Fear…… the feeling of panic and nausea, your heart racing out of control, hot sweaty hands and formless words.
Fear can overtake you at the most inconvenient of times, and it is something that you most likely avoid if at all possible. Yet when was the last time you felt truly alive, the sensation of your body tingling with a sense of new found power and accomplishment? Just think and find it before continuing.
I would imagine that it was right after you did something that you found frightening something that was outside your comfort zone!?
Life just would not be worth living if it wasn’t for a good dose of fear. Think about any novel you have read or movie that you have watched. If it doesn’t have some sort of fear inducing scene one where you want to know what happens would you read or watch it? Of course it is a lot easier to experience the fear of lost love, rejection, failure, death, etc. through a book or movie than it is to live through it and if it gets too much there is always the option to switch off or close the book, yet it is in conquering the feeling of fear that we get to feel truly alive and free. Would you not agree that fear traps you and limits your life?
Now for the science: Fear is actually just another emotion. It is linked to the reptilian part of the brain which triggered activates your flight fight and freeze mechanisms. This means that fear feels incredibly real due to the physical sensations that accompany it. Fear is a very important mechanism to ensure we don’t kill ourselves. If we didn’t fear big scary animals our species would have died out a very long time ago. The challenge is that in our modern society we have learnt so many new fears that we can find ourselves trapped in a life that is blocked by fears we have created. As I mentioned in my first blog HOW WE OPERATE your unconscious mind develops programs to keep us physically safe and it uses emotion to write these programs. So if you once got a fright when someone screamed because there was a spider (or you saw a scary spider movie) you would be telling your unconscious mind that spiders are scary it had better quickly write a program to protect you from spiders. After this each time you see a spider your unconscious mind would trigger your reptilian brain and your fight flight and freeze mechanisms will be activated, and when you respond in a fearful way you are strengthening the program and confirming it and so it goes on. I mentioned that we learn most of our fears.
When we are born we only have 2 fears:
· Fear of falling
· Fear of loud noises
The rest we create. Picture a baby learning to walk can you imagine what would happen if it was scared of failure? It would crawl around forever fearing that if it tried to walk it might fail so never trying. Well thankfully babies don’t know the fear of failure so they don’t mind falling down a few times!! If you weren’t so afraid of failure what would you try and fail at a few times just to you could enjoy doing it for the rest of your life?
It is important for us to realise what fears are real and which ones are in our way. A fear of snakes serves you if you live where there are poisonous snakes yet a fear of rejection will most likely stand in the way of you having fulfilling relationships.
Our top fears are sometimes things we are not even aware we are afraid of. These are ones that have come out again and again with people I have worked with and they can translate into a fear of heights, public speaking etc. In no particular order:
2. Being alone or lonely
5. Being vulnerable
The scary part of this is that we create what we fear. Let me give you an example. One of my greatest fears is of being worthless. So when I first started using Face Book or even writing these blogs I was almost paralysed by the thoughts of what have I got to say that is important. Why would anyone want to read what I have to say? Who am I to be saying anything? Now here is the freaky part. If I had listened to my fears and not ever written or spoken about any of these things that I know then wouldn't I have been being worthless?? The same is true of failure. You are so scared that you might fail so you never try and guess what you have just experienced the greatest failure of all, as you have failed before you even started. I have done this with numerous clients and every time they are creating the very thing that they fear the most.
The way to get past this is by following these steps and using courage.
1. Acknowledge what it is that you are afraid of. I would like to do _______________ but _____________. That but is a very good indication that you have a fear.
2. Ask yourself what would your life be like if you listened to your fear? For me that would have meant that I would not have been able to grow my business and share what I love with others. How would this have affected my life? I would have had to give up my company and ended up working in a job that I had no interest in, earning just enough to get by and no more, I would have had to give up on all of my dreams of traveling with my kids in fact I would have had to give up on life. (The more dramatic you can make it the better, and it does have to be realistic to you)
3. What would your life be like if you conquered this fear? So for me again what would my life be like if I conquered the fear of being worthless, I would be free to share what I have learnt, I would be able to trust what I know and my beliefs, people might value what I have to offer. My life would be open to all sorts of opportunities and to me this looks very exciting!!
