“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” ~Admose Redmoon
Have you ever felt emotionally trapped? Ever felt stuck? Ever felt like you are held in a pattern of procrastination with no way to escape? I know I have. I can safely raise my hand to every single one of those questions and give detailed examples of all of them. Many times over.
As a child, I suffered from large bouts of anxiety that would keep me awake at nights and frozen in my path. My entire being would get stuck on a series of “What if’s” that would paralyze me into inaction. The cure from such a life-sucking affliction didn’t come overnight, nor did it come in a magic pill. I fought with this nightmare for several painful years.
I tried to ignore the fears. I tried to shut them off as they spun endlessly around in my head, creating scenarios of the future too terrifying to face.
Ignoring my fears didn’t work. It was like trying to stuff a tsunami back in the ocean. They were way too fast and way too deadly to contain. My fears were destroying my life.
It was midway through my teenage years before the first hints of change occurred. I began to see that my anxieties and fears were tied into my ability as a storyteller. I realized one day that the story my fear-ridden brain had concocted was just that. A Story. Fiction. Something that my brain had created, imagined, and powerfully claimed as a fact.
A paradigm shift began to occur. If my brain could create THAT story, a story that was negatively impacting my life, why couldn’t my brain begin to concoct other stories as well? Stories that created me to be powerful, successful, action-oriented, positive and brave?
It was the beginning of understanding the first Key to Freedom.
Thoughts are changeable and we have the power to change them.
Yet, in the beginning, it still didn’t work as well as I would have liked. I began a battle of the thoughts inside my head. Life was an on-going mental argument with two sides of my being entrenched in a battle for my brain.
“I am a powerful, successful person and I succeed at what I do…”
“Yeah right, the truth is you are a distracted, frightened little girl and the entire world is going to figure out how shy and scared you are all the time.”
“No, really…I am a powerful, successful person.”
“Yeah right…sell that story elsewhere, cause the mirror ain’t buying…”
SIGH. It went on for years. I had some wins with the good thoughts, but the bad ones hovered, ruining many of my possibilities.
I was in my mid-twenties (and in therapy) before the next key to unlocking the cage fell into my lap.
Our thoughts and words are not the beginning of the trail but instead the PRODUCT of our inner beliefs.
I wasn’t fighting the right battle. I hadn’t been addressing the right Bad Guy in my brain. I had been fighting the symptom, not the cause.
I had to take a long hard look at my BELIEFS about fear and my limitations. It wasn’t easy either. I had to go digging with a very large shovel. Many of my beliefs were hidden from me as Rules that I thought were hard-cold facts of life. I had no idea that these beliefs were just as much fiction as the thoughts I had created.
Top Six Fear-Based beliefs and How They Stopped Me in My Tracks.
Rejection/Abandonment– Everyone ultimately leaves me, so what’s the use of trying?
Failure– I am a failure, I never get anything right. Might as well give up before I even start.
Judgment– They are all laughing at me, they can see what a loser I am. Everyone else is much better than me. If I hide, maybe they won’t know….
Success– If I make it big-time, I won’t be able to handle it so there is no point in trying. Might as well not set myself up for the stress and frustration.
Control- If I can control everything that happens in my life, I can get it to turn out the way I want. I can’t trust other people to help me or my life goals.
Confrontation– If I express my needs, it can be dangerous, terrifying or lonely. Better to keep quiet and go along with the crowd.
There were more, (therapy and coaching was a very important part of my growth,) but these were the beliefs I was secretly harboring that planted the daily thoughts of failure and fear. Until I began fighting back against these wrong belief systems, I hadn’t stood a chance of fighting every single thought that sprouted from these abundant seeds.
The Next Key to unlocking the grip that fear had on my life was in staring down every single one of these beliefs and calling them out as the LIE that they were.
Rejection/ Abandonment It isn’t true that every person in my life has abandoned me. A FEW people have rejected and abandoned me. By allowing those few memories and experiences to overpower my path, I was standing in the way of many loving and amazing relationships. I had to step out in courage and allow myself to take a chance, and then accept the truth staring me in the face. I had wonderful, loving relationships that I hadn’t been acknowledging or giving gratitude for.
