100% Jodi: Looking at Fear, Differently

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Hello everyone and thank you for joining me. On the day this episode is releasing I am in full swing preparing for the Create and Achieve Goals that are Worthy of You workshop which is happening tomorrow. I am so excited about this. I am in my zone when I am leading workshops and I’m thrilled to be with the women who are attending. I cannot wait to lead them through a process that will help them craft the perfect goals for them, as well as create the plan and begin executing on it.

I am also psyched because I will be going to see Jen Sincero tonight. She is the author of the book, You Are A Badass, and she is doing a book signing in Boston for her latest book, You Are a Badass Every Day: How to Keep Your Motivation Strong, Your Vibe High, and Your Quest for Transformation Unstoppable.

So, I’ve got the Jen Sincero event tonight in Boston, the goals workshop tomorrow in Portland, Maine and this Thursday is the Massachusetts Conference for Women and I’ll be leading a few roundtable in the technology pavilion on how to use podcasting to amplify your personal brand. And then on Friday I’m going to sleep in and play with my sister’s puppy. How’s that for a week?

Enough about me, we are back to talking about Playing Bigger, the awesome book by Tara Mohr. We are diving into chapter 3…

A Very Old New Way of Looking at Fear

In this chapter Tara Mohr describe two different types of fear. There is the fear of projected or imagined things (perceived threats). Then there is another type of fear. It’s the fear we feel when “we come into possession of more energy than we are used to, when we inhabit a larger space than we are used to and when we are in the presence of the divine” (this I would describe as awe).

The danger fear comes from the lizard brain and has to do with physical safety. Strange noises, being in unfamiliar places at night, near accidents and injury will induce this type of fear.

But it’s important to distinguish between that kind of fear and the fear you feel when you’re about to perform. That performance could be a sport, a presentation, delivering a speech, do a video, etc. This type of fear is actually enlivening rather than threatening and the more you can distinguish between the two, the more empowered you will be.

I’ve actually come to recognize the enlivening fear when I check in with myself with one simple question: “If I decide not to do this will I feel regret later?” If the answer is “yes, I will have missed an opportunity and feel regret” I take that fear and turn it into motivational energy.

The enlivening energy is about transcending a boundary we’ve built around ourselves and the danger energy is about reinforcing the boundaries.

When you consider living out a dream of yours you will feel fear, you just need to decide which kind of fear you feel.

The Problem with “Danger” Fear

Having a danger fear is not bad. It has helped our species to survive. Because we were sensitized to threats in the environment we were able to initiate a Fight or Flight Response and live to see another day.

The problem that has come about is, for most of us living in first world countries, we are not exposed to many physical dangers in our environment. Because of this the danger fear has generalized to include emotional danger.

Fear of being rejected, embarrassed, betrayed, or humiliated causes the fight or flight response even though there is no physical danger.

Fear also gets generalized situationally. Anything that reminds us of something bad that happened in the past can induce fear. For instance, a teacher called you out in front of you class and you felt embarrassment. Now you feel intimidated by any authority figure who could possibly call you out in front of a group. Our past gets layered over our present and our future causing us to feel concerned, worry, or even feel anxiety over things that haven’t happened yet and may never happen.

As Tara states, “as our fears expand to include a wide set of loosely associated things we hold ourselves back from playing bigger.”

Tools for Taking Yourself out of Perceived Danger Fear

I’m going to list them here but Tara goes into more explanation of how to use the tool in her book, Playing Bigger.

Heart based tools

  1. Tap into your inner mentor
  2. Invite love in [tool learned from Marianne Williamson]
  3. Get curious
  4. Shift into another positive state
  5. Reconnect to your desire to serve
  6. Talk with your younger self

Cognitive tools

  1. Label the feeling
  2. Analyze truth, possibility, and probability
  3. Come back to the present moment
  4. Follow fear to the end game

Somatic tools

  1. Breathe
  2. Do a physical relaxation
  3. Visualize or look at calming imagery
  4. Use music
  5. Moving through it

Having a toolkit to face fear will be priceless to you as there are always new situations that will invoke fear and you don’t want to live a half-life because you can’t manage your fear of perceived danger.

Also, since the theme here is playing bigger, make a list of the things that cause you to feel worry, concern, fear or anxiety, when you think about playing bigger. The behaviors associated with this are avoidance or escape. What are you avoiding because you are afraid you will be embarrassed or rejected or not supported?

Know that playing big will invoke both types of fear but we need to examine and shift the danger fear into the enlivening fear.

As always, I hope this was of value to you and here’s to your success!

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