4. What actions would you take if you did not have this fear? And then list them
5. To commit to taking these actions and give yourself a time line.
You cannot be courageous if you do not feel fearful. So it is your choice to remain trapped or to be courageous and face your fears.
I have also realised that freedom is on the other side of fear. So it is only by passing through your greatest fears that you will finally find your greatest freedom. My greatest fear is of falling yet my greatest dream is to be able to fly. To achieve my dream I need to conquer my fear. Incidentally flying symbolises freedom for me. I recently made my first step in this direction by doing a gorge jump at Victoria Falls with Tristen my eldest son. I don’t know how I managed to get my feet to move to the end of the very gang plank looking jumping platform yet I was determined. Luckily for me the rope had quite a bit of tension so once I was on the end I didn’t really have much choice but to go. My whole body ceased up as I fell and when the rope caught I was so incredibly glad we had done it. It also formed an amazing bond between Tristen and me as well and giving me huge confidence in other areas of my life. I mean what are a few phone calls when you have jumped off a cliff???? Apparently Tristen wants to do a parachute jump for his birthday and he wants me to do it with him so I guess that will be the next step!!!
What I haven’t mentioned and what we will look at another day is that what frightens us more than the negative things are the positive things like success, true love, being truly powerful or being great.
Good luck and just remember to challenge yourself otherwise you might as well curl up and give up.
Love you lots
Anger is a truly phenomenal energy, and if you have ever experienced it you will know how devastating its ability to destroy can be. It can destroy careers, relationships, families and even the body of the one who carries it.
Everyone will have at one time or another experienced the feelings of anger, like a bubbling, acidic, hot overwhelming energy that makes you just want to lose control and let fly, scream, lash out or hurt someone or something. This feeling can be as terrifying for the person experiencing it as it can be for the person receiving it. Even in a small child a temper tantrum can leave its parents at quite a loss as to how to deal with it, and just imagine what it must feel like for a child to experience an adult losing their temper!? It could scar them for life and also teach them that this is how to resolve problems. We learn best from observing those around us.
Anger is a very natural emotion and one that we all feel. As like all emotions it is just a signal. In the case of anger it is informing you that there is something in your life that is not working. There is nothing wrong with anger it is only what we use it for that can cause harm. It can also be hugely beneficial! I was once bullied at school and finally lost it. I grabbed the ring leader by the throat (after she had done the same to me) shoved her up against a van and screamed all sorts of things at her, she never bothered me again, in extreme cases like this anger can save your life and let people know they have pushed you too far.
We are all born with 2 energy states, and develop a 3rd later in life.
1. Clear focused energy, we feel blissful and joyful
2. Highly energized, we feel angry, passionate
3. De-energized, you feel lethargic, resistant, heavy and can even feel depressed.
The 1st is your natural way of being. It is when everything is working in your life. The 2nd is when your fight flight freeze mechanism is activated in a part of your brain known as your reptilian brain, releasing adrenalin (energy) to allow you to tackle something that is not working in your life. The 3rdyou will have learnt when you were around 2/3. Most parents are unaware that they need to support their toddlers in fully expressing themselves without screaming and instead try to shut them up in any way they can. What this does is it teaches you to suppress your anger and your energy and teaches you that you do not have the ability to resolve what is not working in your life.
The cause of anger is an unmet expectation.
· An expectation that someone should love you
· An expectation that someone should not take things from you
· An expectation that people should treat you with respect
· An expectation that people should understand you
· An expectation that someone should hand their project in on time etc. etc .etc.
What I want to show you today is that anger is just a signal telling you what is not working in your environment and that if you just allow yourself space you can see the opposite of your anger and it is here that your passion lies. You see without anger you cannot have passion and it is the skill of turning anger into passion that will ignite your life and bring purpose to what you do.
