What To Do The Next Time Fear Has A Hold On You
Sometimes I fall into fear mode. (I'm human, go figure.) I recently was one of those little slippages.
When I'm operating in fear mode I think things like: I can't possibly do this because of x, y, or z. Or, Who do I think I am? or How can I do this all on my own? I have no publicist. No agent. No booker. It's just me and my writing/teaching/laptop. How is this going to work? How am I going to get people to come all the way to a workshop in another country? How will I pay my bills? How will I do it all?
So yes, I fall into panic modes on occasion. I think about a note I posted on my Facebook that said, "Most of the pain you are dealing with is really just thoughts." (I don't think "all" pain is just thoughts, naturally. But a lot is.) And I think how my fear and worry are trying to keep me in panic mode or "what if" mode or "not enough" mode. How my fear and worry are trying to keep me small.
And I won't have it.
Because I can't get things done when I'm making choices based on fear or scarcity or "not good enough" or "I don't deserve it" or "good things don't last" etc.
So, what do you do when fear has a hold on you? Here's what I do: I sit my fear down, look it in eyes, and say, "Listen, mother*cker, now you just listen to me. You don't get to tell me what to think anymore."
And the fear laughs and says, "Oh yeah? Watch me."
You see, that's the moment of reckoning. I can sit back and watch it do everything for me. I can watch make all my plans or lack of plans or keep me stuck in my house all day, pacing like a dog.
Or, I can say, "No. You watch me."
I'm not woo-woo or a person who talks ad nauseam about "positive thinking" per se, but I do think that most of us get in our own way. That we often let fear make decisions for us instead of a palpable desire to do what makes us feel happy. We worry about what others will think, or our own thoughts, like, What if I get fired? What if they don't like it? What if they don't come? What if I don't have enough? The list is endless.
All those things we are worried about haven't happened yet. (Most won't happen.) And if they do, well, we cross that bridge. Like the champs we are. Who hasn't had to cross a bridge once or twice in their lives? We've done it before. We can do it again if needed.
What I'm saying is: I'm choosing to live more! Not to fear more.
I'm going to create the life that I want, rather than the things I am afraid of. I want to be wide awake and fully here. I'm not going to live in a future where all my worries are hanging out on street corners with cigarettes dangling from their lips.
And as far as the question as to how can I do this all on my own? Without any manager/team/agent or bookers behind me? Well, like I said to fear, "Watch me."
Am I scared? Sometimes, yes.
But the question is: Will I let the fear be the boss? Will I let the fear make the decisions about where to go and what to do and what to write and who to be? Will I let the fear stop me? The answer is no.
I will allow myself to feel the fear. I will breathe through it. I will kick it out to a little Eminem if needed. Or I'll run it out or write it out. I will do whatever it takes to make it take a back seat. I suggest you do the same. Whatever it takes. Then, I will politely, or not so politely, tell it to get the f*ck out of my way. Watch me.
So yes, I am headed to NYC next week then Massachusetts then Costa Rica then Dallas then an Ojai retreat then Seattle then Paris then Italy then London and on and on.
And when you see me, trust that I had to beat some fears down to have made it to you. But I will be standing tall.
You can count on that.