When you look at the role fear makes in your decision making, do you ever give it magical powers? Sometimes I do. I'll have an idea about something I can build or create. Maybe a unique way that I can offer value to the world - and I'll feel fear. Then I have thoughts ABOUT that fear like - "Oh man, I wonder why I'm scared - maybe I should wait on this." or "I have a bad feeling about this, maybe I shouldn't do it."
When I stop and reflect on my logic ...logic which I often categorize as "being realistic" by the way, I am giving my fear this sort all knowing power about the future. I am making my fear a supernatural power that can tell me if my present choice will pan out or not. Isn't it interesting how it always says, "No ...you'll probably die."
The underlying thoughts is this: "If this were REALLY a good idea, I wouldn't feel any fear." Do I really want that thought running my life? What if I practiced a different...
We all have HOLIDAY traditions we love - opening presents on Christmas Eve or waiting for Christmas morning, making gingerbread houses at Thanksgiving, putting up Christmas decorations on Black Friday (or November 1st in my case), or maybe you like to eat 2 entire pies on Thanksgiving Day....
My family has celebrated the holidays with church services, gifts, lip-sync contests, polka dancing, sporting events, Christmas cookies, movie marathons, sleep-overs, all night video game marathons, trips to Disneyland, family skits, days at the beach, hiking, rock climbing, Christmas light walks, truck bed caroling through the neighborhood, and even Taco Bell.
We've tried turkey, ham, clam chowder, and prime rib! There have been Corn Flake cookies, date cookies, cookies in the shape of Santa, trees, snowmen, and bells. One year, my cousin and I even decide to start a business selling fake snow by chipping away at the styrofoam packaging in my grandparents' basement.
There have been gift exchanges with a variety of "rules". There have been years when the gifts were plenty, and years when they were scarce. We've tried ALL attending the same church services and doing our own thing.
Some of this stuff inspired that Christmas feeling we all...
The first time I heard this famous quote from Teddy Roosevelt I was in Mr Barry's class in high school in 1991. He was an inspirational teacher to me and this quote connected with me on a deep level. There was a seed planted that day - and in 1995, it became the permanent "rule" for the filter of my life story.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his...
In this episode, I asked Whitney about the difficulty she found while she was still living in one story, but attempting to write ...and BELIEVE a new one. She came up with insightful defense mechanisms that her brain used to keep her safe and stuck.
"What are you trying to do, PRETEND that events from your past didn't really happen?"
"You're just a broken person pretending to be strong - you're being fake."
"Sure, things are going well now, but how long can it really last? Do even deserve any of this progress?"
Whitney got me thinking about some powerful thoughts that she used to counteract these thoughts and validate the NEW thoughts she was practicing in order to get NEW results in her life.
"I thought the victim Whitney was real because the scars were real, but it turns out that my victim-hood was a costume I was wearing to cover up those scars ...to cover up the truth. Taking off that costume was terrifying, but now I can see that...
This is how super heroes are formed:
1. Tragic event
2. Discovery of "new normal"
3. Resistance ...why can't things just be the way they were?
4. The epiphany, "Wait a minute ...I can help people & save lives. This isn't a curse, it's a gift!!!"
This is their "Origin Story" - the tragedy that equipped them to be exceptional. What if you started looking for your epiphany? Do you ever focus on the gifts ...the unexpected blessings ...the "superpowers" that you've gained explicitly BECAUSE of the tough times you've walked through in your life?
When I go back through my life with this perspective, i begin to see the exact same events that have always haunted me with gratitude for wisdom I gained instead of resentment for the pain I experienced. I start to see the times I let myself down, let people I care about down, the pattern of coming up short, the times I was wronged, and the self destructive behaviors I've repeated as a refining process. ...
Throughout my childhood I was cut from teams, I made errors that let my team down, I was frustrated to tears when a skill I was working on eluded me, I ended up in last place, I wasn't "picked" by my friends, I was laughed at for making mistakes, and I even lost control of my emotions and regretted the way I showed up as a teammate. All of this, however, was categorized as "uncharacteristic" because I always believed I was, in fact, a great athlete. If the current evidence didn't directly support my story, I knew it was only a matter of time because I had practiced my story all my life.
When I was about 25 ...AFTER I had already become an NCAA Division I athlete - I asked my mom about a foggy memory from childhood where other kids were doing school work and I was outside with 3 other kindergartners bouncing a red ball back and forth. At the time I was elated that I was so fortunate to be selected to play instead of read ...but now as a teacher I started to...
I don’t know about you, but when I see people who surf, climb mountains or seek out challenges that require facing fear and discomfort- I WANT what they have, but I tell myself “it’s just not MY thing. “
That spirit of adventure, courage, and freedom is so attractive to me.
Of course, a lot of people WANT to be “good” at surfing but if you had the opportunity to surf, just for the experience of it, would you go?
I like to think I would, so I tested it out.
Two and a half years ago, I finally sought out a trip like this.
I had recently made a life-altering choice to give up alcohol. It was a decision, I made willingly in order to pursue my dreams more seriously and become the woman I knew those dreams would require me to be.
When I discovered a surf trip was a possibility, there were a lot of reasons I thought it "wasn’t for me”.
For one, it was last-minute plus it was in a different country, El Salvador.
Whether it's building with instructions, driving with directions, or working out with an instructor, there is great freedom in taking action when the plan is already made. It quiets the mind chatter - the debate in our mind about whether or not to keep pushing forward. If you love the plan, if you find pride in sticking to the plan, then you simply continue to follow the plan. Plans are Powerful!
"I love it when a plan comes together." - name that TV character.
There is no doubt that life is about 97% journey and only 3% destination, but it's really important you choose a destination before you start your journey. Your journey WILL take you somewhere, so its a smart move to take the time to aim at where the somewhere is.
It can be as simple as a calendar - simply deciding in advance how my time will be allocated the next day gives me the awesome experience of being able to quiet the mind chatter of "what should I be doing right now?" and, instead, just do what the calendar says. Planning takes about 20 minutes and following that plan is a 24 hour journey of tasks and events ...there is no question that I want to do everything I can to make sure that 24 hour journey is the enjoyable because it is MOST of my life experience. So even though I stay focused on enjoying the process, the process becomes automatically easier to enjoy when I know it's leading me in the right direction!
Take the time to choose your...
50% - You're half-way to success!!
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