm your emotions, relax your body and get your thoughts flowing in a positive direction again.  For most people this will be an ongoing process because our minds become conditioned to respond to fear stimulus and it will seem to happen automatically for some time.  However, getting into the habit of addressing the fear in new healthy ways should set a new pattern to minimize the conditioned responses and even eliminate them over time.

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Work from Home — Inspiration from the Kitchen Table

My mother’s “work from home” job was as task master, chaos controller, budget stretcher and organizational mom-sailingwizard for her seven kids. She took great pride in her mothering and homemaking skills and-like many people whose careers define them-lived with a degree of anxiety that a crack in the veneer would expose her as a fraud.

In the fifties and sixties, our kitchen table was base camp for art projects, school work and holiday-cookie decorating. No matter how many crayons, paste pots, glitter jars or paper maiche mountains littered the table the whole shebang was always put away before dinner. The table cloth was wiped down and the chairs were pushed-in. Pristine.

Not so below the surface. The underside of the long, oval table, its topside rarely seen without its fuzzy-backed-printed-vinyl tablecloth, was the repository Read more

“The Success Principles” a Reference Book for Life

photo_3494_20090110open-bookI’ve been a fan of Jack Canfield before he became a super-star in the “Achievement” market. Yes, Jack Canfield is the co-creator of the “Chicken Soup Series” phenomenon, but that was never the source of my enthusiasm.

What initiated my fervor was a book published in 1995 called ‘The Aladdin Factor’ , written by Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. The premise of this little tome is about asking for anything-something I struggled with at the time. My now yellowed copy is dog-eared, highlighted and post-noted to this day. Every now and again I pull it off the shelf as a reminder that I don’t have to know everything; I only have to know that it’s okay to ask for help, for support, for money, for the sale, for anything.

Ten years, many books and mega-fame later, Canfield wrote The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be with Janet Switzer. Equally dog-eared and post-noted, this voulume is stashed close-at-hand as a life resource. The sixty-four principles are supported with stories an dhow-to’s.  A random pick of any page and something  I read is going to give me an a-ha moment.

Right now I flipped open to page 157 (dog-eared) and the topic is “the most valuable question you may ever learn.” Wonder what that is? . . .

Read more

Have You Listened to Yourself Lately?

33395_mouthThere are two kinds of people in the world. People who focus on solutions and people who take delight in expanding problems. You can tell the difference by listening to what they say.

Solution-oriented people rarely spend time assigning blame. They are forward thinking and take actions that move things along. These creative problem solvers use both logic and random input to work out challenges.

Personally or professionally, solution types use language that is distinctly positive without being Pollyannaish. You’ll hear them say, “What’s another possibility?” or “How about this option?” They tend to be collaborative in an effort to generate ideas. Overall, they are more optimistic and enjoyable to be around.

Problem-oriented people love Read more

Standing Next to Fear

04_scot_free_ii_sailing_wing_and_wingShortly after my marriage fell apart and during my self-reconstruction phase I took a critically needed vacation.

I missed sailing, even though my relationship with it had been turbulent at best. Truly, sailing was the best of times and the worst of times. Glorious days when the wind and weather were perfect had me thanking my creator for the experience.

Oddly, riding out a hurricane or sailing into blinding fog produced the same feeling of gratefulness-not of course, during the event but sometime later. With my feet on solid ground and my senses relaxed I found the beauty in being pushed past my fear.

Anyway, I felt the pull to be on the water again. I needed to unearth my buried soul, shake out the emotional numbness and do something very physical.  I signed up for a sailing course called Heavy Weather Sailing-apparently I needed a bulldozer for the unearthing of my spirit. Read more