Failure It isn’t true that I am a failure at everything. I have failed and made mistakes that have led me to become better than ever and very powerful and successful at my goals. My failures are a natural path to my greatness. Talk about a mental shift! Instead of fearing every failure, I learned to embrace them for the tools to enlightenment that they actually are!
Judgment It isn’t true that the entire world is spending all of its energy judging me. The fact is that most people are so busy being hard on themselves; they don’t have the energy to focus on me. And when they do, it’s because they are hiding from the fears that are guiding their steps and isn’t a reflection on who I am or what I do. Ultimately, judging anyone only hurts us. I had to realize the part I was playing in judging others to hide from myself. When I stop doing it, I stop seeing others doing it as well.
Success It is a lie that I can’t handle success. (This was a really hard one for me) It is a lie that when I am successful life goes to hell in a hand basket. The truth is there are hundreds and hundreds of areas and projects that I have been very successful at and that have not set off a hand grenade into my life. I am capable of a Both/And life of success AND happiness. All I have to do is create strategies and systems to manage my increasing success in a positive way.
Control It isn’t true that in order to be happy and safe, I have to be in control of everything. By believing that, I cut off the wonder and power of teamwork, masterminds, partnerships, love and friendship. My life has PROVEN to me that these are much more valuable and unstoppable than my limited ability to run the world. My name is Wendi, not God, and He has it covered. I can relax and enjoy His Creations.
Confrontation The truth is that confrontation is a valuable part of living life and communicating authentically, happily and honesty. I am capable of confronting in love and truth without warfare or drama. I am actually appreciated for my honesty and my ability to value others in truth.
The Ongoing Truth
Our Belief systems aren’t stagnant. We are like machines, gathering and analyzing data as experiences change our day-to-day lives. Whatever Rules, or Belief System we are currently promoting, our subconscious will look for ways to PROVE that it is true. It doesn’t matter to your brain if your guiding believes are positive or negative, it will accommodate your reasons to hold on to this belief with all your heart. If you want to change your guiding beliefs, you will have to fight back with the positive evidence to back up your new claims. Just because I know how it works doesn’t mean I have discovered a one-time cure. My beliefs are evaluated daily and examined for the truth and power they have over my life.
The Ring of Keys that Keep the Cage Open.
Gratitude Writing in a gratitude journal has taught me to acknowledge- and be on the look out for- the positive and successful moments in each day. When we focus on the fear, the fear is all we see. When we focus on the gifts of life, our focus turns to abundance.
Journaling I have a journal that I share my deepest, darkest frustrations with. I allow myself to tell the truth about how I am feeling and experiencing life. But rather than making it a dumping ground for garbage, I actually then read it as if I was my own coach. I ask, “If I was coaching myself on these thoughts, what would I tell myself if I were a loved friend or client?” My experience is that we have all the answers we need; sometimes we just need a kind and loving viewpoint to help us change our viewpoint.
Celebrating When the good stuff of life happens, CELEBRATE it! Our minds need to acknowledge happy memories, successes and experiences to make them real. So many times in life, we discount the good as a “Fluke” and then record the bad as the “Truth” Turn it around! Make every victory the celebrated Truth of your life!
Ongoing Maintenance. There is a very good reason the Bible says, “Pray without ceasing”. When we keep our minds filled with positive energy and experiences, and focus on helping others grow, there is very little room for the seeds of doubt and fear to take hold. We need to be vigilant to keep the ongoing journey of our beliefs as focused and on PURPOSE as possible. Don’t take for granted that your beliefs are maintaining themselves. YOU be in charge of filling your computer mind with data, and don’t leave it up to your subconscious mind to fill in the facts for you.
There is no secret cure. But there IS a daily solution and you are holding all the keys you ever need to beat Fear at its own game. Ready to win? It’s easier than you think. Just BELIEVE you CAN and you WILL.