Behind your greatest, irritation, frustration, anger lies your greatest passion. For me the thing that really makes my blood boil is misuse of power (force) in any form, bullying, physical abuses, mental abuse, leaders thinking that they can just rough shod over people because they are in a position of authority, the list goes on. Mainly it is people in positions of authority dictating their beliefs onto others and using force. What I realised was that the opposite of this for me was true power, learning how to use inner power and being able to share it with others so that they too could learn how to use it. Inner power is everything that force is not. It is inspiring, uniting, liberating, energizing and it is so much stronger than force, yet so few people have any idea of how to use it. So instead of churning inside and rebelling against force I decided to channel all my anger into passion and learn everything I could about personal power and how to apply it. This has become my passion. What I am saying is that you need to find the opposite of your anger to release your passion.
The following steps will help you to move from anger into passion
1. To use anger in a positive way you first need to practise pausing before reacting. Just taking a deep breath and stopping to think……..
2. ……..What would be the opposite of this what would I really love there to be?
3. Then Act with Passion
a) If the expectation that you should have money (and you don’t) is what is causing your anger then channelling this energy into a passion for creating money will be the answer
b) If the expectation is that your partner should speak to you with respect (and they don’t) then what you need to do is express yourself fully. I do not mean you need to shout and scream (then you would also be being disrespectful) rather share with them how you feel when they do this.
c) Instead of responding with reactive force Mahatma Gandhi shares that to lovingly go on strike can be a way forward. This does not mean withdrawing your love rather withdrawing your actions.
One thing that we all have is choice and when we feel angry we can choose how we want to act. At first it can seem a challenge however with practice it becomes easier and easier.
Depression is suppressed anger. The way out of depression is:
a) Acknowledge that this is the energy state you find yourself in.
b) Acknowledge what is not working in your life
c) Take action to resolve what is not working in your life. At first this can seem impossible, however if you start with a little action you will gain more and more energy until you can once again take on bigger actions.
Finally it is important to be aware that force (anger) creates resistance, and can actually exacerbate the situation. Globally we continually use force to tackle things we perceive as wrong. For example we have
· A war on terror
· A war on poachers
· A war against drugs
· We fight the misuse of alcohol
All this creates is more resistance and more anger. Mother Teresa said: “I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me”. She knew that something done in anger only causes more anger and that to truly overcome something you need to use love and passion.
Wishing you a passionate week
With eternal love
The energy of thoughts and emotions and how to control them
All of us receive a never-ending stream of thoughts and emotions. It can be quite overwhelming and you might have experienced yourself getting so caught up in these sensations. Have you ever felt stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, or confused? What I will set out to do in this blog is to show you that you are not, your thoughts and emotions rather you are, a being (I know this sounds a bit fluffy and I haven’t found a better way to describe us) who experiences thoughts and emotions. This might seem like a strange distinction to make however once you can really see the distinction you will be able to let your thoughts and emotions wash over you (and even direct them) and not get trapped by them.
I have been doing a lot exploring in this field and below is what I have come up with.
In the last blog that I posted, I spoke about the different aspects of your mind. What I believe is that your thoughts and emotions act as communication (signals) from different parts of your mind to support your survival in the world. One of ways that these signals are generated is from your programming in your unconscious mind. Just like in the children’s treasure hunting game where your friends shout out “warmer, warmer HOT or colder, colder FREEZING” as you move closer or further away from the treasure. So your thoughts and emotions can act as indicators letting you know if your actions are getting you closer to what you want or further away. Would you agree that if your unconscious mind is writing programs to ensure your survival it would need a way to get you to take action? I believe that one of the purposes of your thoughts and emotions is a way for your unconscious mind to get you to take action on your programs. To me this would explain why some of your thoughts and emotions can seem so out of your control. As I explained in the last blog, you are not aware of the creation of your unconscious’ programming (hence the word unconscious) and so wouldn’t be aware of the site of the creation of some of your thoughts and emotions.) The key here is that they seem like they are out of your control. Luckily as I explained in the previous blog we have a conscious mind which can override and direct these signals, please note that you can’t stop these signals yet you can let them wash over you and remain unattached to them. Just as your unconscious mind generates thoughts and emotions you can also use your conscious mind in the thought process to choose to think and focus on positive thoughts and feel positive emotions as well as in problem solving and planning.
