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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Overcoming Fear

Once I was working on a movie set with a famous actress/model. Just before the camera started rolling, she started to scream and stomp about. Everyone on the set thought she had lost her mind. As suddenly as she started, she stopped and looked around smiling. She explained that she learned that if some place inside she felt foolish about a scene, she should really "act" foolish so that the scene would feel normal to her.

What ever the reasons are we sometimes give in to fear of going for our dreams. I don't think it's always important to know why. It's OK to skip the why and simply get to the how.

There are different kinds of fear.
  • Fear that is good because it can keep you safe.
  • Irrational fear--fear that has no basis in reality and actually interferes with daily life.
  • Fear that holds you back from living your dreams.
Sometimes it's good to be afraid. We're supposed to be afraid to run in front of a speeding train. It's wise to wait until the train is past before we cross the tracks. It's good for a woman to have some fear about walking alone in a parking lot at night. Bad things happen too often and it's wise to ask a man (or for a man to offer) to walk a woman to her car at night. It's good to be afraid of going to jail. It may be better to do what's right just because it's right, but it's also good to understand that some actions have a negative consequence and to be afraid of that is healthy.

Sometimes fear is debilitating. Fear can be so deep and wide that the person who is feeling it can not leave their home. This is not healthy fear. It is a kind of fear that can be treated though help may be needed. Some people are so afraid of flying that they will not leave their home town. That's not a big deal if it's not stopping the person from his normal life. It's sad if he has can not go to the award presentation for his good work because of his fear.

Then there is the kind of fear that doesn't look like such a big deal. I mean, you're living your life just fine, right? Yet, there are fears that stand in the way of doing, being, or accomplishing something that would make your heart sing.

This is fear that you can conquer!

The power of imagination

The truth is, fear is mostly imagined. One of my many favorite quotes is by Mark Twain:
"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles,
but most of them never happened." ~Mark Twain

Courageous people are not those without fear, they move in spite of their fear.

You know this is true. Think about something you were very fearful about that in the end worked out just fine. You already have life experience with this, but maybe you don't give yourself credit. Were you afraid the first day at a new job, but now you love it? Were you afraid the first day of a new school, but you made friends and got through it? Did you remember the first time you got on a bus or train or airplane alone?

Have you ever tried to do something and the thing failed? Maybe you felt bad for a time, but then if you think about it, don't you feel great that you gave it a try? Did you learn something? Did you turn your learning into a stepping stone?

Think about the times when you have accomplished the thing you felt fearful about. Remember and hold onto the feeling of accomplishment when you succeeded. Imagine that same great feeling right now and in the future.

You can do this.
Email me your wins, I love hearing from you.

Aunt Laya

with gratitude to FlyingPete and for the amazing photo!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Deer-in-the-Headlights Syndrome

Ever have something important to do and you just froze, couldn't move, couldn't make a choice? Have an important call to make or important decision and you just didn't do it?

That is deer-in-the-headlights syndrome or DITHS.

"Deer in the headlights" is when a deer is in the road at night and a car is coming at it--straight at it--and it just stares into the headlights and doesn't move out of the way. The results of being frozen for the poor deer can be fatal. The results for the oncoming car can also be traumatic.

The point here is there may really be some intense consequences when you don't move and you need to.

One of the simplest techniques for overcoming DITHS is to communicate!! It is perfectly acceptable to say, "I need some time to think about this" or "I can't make a decision so fast, let me get back to you."

When you need to take action but you just don't know what to do, it is really OK to ask for help. You could ask a friend to help or support you accomplish something important. You can ask a professional to help (it's how they make their living and they do that because they most likely actually enjoy helping!). If it's about an important decision, ask someone who's life experience and opinion you trust to talk it through with you.

Now here's something else to consider. Even if you've experienced a DITHS moment and had a significant loss or pain from it, life is not over, you can grow from this and move forward anyway. You know the old saying, when one door closes, another one opens. It's true. Only thing is, if you don't pay attention, all those missed opportunities can cost you in time or money or relationships.

This one is about waking up and stepping up. It's about taking action even though you might feel afraid and knowing it will all be OK. It's about taking responsibility for yourself and it's very empowering.

You can do this, small bits at a time are great.

Aunt Laya

Thanks to and somadjinn for the beautiful photo!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Need Some Inspiration?

When you feel like things are hard, have a look at this young man and his dad for some inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by.

Aunt Laya

Monday, September 01, 2008

"Take Wing"

"Take Wing" is my newest project. After a long time of talking about an ezine, it's now a reality. Ezine stands for "electronic magazine"--like a newsletter that shows up with your email. What I do is short and sweet. Although it's still in process it will pretty much come your in-box one or two times a month with more inspiration for you.

It's easy to sign up. Just go to the sign up page at my website, fill in the form, and you're in! Never worry about spam because I will never sell your email address. You can subscribe simply and unsubscribe with a click when ever you want.

Simple. See ya there!

Aunt Laya