Freedom Is On The Other Side Of Fear

As a young woman I was the treasurer for a charity group. One night I was asked to fill in for another member of the committee at a group discussion, it was only a small group, about 12 or so people who sat in a circle. However, when I was asked to make a comment I felt as if I was going to choke. A few weeks later I walked into my home with a baby in one arm and a bag of groceries in the other and raced to answer the ringing phone. It was a major radio station asking for a comment on behalf of the charity and we were live on air. I can’t even remember what I said and if I was coherent, I was so frozen with fear.

Those experiences motivated me to do something to overcome my fear of public speaking so over the next couple of years I did several public speaking courses. I had to do more than one to gain any level of competence. I later went onto to have individual lessons with a speech and drama coach. Since facing that fear I have had the privilege of being a teacher and motivational speaker, talking to as many as 1500 people at one time and appearing regularly on radio and TV.

I believe that the other side of fear is freedom. My definition of freedom at one time was being able to do what I want when I want. I now know that freedom for me is passion, joy, fulfillment and being my authentic self. I could never have achieved those feelings if I had allowed fear to rule my life.

Freedom Is On The Other Side Of Fear

Your fears show you where you need to make adjustments or changes within yourself so that you can become the person you were born to be. So many people worry about what other people will think of them but when you give yourself permission to make mistakes, to fall flat on your face at times, life gets easier. Failure is as much a part of life as success is, and if you don’t get comfortable with failure it’s hard to move forward.

When I reflect back over my life I have had more failures than successes, but the pleasure, joy and personal satisfaction that I have gained from my successes are what make me feel good about myself and the life I have created.

Life is never about what other people think about you. At the end of your life it will come down to how you feel about yourself, and the way you have lived your life.

Power Vs Force

If you are making a cake you need certain ingredients. Without them the cake wouldn’t look or taste any good. To discover your life purpose you need hope, faith, trust and a compelling reason. If just one of these power ingredients is missing you can struggle. For instance if you have just hope, faith and trust you may achieve your dreams only to find that your life has no meaning. You may have a compelling reason but if you don’t support that reason with hope, faith and trust you won’t go far.

Never before has there been so much information available on the law of attraction, mind powers, quantum physics and this information is all good and valid, but without faith, willpower can only take you so far. This is the difference between making it happen and letting it happen. Making it happen is all about willpower, it is about using your energy and actions to force an outcome that you desire. Sometimes you will succeed but force of any kind doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness and it’s a stressful way to live.

Letting it happen is similar to letting go. It means that you ask for what you want, prepare for it, take regular action then get on with life.

Power Vs Force

Your goal does not consume all of your attention and you are able to live a balanced life. It also allows you to accept that there is something better for you if you are unable to achieve that particular goal. It enables you to trust that you will be guided and supported by a force larger than yourself.

When you let it happen you never abdicate responsibility, you always do your part, however, you allow the Universe to work through you. This is the pathway that leads to success and joy.

Embrace Change

Borders Books are an example of a company who did not embrace change.  They wanted to create superstores and they had an amazing model, but they didn’t pay enough attention to the effect that the Internet and digital books would have on their business.  They started an online store but after a while felt it distracted them from their core business so they made the decision to outsource their e-commerce to Amazon.  It was a fatal decision from which they never recovered.  Although they reversed this decision in 2008 it was too late.  From 2006 – 2010 their annual income dropped by $1 billion and the shops closed world-wide in 2011.

We all know that change in occurring at a rapid pace, but I was surprised to read these statistics. Denis Waitley says: ‘Every 15 seconds a new website is launched. Every 15 minutes a new technological breakthrough occurs. Every 15 days a new product or service is introduced, that didn’t exist before.’

There are very few areas of our lives that the Internet and technology have not affected, from the way we communicate with each other to the way we shop, and those who refuse to stay abreast of change often get left behind. Unless you are a person who loves change the natural response for many people is to resist the unfamiliar, but rather than do this, pause, then ask yourself these questions:

What gifts could these changes bring into my life?

What opportunities that I’ve never even thought about wait for me?

How can I use this change to create a life far grander than I ever imagined?

While change continues at such a rapid pace we need to be aware that some change is good and some weakens us.  It has been reported that Generation Y, while much faster at learning that previous generations have smaller memories as they have don’t have the same need to need to memorise numbers and information as previous generations. They are also a generation whose need for instant gratification is stronger as they have been raised with so much information and access is at their fingertips.

Embrace Change

On the other hand, a study into how technology changes the human brain in older people found that frequent users of the Internet showed twice as much activity as novices and this strengthened neural circuits in the brain, which could keep us mentally active for much longer.

Resistance is an automatic response that makes life more difficult.  What we need to develop is our ability to be mindful.  To pause before we say ‘yes’, ‘no’, or react.  When you combine mindfulness with discernment you gain wisdom.  At this time in our world we need to embrace change by retaining the good from the older generations and combining it with the knowledge and eagerness of the younger generations to enable us to create the best possible world that serves all mankind.