Instead of overreacting to these signals, what you need to do is learn to understand them. When you experience a negative thought or emotion instead of reacting PAUSE ask yourself what is causing this. Then decide on an ACTION (it is important to take action as it is the only thing that will change your reality. Going into explanations of how you think and feel just traps you in the thought or emotion)
I have noticed with my clients that long term negative emotions are usually generated when there is something in their life that they are not taking action on.
I had an experience just the other weekend where I was very angry and snappy with my family (yes knowing this stuff does not stop the emotions and yet it does help us to deal with them so you can let the emotion go). So knowing what I know from my research I realised I was being triggered to take action however due to my inaction my anger was getting stronger and stronger. Normally I would have blamed everyone else for my irritation yet what I realised was that my business had hit a slow patch which required a major input of energy from me to take it to the next level and at the same time my family expected me to be focusing my energy on them. The work pressure grew and my resentment to my family also grew until I started snapping. It was then that I realised what I needed to do; so I sat down with my family and explained what was going on for me, and could they please give me some time to get back on track. It was like a total transformation; I had a wonderful weekend submersed in my work, designed a new strategy to take my business to the next level and am in the process of implementing it. My family and I organised things for them to do so we all enjoyed the weekend. The anger/irritation – gone! My anger was just signalling to me that I was not taking action on the work situation.
To really see what I am talking about I have a couple of experiments that I would love you to try. Don’t worry they are harmless.
1. Firstly after reading this passage please close your eyes for +/- 30 seconds and just become aware of the thoughts that are running through your mind. Let them flow and just observe them. Complete this little experiment before reading on.
While you were taking part in this experiment there will have been a part of you that was able to observe your thoughts. Can you see that if there is a part of you that can observe your thoughts then this observer is separate from your thoughts and so therefore you are a “being” that is experiencing thoughts rather than one who is the thoughts.
2. a) Secondly I would like you to remember a really bad time in your life. Really remember what it felt like, step back in to that time, and remember the sounds, smells, colours and the feelings what were you thinking about at the time. Take +/- 30 seconds to really experience it again. Then read the next paragraph.
b) Now what I want you to do is to imagine the most wonderful time in your life remember the sounds you heard, what you were thinking, smelling, and how did you feel? Spend +/- 30 seconds doing this and then read on.
Would you agree that while you were remembering the bad memory you most likely felt bad and when you were thinking of the second one you would have felt much better? Did you also observe that you could change your own state dramatically just by changing your focus? A lot of people don’t realise that they have a choice and can choose what they focus on and therefore what they want to feel.
These experiments show that you are able a) to step back from your thinking and feeling and b) to change your thinking and feeling at will.
Just as with exercise, where to get fit you need to practice, so it is with consciousness. To become more conscious of your thoughts and feelings and start to take charge of them you will need to practice the following
1. Become aware of your thoughts and feelings – keep a journal every evening and observe what triggered your thoughts and emotions and how you handled them.
2. Develop strategies for certain situations such as anger. Where you might pause choose a direction and take conscious focused action.
3. Developing the ability to change your current state. Exercise your ability by changing the focus of your thoughts and emotions, the more you do this the better at it you will become.
4. Expressing yourself consciously can be like popping a zit! Firstly you need to understand what is really at the root of your feelings. It could be like me in the above story where I was feeling that I wasn’t on top of everything and that I was being pulled in too many different directions and had no energy to give, which led me to feel overwhelmed. What I am trying to say is not to communicate the anger as that can be misunderstood and can hurt people rather look under the anger to what is the cause and communicate that, always taking responsibility for your emotions as you were the one that created them!
I hope that this has given you some clarity on where your emotions are generated from and how to start to use them consciously.
