Session 7 – Fear & Other Stuff
Posted by: Ronda Devereaux | June 27, 2014 | 4:44 pm
Fear is the topic of Session 7 of Danielle Laporte’s Firestarter Sessions. There is no way to banish fear from your life completely, and you really don’t want to. Fear protects us from life threatening situations. It also informs us as a very powerful indicator of where we are contracting, projecting, reaching, risking, and sensing darkness. We tend to criticize ourselves and allow fear to dictate to us when it shows up instead of embracing it and allowing it to inform us.
We want to notice fear and meet it directly while it’s still an emotion, not a behavior. Anyone have an AhHa moment when they read that comment? Fear is an emotion first : I remember my first talk “big” talk – there were about 60 people in the room. As I was being introduced, I remember all the butterflies triggering that fight/flight response and the adrenaline starting to rush. I opened up to those feelings, the physical and the emotional, and they just sort of settled in and my mouth was able to produce coherent sounds and the need to pee my pants fled.
There have been many discussion about fear at my house. I have mentioned before that my middle daughter is a competitive gymnast. She has a fear of back tumbling (many gymnasts are usually afraid of back tumbling or forward tumbling – not knowing where your hands are going or where your feet are going to land). It usually happens as they get a little older (around 12 or so). Many gymnasts quit about this time. It creeps up on them one day. They can be doing the same move that they have done for the last 6 months and then all of a sudden they can’t do it – they are afraid – and nothing you can say or do is going to make them do that move until they work through that mental barrier of fear that they have created. As long as the fears don’t start to pile up – back tumbling, forward tumbling, cartwheels etc – many coaches can orchestrate their routines to subtly bypass the feared motions; unless their confidence plummets and their anxiety skyrockets taking along with it their passion for the sport.
What is the difference between the gymnasts able to work through their fear and the ones that leave their leos at the door? They don’t let fear have all their power. Fear deserves respect but you don’t have to do what it says. If you don’t do what it says, it has no power. Now fear would be cradling me in it’s arms if I was standing on that 4 inch beam trying to do a backhand spring (which I could never even do on a big giant floor). But many of us let fear drive the bus in our day to day lives. Fear of being criticized, fear of being abandoned, fear of what people think, fear of failure, fear of not being enough – all these things drive us away from being the most awesome version of ourselves that we can be – the real deal. In this session, Danielle gives us some tips about how to handle the fear of being criticized – actually lots of them (but they would make this blog excessively long), so I am going to leave you with the worksheet below. It is time to meet your fears head on by finding out what they are in the first place. Ready? Go!
DECONSTRUCTING FEAR W O R K S H E E T
(All of the worksheets in the Firestarter Blogs can be found in Danielle Laporte’s free download – The Workbook O’Fire )
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you. —Saint Thomas
Getting clear on what you’re scared of can instantly diffuse ticking anxiety bombs. This is where you get it out of your system: bankruptcy, unfulfilled potential, trashing your reputation, ending up a spinster, losing it all, a supposedly fatal diagnosis. And then (because we just can’t stop there), you’re going to apply some simple analysis to it. You may have nothing to fear after all.
This is an incredibly simple and powerful exercise that I learned from the Diamond Approach, a self-realization philosophy developed by A. H. Almaas (a great introduction to his massive body of work is his book The Unfolding Now). I respectfully refer to this as the Because Why Inquiry. Think of something you’re afraid of. Got it in your head?
Now ask yourself “Why am I afraid of . . . ?” Answer it. Ask again. Because why?
Answer again— you can give the same answer or a different one, but eventually you’ll need to get unstuck and discover another reply for yourself. Keep repeating the Because why? question and keep answering it. It’s amazing what the basic repetition can dig up as you drill down closer to the source of your fear.
What are you afraid of? “I’m afraid of getting fired.”
Why are you afraid of getting fired? “Because the money is good.”
Why are you afraid of getting fired? “Because competition in my industry is tough.”
Why are you afraid of getting fired? “Because I’d be humiliated.”
Why are you afraid of getting fired? “Because I’d have to tell my father.”
Why are you afraid of getting fired? “Because my dad would have one more reason to think I’m never going to amount to anything.”
Why are you afraid of getting fired? “Because I’ll never get the love I want from my father.”
This is a powerful exercise to do with another person that you trust. As they keep repeating the Because why? question to you, you may have to resist the urge to scream at them, “Stop asking me that!” Avoid brutality. That’s not part of the exercise. Ride through the annoyance and your own emotions and you’ll crack through some layers to the light of insight.
How do you feel when you see the reasons behind your fears?