Fear: Real or Scaredy Pants?

Real Fear versus Scaredy Pants Fear

One of my friends approached me to discuss a dream she had the previous night. In the dream, she said she was lost in a maze and experiencing fear.

“It was weird. The fear was all up here”, pointing to her head.

At some point in the dream, she remembered saying, “I want to find a way out!” All of the sudden a tunnel appeared and she was drawn up to this beautifully delightful cavern.

I’m not a dream expert, but aspects of this were too obvious.

Real fear is when you have a close call while driving or when you do a “trust fall”.
The adrenaline spikes, you tremble.

Scaredy pants fear is the kind where it’s all tied up in your head.
It’s the anticipatory kind of fear. You are fearing something may happen in the future.

The anticipatory fear can have a couple of functions. It can alert us to possible danger. Like the Robot in the 1960’s Lost in Space TV series said, “Danger, Will Robinson!” We can become vigilant, prepare or consider changing course.

The crummy aspect of anticipatory fear is that it stops us from doing the things we know we should be doing. That’s scaredy pants kind of fear. For example, scaredy pants fear will stop us from actions that will take our lives to the next level. It will stop us from doing things that might empower us. It will stop us from taking actions that call back the energy we give away. Actions like being more assertive in relationships – with spouse, boss, workmate. Or in the case of my friend, making that sales pitch or posting that blog or sending that email.

My friend was afraid of taking the first step in her dream of developing her massage practice. She had gone to massage school, got licensed and provided numerous sessions with friends. She was good. She was passionate but she hadn’t taken it further. She felt stuck with no options. She felt dissatisfied.

We explored a few of the aspects of her dream – the feeling of being stuck, scaredy pants fear and the feeling of liberation that came with making a decision.

I suggested her dream was offering a simple intervention to help her get around her scaredy pants fear. I invited her to remind herself that just like her dream, life responds when we make an intentional affirmative statement. “I want this!” When fear arises, as it always will – I encouraged her to focus on that expansive feeling she experienced in the dream. The feeling she experienced after emerging in the beautiful cavern.

She liked the idea and agreed to try it.

I really believe life is constantly offering us solutions, wisdom and inspiration. It is constantly offering to empower us. We need only recognize and embrace it’s gift.

I really love to help people recognize how life is calling them to their greatness!

Fuzzy Yes’s

The Journey Begins: Let your Yes’s be Yes and your No’s be No.

I had a new client come in the other day.  He complained he was tired, exhausted with low motivation.  His life had become dull & dreary.  The passion and enthusiasm that had animated his roles as father, husband and small business owner had evaporated.

I instantly recalled what one of my brilliant teachers taught me years ago.

It’s the human condition.  We forget what Yes means.  We forget what No means.

It all starts early.  Don Miguel Ruiz calls it the “domestication” process.  In our families, we learn to say yes when we mean no.  We learn to say no when we mean yes.  We do it to please our parents or primary caregivers.  We do it to fit in.  We do it to be accepted.  We do it to survive.  The process continues in school.  We sit at our little desks when we want to run wild and play.  We force ourselves to be quiet when we want to laugh, yell and scream.  Our wondrous minds are directed to learn how to fit into the system.  This process continues into pre-adolescence and beyond.

After we’re trained to be fuzzy with our internal yes’s & no’s, we get into fuzzy relationships.  We take fuzzy jobs.  Eventually we get caught up in a lie.  It all gets blurry.  We forget who we are.  We forget what we want.  We don’t do what we want to do.  We do what we don’t want to do.  We forget what yes means.  We forget what no means.  As a result, everything becomes dissatisfying.  Life becomes painful.  We feel conflicted because part of us knows what we really want, but another part forgot.  We get exhausted.

We become like Zombies, running on patterns of external yes’s & no’s.

All this to say simply, “Yeah, I get it”. 

Recovering enthusiastic aliveness is a journey.  A journey to back to your core.  The core that was lost in the “domestication” process.  Start by reclaiming your authentic yes’s and no’s.  Authentic yes’s and no’s will guide you home.  They will lead you back to your core.

Authentic yes’s & no’s are accompanied by a childlike enthusiasm.

Try shouting:  “Yes!  I want it!” and “No!  Get away!”

Try pushing and pulling anything.  Try pushing a tree!  Or wrestling a towel from a partner.

I like wrestling with dogs.  They love to play!

Try jumping and stretching your hands to the sky, alternating with tensing body muscles and fists.  Shout “yes” with the stretch and “no” with the tensing.

Until our “Yes’s mean Yes and our No’s mean No” we will remain in fuzzy, dreary, zombie world.  But once our “Yes’s mean Yes and our No’s mean No” we will feel true aliveness.  We will feel true empowerment.  We will feel the aliveness and empowerment that can only come from within.  We will feel the power of commitment.  We will own the power of the “law of attraction”. 

Right now more than ever, there’s a need for authentic people in our families, communities and businesses.  People who have the courage to let their “Yes’s mean Yes and No’s mean No”.  There’s a ton of resources out there – internet, books, therapists and groups – to help in the journey.  Contact me for a session.  I love to coach people in their journey home. 

What We’re About

I love to remind people we have this awesome power in us – to create the world we want to create – to do what we truly want to do – to live fully and passionately. We’re not here to be what someone else wants us to be or act out some maladaptive pattern – we’re here to express who we really are. While the world may appear to be holding us in the role of victim, it is actually constantly calling us to our gifts, strengths and powers. Let me help you see how your life is revealing your greatness.