Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway

After participating as a basic member of Leanness Lifestyle for two years and taking part in three of Dave's bootcamps; in September I decided to join his Leanness Lifestyle Elite Membership. Part of the membership is completing weekly assignments. I speak with Dave each week. Most conversations are a bit over an hour, some have been as long as 2 1/2 hours, last night was a quick check in of 30 minutes.

LL Elite isn't all nutrition. It's delving into oneself and finding out what is there. He is more a life coach, in Elite, than just a nutrition coach. My assignment for the past month or so has been reading Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway; Dynamic techniques for turning fear, indecision, and anger into power, action and love by Susan Jeffers, Ph. D

I have never been a reader of motivational books. I read every day, currently I am reading Beginning Italian and The Pillars of The Earth. I am enjoying both very much.

I was a bit reluctant to read this Feel The Fear title, just because it is something that I am unfamiliar with.

I was amazed by the book.

Dave asked me to read a few chapters prior to each conversation, highlighting whatever sparked an interest in me or whatever may 'hit a nerve'. I was highlighting quite a bit in this book. I was surprised at how many topics seemed to ring true for me, right now, where I am in life. Maybe if I read the book a year ago, other topics would have rang true as well.

For years I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone. Running has pushed me out of my comfort zone, it continues to do so, each and every day.

I first began to run when I read that Oprah was running. I read her book "Make the Connection" and was hooked. I was afraid to run in public. My boobs were a 36D and I didn't know how to keep them still. Walla. I learned I could wear 3 sports bras and they would stay in place. I didn't know about the Frog Bra or Title Nine Sports. I was afraid I looked stupid while running, so would run early in the morning, when nobody in my neighborhood could see me.

I was afraid to enter my first race. I didn't look like a runner, I didn't know anything about races. I was scared to death. I remember my first 8K. I looked at the runner bodies, the people who were in the Big Lake Run Club and was oh so intimidated. Yikes.

It took me over an hour to run that first 8K, but I did it! I was the last runner, but I did it! The fear was a bit removed.

And so it goes..each and every day I try to go a bit out of my comfort zone.

The author of this book begins by asking What is it for you? Fear of speaking, asserting yourself, making decisions, intimacy, changing jobs, being alone, aging, losing a loved one, ending a relationship?

I underlined many.

The author discusses moving from a place of pain, paralysis and depression (feelings that often accompany fear) to one of power, energy and excitement.

She discusses how to let go of negative programming, how to raise your level of self-esteem, how to become more assertive, how to make your dreams a reality, how to see yourself as having purpose and meaning.

She also states that the amount of improvement you experience will depend on how much you are willing to actively participate. Also, the more you get involved, the more fun you will have.

Through her activities, I've learned that pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.

One simple activity: My nutrition. I was scared to death at Thanksgiving to make the Pecan Pies, the Lefse, the Christmas Cookies, etc. I worked through those fears, and realized that working through them was not as scary as I thought.

Now, some of you are probably laughing. WHAT? Afraid of baking, afraid of pie? Come on, girl! Well, yeah. I was. I'm afraid of much bigger things, fears that I am not yet comfortable enough to write about here, but this is what was happening on that day and is simple to discuss.

I found that the outcome was not as fearful as I had anticipated. I wrote earlier about how I didn't fall into the sugar coma and how I resisted. I was successful.

I learned how important it is to surround yourself with people whom you look up to. Don't hang out with people you don't want to be like. For years I hung out with the drinkers, the drug doers. That was me. I was negative, depressed, I was not happy. I've changed. I now surround myself with positive people; people I would like to emulate.

The final chapter is titled "Filling the Inner Void". The author speaks of a "Higher Self", a Subconscious Mind and the Universal Energy. This was all new to me. She speaks of affirmations, how when you stay centered there is nothing to fear, how to tap into your inner self. It amazed me.

She feels that we all have the access to this intuitive power simply by starting to listen to the messages the Subconscious Mind is telling us. She has exercises showing how to pay attention to what you are being told and then acting upon it.

I enjoyed this book immensely, not to mention the great discussions Dave and I had following each of the chapters.

