Running with Scissors, Facing Your Fear & Other Fun Stuff.
In last week’s article, I addressed personal, business and global reinvention. To help speed this process along for myself and anyone that wants to participate, I want to talk about what most impedes personal, business and global evolution. That thing, of course, is Fear. I am out to prove that FEAR is a horrible liar. I want to help conquer it the best way I know how.
(Ex. Fear of getting a cease and desist letter from Disney for using this)
WHAT ARE WE SO AFRAID OF?
What do we fear? I like the answer of last week’s SoupTank podcast guest, Marielle de Natris. She said “We have fear of pain.” Simply and clearly, she’s right. Avoiding pain, we leave things out of our experience and cannot be truly conscious. Then there is this week’s podcast guest, Greg Frucci, who sailed into the belly of a tropical storm on his first solo sailing voyage. Living to talk about it, Greg now consciously runs toward anything that scares him, and works to help others do the same. Real Good Stuff.
I also find it remarkable that Buddha actually listed five main fears in order of intensity: 1) fear of death, 2) loss of livelihood, 3) loss of reputation, 4) fear of supernatural experience, 5) fear of speaking before an assembly of people.
So, which one of these fears is most like mine? Well… as I take a look at what scares me, I’d say that all of these fears are mine. I won’t state it emphatically, but I bet they might be yours, too.
DOESN’T FEAR KEEP US SAFE?
Fear is only rational when it is a matter of absolute survival, but from interviews with some of my guests and consciousness seekers, I can tell you that when approached mindfully and aware, most things you fear are absolutely irrational. Most of the things Buddha listed are in the realm of the irrational mind.
1) Dying of course is inevitable and can be avoided for only a time with some care, but dying is going to happen.
2) If you do the right thing and that pisses off your boss, you may lose your job, but jobs are just jobs. They are not the total value of you or the real value of your life’s “work”. You can find something else to do that fits you.
3) Losing face by doing what seems right to you may be your worst fear. Your actions and words may seem odd to your crowd of friends, family, associates and co-workers, but the ones that matter ultimately will still be there to support you when it all hits the fan.
4) Okay, when it comes to supernatural forces you might see a ghost, a spirit, an angel or hear the voice of God, but what’s the worst that can happen? You might get chill bumps or you might open up to new possibilities of a world and energy beyond your current existence. I actually love to hear these kind of stories. Who doesn’t? It can affirm your own similar experience.
5) Public speaking might be furthest down the list for Buddha, but I believe it is simply a culmination of all the above. You might get chills or open yourself to mental or spiritual change, you might look like an idiot for a minute or five, and feel you lost all credibility. If you actually speak your truth, your boss may decide, like in the movie, “Jerry Maguire”, you might be happier at another company. Then you might think you are going to die, but you most likely will not.
SO HOW DO I FACE OFF FEAR?
The first thing in facing an irrational fear is to identify it as an irrational fear. Let’s take a look at a real-world, dangerous act like running with scissors. If you want to run with scissors as safely as possible, you would want to mindfully handle them. Right?
Why are you afraid to run with scissors? Probably, because the outcome could be deadly or really painful at least. It could be that it was what you were always told as a kid.
I personally stabbed myself with scissors in elementary school. The blade of the scissors narrowly missed my eyeball, and only pierced my eyelid. So, I have some experience here, but what if I wanted to train myself to properly run with scissors. What would that look like?
As I run with scissors, maybe I would be sure to tightly hold onto the closed blades of the scissors. The blades are the most dangerous part of the scissors. I might want to consistently pace my run, maintain my breathing pattern and be more present to notice the obstacles that might trip me. If I were to trip, I might want to be prepared and mindful enough to clinch the scissor tighter, or throw the scissors away from me entirely. (Okay… so don’t go try this at home or at least don’t say I told you to do it. Just Be Mindful.)
So, you have a fear right? How would you train yourself to deal with it? Here’s what I’ve learned about safely and properly defeating a fear head on.
- Be mindful of what fear it is and exactly what it feels like in your body, so that you can identify it later, when that bitch comes back. (Ex. I’m writing this article and everyone will think I’m a nut job)
- Immediately think of what outcome you would prefer to your feared outcome ( Ex. this article will help someone deal with fear today and will ultimately lead me to a Pulitzer prize)
- Replace the fear with the feeling of what it will be like to achieve your preferred outcome (Ex. Getting great feedback will make me feel great and accomplished)
- Allow yourself to note any ideas or steps toward that preference of outcome, as you ponder this. (Ex. Write the article and click submit.)
- Take the first step you listed toward that preferred outcome. (Ex. Prepare to click the submit button)
- Remember to breathe deeply. If the fear arises, release it and replace it with the thought of the preferred feeling.
- Take the step you intended, fear or no fear. (Submit the article, dummy!) (click….AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!)
- Repeat the process minute by minute, day by day, month by month, and year by year. It gets easier and easier with time. (No Sweat!)
(Cue the sound of crickets, birds chirping or wind blowing)
POSITIVE PERSONAL & GLOBAL CHANGE?
Well, I clicked the submit button, and you are now reading this. I’m not dead. I’m not losing any money or livelihood. I don’t feel like I’m losing face or reputation. In fact, I probably will have helped at least one person deal with an irrational fear today.
As the data and energy attached to this article reaches you across the expanse of the interweb, I feel kind of supernatural. One thing I’ve learned is not to be afraid of myself.
Finally, I am speaking my truth in public to a pretty vast audience. So, take that Fear! Thanks to Marielle, Greg and Buddha.
If this helped you, I am thrilled. I will know that I not only created positive change for myself, but bit by bit, a positive change for others, thereby changing my world. I highly suggest changing a bit of your world today. Let me know if I can help.
Keep in Touch and Keep It Real!
Darren & The Souptank Community