THE DREADED F WORD

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THE DREADED F WORD

6 WAYS TO BREAK THE FEAR CYCLE AND MOVE FORWARD

 

So you’ve determined that fear is in your way.  And you know this because… 
 

You want a new job.
You’ve been talking a lot about working out and getting in shape.
You’re still holding on to your burning desire to start a photography business.


Yet you’re stuck doing the same ‘ole things.



It’s hard to change habits. 


If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried to change your thoughts, to stop procrastinating, to take action. It lasts a few days, maybe a week or two if you’re lucky, and then you’re back to your old ways, the old patterns. Like clockwork.

 

Well, that’s fear for you. So predictable.
 

And it will remain your default setting unless you do something about it. 


Guess what? Now is the time to do something about it.

 

6 steps to break the fear cycle and move forward.   

 

1. Acknowledge it.
It’s holding you back from something.


2. Notice it.
It might show up as:

  • Procrastination

  • Perfectionism

  • Negative self-talk
     

3. Separate from it.

  • What does it look like?

  • What's its name?

  • What does it sound like?

 
4. Talk to it.

  • What is it trying to protect you from?

  • What’s the worse that will happen if you listen to it?

  • What’s the worse that will happen if you don’t listen to it?


5. Thank it.

  • Appreciate that it’s trying to protect you.

  • Most of the time, you don’t need its help.

  • Come right out and tell your fear you’ve got it covered.  

 

If I left you with these five steps, you’d probably be able to move forward, maybe even get that new job or lose five pounds.


But I’d be leaving out a critical step. 

 

If you don’t lean into your fears and face them head on, they’ll come back as strong or stronger than before.  

 How do you lean into your fears?

  • Look at your old beliefs. Where did the fear originate?
  • Notice where the fear shows up in your body.
  • Breathe through the urge to run and bolt the other way.

 

This is not easy. This is scary. But this, my friend, is the good stuff. The worthwhile stuff.

Fear will continue to return in full force until you allow yourself to stand up to your fears and look them in the eye. A good coach can help with this step.
 

And know this: 

You are not your fear. Your fear is not you.

It is separate from your inner being, your wisdom, your guidance, your truth.

 

This process takes time. Continue practicing.

 

Learn to respect it. Create boundaries around it. Get curious, seek answers. Hold it at a distance, allowing your heart to trump it every time (unless you’re being chased by a bear).

Then run like hell!
 

IT'S TIME TO PUT BABY IN THE CORNER.

This is Baby, my youngest son’s transitional object.  

My son is 9 years old and doesn’t need it anymore, but I find it all over the house.

Most of us when we were little, needed to feel safe. We used a stuffed animal, a thumb, a binkie, anything we could to soothe us.

As we grew, we realized we didn’t need those comforts anymore.

In fact, we learned we could jump, dance, explore and take risks without them.

Now, as adults, part of us still wants this security.

We want to feel safe.

We don’t want to hurt.

And fear protects us, oh so well.

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We carry it around with us like raggedy Baby, counting on it for reliability and predictability—clinging to its every word.

Fear says to me:

Don’t send the email. Don’t raise your hand. Don’t sign up for that seminar. Don’t apply for that job. Don’t ask for help. Don’t take the risk.

Do all the housework yourself. Check Facebook one more time. Meditate tomorrow. It’s not perfect. Give up.  Wait longer.

You can’t. You won’t. You shouldn’t.

 

Ahhh!  These words are familiar and comforting.  

But when I listen to them, I realize I'm not evolving at all.  I’m stuck in a place that’s keeping me from jumping and dancing and exploring—from truly living.

So fear will try to protect me and I'll refuse to let it.

Because I don’t need it anymore.

We don’t need it anymore.

Can you toss fear in the trash, banishing it from your life forever?

Nope. Nada. Never.

It’ll always be with you. But what you can do and should do—is thank it for trying to keep you safe and tuck it back in your closet.

It’ll pop out again, don’t think it won’t.

But when you venture on despite it, you are more powerful, more amazing, more true to yourself than ever before.

