I met a friend recently who was beaming. She had just heard from a someone she cared for deeply, after almost a year. My friend had imagined that this person hated her because the last time she had heard her voice, her friend was very cold and angry. She was relieved to hear from her and to learn that her friend had been scared to be rejected if she risked showing up again. To paraphrase Rhonda Britten, author of "Fearless Living: live without excuses, love without regret", fear's job is to keep us safe. Fear is stored in a part of our brain that stores data but cannot differentiate. That part of the brain has never learned to be emotionally intelligent. That part of the brain has not grown up, it has not matured. It acts just like the child who sees "something is really wrong here", but instead of assigning the responsibility to the right person, generalizes or even worse, takes the blame. Once the wheel of fear starts spinning, it gets out of control as we let our imagination do what it does best, i.e. imagine the worst. If we let it happen, we can litterally get into a full blown panic attack. Whatever we feed grows. Remember, FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.
Coaching tip: next time you are afraid of doing, saying, being something, ask yourself the following questions:
- is that the truth or am I imagining it? if it's a pattern of fear, chances are you are imagining it. Because fear is as intelligent as you are, you will then find evidence and a whole lot of rationalizations and intellectualizations that you are right. If that happens, take the fear and decide to make your desire bigger than the fear.
The coach who wants to change the world,
One Man at a Time