Wishing you a jubilant Week
Until about 10 years ago I was unaware that our thoughts could create our reality or that we could change our reality by changing our belief systems (programming). My fascination is with personal power by this I mean the power that you can harness that allows you to achieve truly amazing things. For example the power that Nelson Mandela used to peacefully guide a divided country (South Africa) that had so much hatred in it to unity. The same power Gandhi used to defeat the British Empire without ever using violence. I have dedicated my life towards the study of this power and to share it in a way that others can use it should they wish.
In the first few blogs that I write we will be focused on exploring how we operate as human beings. I feel that it is important to first create awareness in this so that you are then more able to utilise the solutions I will give later. Would you agree that to become a master at something you need to first understand how it works? Let us take computer operating for example. Some of us are better at operating computers than others (Yes or no?) and some are so exceptional that they can programme computers to do whatever they require. The same is true of our minds. The majority of you know how to operate your mind (I bet that is a relief). Then there are those that have mastered their minds and can program their mind to achieve whatever they want in their lives. This is the art of awareness/consciousness how conscious a person is, comes down to how well they are able to operate their hardware (mind). Let us explore these three states of mind further.
How our mind works
For the most part of your life you are being used by your biological survival system which means that you are not actually directing your life. Below I will explain how this all works and create awareness of how you can start to move past these programs to truly empowering your life.
You have 3 layers to your mind:
The subconscious then uses these programs to sort the information that comes in (from your senses) if something worked in the past it is hardwired into your emotions, behaviour and reactions as a way to ensure your survival.
Our conscious mind then uses this information (feelings, emotions etc.) to base decisions on. Can you see that we can only decide what to do from the programming that we have acquired?
The problem is that these programs are created unconsciously in response to pain (or pleasure) and we don’t consciously design the reactions so many of these programs actually work against where you want your life to be going.
For instance let us imagine that as a child you were incredibly clever and as a result you were teased and bullied. You felt unacceptable, like there was something wrong with you, misunderstood and that standing out equalled great pain (threat to survival). To protect yourself from further pain your unconscious mind develops a program using the information relating to this incident and it links it to your fight flight and freeze mechanisms, which get triggered at any time you sense you are standing out from the crowd. The next time you do stand out information comes in through your subconscious mind and the program is triggered. Your fight flight and freeze mechanisms are activated. You start to feel anxious, you feel short of breath, your heart starts to race and your higher thinking mind gets shut down (you don’t need this to make a quick escape). You will have a number of ways to react and once you choose one this will become your escape of choice. It might be by keeping quiet, not sharing your ideas, leaving the room or saying something stupid just to fit in. Whilst these actions do keep you physically safe they will not be supporting you to achieve success in life as you will have hidden your intelligence so well that no one will be able to see it! You might even start to believe that you are stupid! Reasons like this are why so many people want success in some area or another and yet never seem to get there.
And here is the good news! The more conscious you become the more able you are to notice these limiting programs and the more choices you have to rewrite them, which I will come to later. There is one more thing that it is important for you to be aware of.
Fear of Change
Your programming is also one of the reasons that change is so scary for most people. If you base all of your actions on programs that are already built into your system what do you think will happen when you set off to do something that there is no program for? You have got it, huge red flags will be raised and your fight flight and freeze mechanisms will be activated. If there is no information and programming for your unconscious and subconscious minds to access relating to what you are about to do it does not know if you are going to be “safe” this is why feelings of anxiety, fear, doubt and panic can be felt at any point you choose to create a big change in your life, and why people who are clearly not in a situation that is good for them stay rather than moving on. Now that you are aware of this you will recognise these feelings in yourself when do decide to make changes in your life and you can then choose to act despite what you are feeling.
The key to overcoming your programming is your conscious mind and your ability to make choices. The more conscious you become the more you will be able to recognise a program that is not supporting you, you can then choose to act in a different manor and change your destiny. And yes this is easier said than done as quite often you are not supported in these changes by your thoughts or feelings. In the next blog I will be looking at these and showing you how you can act in spite of them.