FACE YOUR FEARS

How do you know when life tells you it’s time to face your fears?

Several years ago I started coaching a man who was tired of working in the corporate world. At our first session Carl (not his real name) told me about a business that he had always wanted to own, but he dismissed that idea by saying, “There is no money in it”. Not long after we started working together, Carl was offered a well-paying position in the corporate world which he accepted.

Carl continued to work with me on and off over the years and made progress in his personal life and he improved his management skills, but he still wasn’t really happy in his job and didn’t know what he wanted to do. It took another change of job, which precipitated a midlife crisis before Carl finally listened to his heart.

Carl has now invested his life savings in the dream he told me about at our first session. He doubts that he will make as much money from this venture as he did as a corporate executive, but he’s chosen lifestyle and personal satisfaction over money. I personally think he has such great ideas, skills and such passion that he may surprise himself, but time will tell. When I caught up with a very excited Carl he said, “What always held me back before was fear. I simply wasn’t ready to face it.”

I hear a lot of reasons as to why people can’t have what they want ranging from: confusion, lack of money, lack of support, no skills, insufficient time, not intelligent enough, and not good enough. These are only the outer manifestation of fear. Problems, confusion or dissatisfaction, are mirrors which show you the fears you have yet to face.

Some people think that they are facing their fears, and have gone after their dream, but it didn’t work out and they settled. The reality is often that it was easier to give up than to face their real fear.

When I started my life coaching business I knew I had found my passion so I made a commitment to myself to do this work regardless of whether I made a living from it or not. I was prepared to get a day job that paid the bills and coach in my own time if I needed to, and there were times when I did just that. There have been times when my business has flowed and times when it’s been tough, but one of the things that I love about myself is that I never, ever give up. If it feels right, and I love what I am doing, I look at what I have to learn from the situation and then I address the fear.

Face Your Fears

The gifts that comes from facing your fears are freedom and joy. Freedom to live life on your terms, to be yourself, and joy that makes waking up each day worthwhile. There are too many people who just get by, don’t be one of them. The only thing that stands between you and the life you were born to live is fear. When you face the fear, accept responsibility and take steps to turn your dream into reality the people, money and resources come into your life to support you to turn that dream into reality.

It’s been a few years now since Carl started his business and business is booming. He said he is happier now that he has ever been.

Have You Downsized Your Dreams?

At one time I had an amazing holiday in America where I visited New England, a region I had wanted to visit for many years. Seeing the fall leaves in New Hampshire, the beautiful houses in Maine, the sheer beauty of Martha’s Vineyard as well as the magic of New York reminded me that I had downsized my dreams.

The first time I became aware that I had a tendency to downsize my dreams occurred when I visited Hearst Castle in San Simeon, which is located between Los Angeles and San Francisco. At that time I was just getting back on my feet after a difficult financial period and I hadn’t realised how much I had stopped being honest with myself about what I really wanted. Hearst Castle itself is rather dark and dreary, but the palazzo in front of the castle is a different story. It is magnificent.

When I sat there enjoying all the beauty around me I said to myself, “I am thinking way too small”. I came home from that trip, prepared my house for sale, and as often happens when we prepare for what we want, I saw an ad for a house in the suburb that I really wanted to live that was within my means. I had thought living in that suburb was out of reach, so I never looked.  If I had continued thinking small I would never have looked and recognised the opportunity. Moving into the area I really wanted to live was just the start.  Soon after my business took off. My book became a best seller. My whole life improved because I acted as if I believed I could have what I really wanted.

Have You Downsized Your Dreams?

When I worked as a financial planner I met many people who came into money unexpectedly, and so many of these people made poor choices and lost that money within a short period of time. Statistics back this up as four out of five lotteries winners revert to their original state within five years.

Within each of us is a very detailed picture of the person that we think we are. This image encompasses our appearance, skills, wealth, intelligence, and sets our comfort zone. This picture is only how we perceive ourselves. It may not necessarily be true but we make it true by our actions. Our perception results from decisions we made and then consistently acted upon. We change our perception – you could say downnsized your dreams – and allow more into our life in the same way.

Make the new decision that you can have what you want, then support that decision with all of your choices.

When you work and socialise with the same people, live in the same area and holiday in the same place time and time again it’s only natural that you start to believe that is all you can have. Do things differently. Holiday in a different place, take regular weekends away to places you’ve never been. Contact an old friend you have lost touch with. Start acting as if you can have what you want now. Dress up, set the table nicely, pick flowers for the house, redo or replace one piece of furniture or one corner of a room at a time. Change one small thing about your appearance.

Making one small change will make you feel good in the short term but it won’t do much to change your perception over the longer term. However, by adding more into your life on a regular basis you start to believe you can have what you really want.

Put how you are going to achieve your dreams aside and focus on how you will feel once you have what you want. Choose it, then support that choice with your thoughts, words and actions daily. Then watch the miracle occur.