I'd love to read from you below. How does fear show up in your daily life?

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HOW A BLANK PIECE OF PAPER CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE

 

While working out this morning, I had a million thoughts.

February break began today.

I told the kids I’d take them to Skyzone.

I had client calls.

A newsletter was due.

And, where would we go on my husband’s day off?

It was a perfect week to clean out the garage. And my office needed painting.

 

Too much.

I knew what I wanted to do and I knew what I needed to do but when everything added up I was stuck like that cliche’ deer-in-headlights right in the middle of the road.

That was when my thoughts were interrupted.

"Hook, Hook, Jab, Cross, Hook,” my instructor shouted as I began my next round on the punching bag.

My rhythm was off. I didn’t even know how to do this. I was incorrectly jabbing here and punching there.

So I tried it again. Hook, Hook, Jab, Hook, Hook, Jab. That time it was almost too easy.

It was too easy.  

My instructor interrupted me. “It's Hook, Hook, Jab, Cross, Hook.”

I tried again. Hook, Hook, Jab, Cross, Hook.  Aha! I found the cadence.

So, here's what I know:

Sometimes it takes going back to the basics.

Simplifying. It’s much easier to add on later. And the bonus is… you remain in control.

 

Of your day.

Of your week.

Of your life.

 

Start with a blank sheet of paper.

Let go of everything that's on your mind.  Choose your top three priorities and remain focused.  

Is it really that easy? No, of course not.  The squirrel is my spirit animal. I struggle daily with maintaining focus on what is most important to me and resist the urge to do a little bit of everything.

But in the world of boxing, be the Rocky Balboa.

No flailing around aimlessly trying to get it all done.

Take control. Put one fist in front of the other and find your flow.


And in the words of the big guy himself,  “If this is something you wanna do, and if this is something you gotta do, then you do it." -Rocky

GOT DIRTY LAUNDRY?

 
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GOT DIRTY LAUNDRY?

6 WAYS TO MANAGE OVERWHELM

 

This is my brain on overwhelm.

The pile gets bigger and bigger until it seems daunting to start and impossible to finish.

And so I ignore it, telling myself I'll get to it when there's more time.

The time never comes and the pile only gets bigger.

And then I beat myself up for waiting too damn long to start.

Here's the shift.

1. Get clear. Dump the clothes on the floor and sort. Whites, darks, delicates.

2. Make a plan. What will you wash first? What can you realistically get done today?

3. Ask for help. Get your family to help you. You didn't sign up to work at a laundromat.

4. Take charge. Do it on your terms. Instead of standing over the washing machine, with your back aching, fold while you watch the Bachelor. A win/win.

5. Reframe. Rather than thinking, “Ugh! I have to do the laundry.” think “I’m choosing to do the laundry because it’s important to me that my family smells fresh and looks clean” Note: This doesn’t apply to me. I use unscented detergent that, according to my husband, leaves our clothes smelling like crap.

 6. Let it go. Does it really matter if your son wears slightly dirty underwear to school tomorrow? I mean how dirty could they possibly be?
 

But the real question looks more like this:

 

Is this ascending pile more than just a stack of dirty laundry?

Is it possible that there’s fear or avoidance attached to it?

Could it be that by not doing the laundry you’ve created a scenario where you get to say that there’s not enough time in the day for you to do what needs to be done? 

And by not washing your clothes you can stick with that story which is sometimes easier than doing something that might be new or uncomfortable.
 

In other words, by not washing your clothes you get to tell yourself that life is overwhelming and there's too damn much to do. Which can be a hell of a lot easier than getting focused, crossing shit off your list and moving forward into the unknown.
 

The next time you look at your hamper, ask yourself: Is it more than just dirty laundry?

And if it is more… turn off the spin cycle and make the shift.

And if it isn’t more...wash, rinse, repeat.  

HOW TO STAY SANE THIS DECEMBER

 
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It seems like everyone I talk to these days is overwhelmed with December obligations.

What happened to this magical month? Why has it turned into dread mixed with hustle and a splash of bustle? Instead of peace, sugar plums (what are these anyway?) and snowflakes, all we see is craziness.