I told Dave I was wondering if all of this Higher Power stuff wasn't just hocus pocus. He doesn't seem to think so, and I'll give it a chance.

We all hold many fears, this is a book I would suggest to those of you feeling fearful.

On a personal note: yet another referendum failed for the Big Lake School District. We have to cut $2 million from our budget in one year. We cut $2 million over the past 4 years and have felt the effects in a huge way. I can't imagine what a $2 million cut in one year is going to look like. It will effect me in one way or another..either cut hours or my position could be cut entirely. I am not worrying about it, there is nothing I can do. I don't feel fearful over losing my job, but I do wonder what I would like to do? If I find myself looking for a new job-what will it be? I don't know if I want to commute downtown again. I loved working for a wonderful manager in Minneapolis, and could see myself going back; but, I find myself asking what do I really want to do? Do I want to do something with activity, something with running, is anything available? Coaching? Writing? I am not sure. This is one of my fears: not following my dream. Not being true to myself. Could I turn my passion into a career? I would LOVE to coach beginning marathoners.. beginning ultra runners..I would like to write a book. That is what I am currently asking myself now, as well as WHAT DO I WANT TO BE WHEN I GROW UP??

I'll just Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!

9 comments:

Kel said...

Julie, thanks for the great post! The book you recommend sounds like a great read for many of my clients (and probably myself as well).

As for what do you want to do...coaching, writing, etc. Look at your blog...you're already doing that! Now you just have to figure out how to get paid for it ;)

Anonymous said...

Awesome, awesome blog. Thank you SO much for sharing. Much of what you said rings true with myself. The last place thing.. mine is kind of fresh and new. But you have accomplished so much since than and it really gives me hope too. You could start by turning your blog into a book!

Rebecca said...

Nice post - very true. Pushing through fear is the only way to accomplish anything noteworthy. I have definitely learned that the feeling of helplessness and lack of self-respect that come from remaining paralyzed far outweigh the fear of doing something new. Thanks for reminding me about the steps along the way. Sounds like a good book!

keith said...

Thanks for that post and the holiday reading suggestion. I must say, reading your blog inspired me to do things I never thought I would ever be able to do. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Here is a quote written in the first century B.C.: "What we fear comes to pass more speedily than what we hope." It was published in a book entitled "Moral Sayings" by Publilius Syrus.
Here's another one from Germany:

"Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is." I love that old proverb. It rings true in what you are saying.

Maybe these quotes will help you work through your fears. We're all in the same boat. Everyone has fears. You may choose to act on them and get through, or ignore them and let them eat away at your essence.

Anonymous said...

From I Timothy:
"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and discipline."
Brent

olga said...

I would like to turn my passion into career too...where to begin? I would like to write a book - how to start? I, as you, and many more, was at the same point not long ago...and alwayd say: if I could do it, anynody can. Great post, Jul!

Carilyn said...

What a great post for the end of the year, and a great way to get us all thinking. You definitely are being brave in your life - I still think about your Superior race reports from 2006 and 2007. Talk about feeling the fear and doing it anyway. You are a strong lady!

I tagged you, Ronda and Bob yesterday. The original questions are on Olga's blog.

Kim said...

Julie you and I must be on some cosmic wave thing. Below is a PM between Dave and I from Wednesday -I had to same name for him the other day, LIFE coach! Because we are learning so much more then just weight loss
***********************************
Dave same goes to you - I don't need any sort of thingy because you missed a call - Its Christmas time.

#1 you are way busy with a lot of Elite clients - I mean did you see the front page today! Yikes lots of top members with ELITE behind there names. No idea how you are keeping up.

#2 I assume you got hung up on another call trying to get folks in.

I'm doing fine. I feel fine, a bit challenged with the NO GO issue, but will start some documentation and futher research - and my math class has me a bit challenged, BUT not defeated! Turns out I live with a math genius that remembers these advanced algebra things.

I am completely off work the week next week, so let me know what days work for you - unless you are taking some time off - and we can reschedule from there.

And I've coined a new name for you, not that the name is new but someone was asking me about some things I had repeated from our Elite conversations - I said its something I learned from my LIFE coach!