 

If you’re feeling less than excited about the upcoming weeks, there’s still hope.

 

You may not be able to stop events from happening, but below are 5 tips that will help you manage overwhelm so that you can enjoy the holiday season again!

 

1. Breathe.

Find 30 seconds twice a day to notice yourself breathing. You can do this while you’re driving (keep your hands on the wheel), waiting in line at the grocery store or walking down the street. You can go all out and use a special technique (there are many options) or choose the more realistic approach and take one or two deep breaths. The end.

 

2. Get clear.

Get clear on what you have to do. Sometimes just thinking about everything you have to do is overwhelming. Write it down and see it in front of you. Can you make a list of everything that has to do be done and then give it a realistic timeline?

 

It’s impossible to do it all and do it all well. So, make a decision. 

  • What can you let go of?

  • What can you delegate? Meaning what can you be OK with someone else doing for you (even if it’s not the way you’d do it).

  • What’s really important to you?


 

3.  Change your mindset.

My favorite overwhelm quote from Jen Sincero is helpful in remembering who’s in charge of how you feel this month (you are).

“Overwhelm is when you make the unhelpful decision to stop breathing, lose perspective and forget you’re in control of life.” -Jen Sincero

 Take back control of this month. You, my friend, are in charge. If you want to feel pissed off at the sales clerk at Dick’s Sporting Goods because you’re pretty sure he smoked a joint this morning and he’s working in slow motion, go for it. If you want to feel energized and blast your favorite holiday tune from the car windows (with the heat on for some of us), by all means do it!

Take a moment and think about how you want to feel this month and feel it.

 

4. Put yourself first.  

I know, I know...there’s no time for this but really… it’s non-negotiable. The holidays can get to us, emotionally and physically. Take time to do what you need to do to recharge and restore. Some ideas:

  • Take a warm bath with a gingerbread scented candle.

  • Sit on the couch for twenty minutes doing anything YOU want.

  • Listen to your favorite holiday music.

  • Do something creative!
     

5. Gratitude.

I know I talk gratitude often, but it works. When I start perseverating over little things and find myself distracted with the shit I have to do, I gently remind myself to return to the moment and stay grateful. Head on over here, to read about my favorite gratitude journal.

 

What can you do right now to make this holiday season magical again? Please comment below and share or drop me an email!

 

What's scarier than meditating?

What's scarier than meditation?

Not much.

I’m a doer, a shaker, a seeker a searcher. A “don’t stop or life will pass you by” kind of girl.

In the past, the mere thought of quietly sitting still for two minutes made me fight the urge to run screaming out the back door with a kitchen knife in my hand.
 

But silence really is golden.

In quiet stillness we get clear. We stop, we breathe, we listen, we train our minds, we take back our power.

We’re reassured of the energy running through our body. We reconnect to the wisdom of our soul.

If we can only stop the noise for even a short period of time.

 

I believe this because I’ve experienced it.

Yet I don’t meditate as often as I should. There’s usually something pressing I have to do. In other words, I choose to let something else become more important.


My meditation practice has increased over the years as I’ve eased my way into sitting for longer increments of time.
 

  • Do I have a clear mind for the entire duration? HELLS to the NO. 
  • Does my mind wander to thoughts of dirty dishes, the turquoise pillow I plan to buy with my Target coupon and drinks with friends? YEP.
  • Am I able to do it every damn day? IT’S A GOAL.

 

On most days, I do make a concerted effort to sit in silence, take notice of my mental activity and redirect my thoughts back to my breath. It's amazing what even one minute can do to calm the nerves.

Meditation isn’t about the mind not wandering. (It really isn’t. I promise). It’s about noticing the mind wandering. 


I agree, meditation can feel more like a trick than a treat, but go ahead and give it a try (or try it again). Push through that fear and commit to one minute a day. You may surprise yourself.

If you're reading this and want/need extra motivation to meditate, please join me on my Facebook Group, Power Shift for a 4 day challenge in November.