Tag Archives: fear

Are You Ready to Make a Leap of Faith?

When I resigned from my career in the Civil Service to set up on my own it was a Leap of Faith. I had no safety net and no fall-back position.

I still don’t.

What I had then and still have today is a clear understanding that this was the ONLY right thing for me to do – this was my Purpose and if I didn’t follow it I would be dooming myself to a life of regrets and unhappiness.

And so, although it hasn’t always been plain sailing and there continue to be difficult times, I remain convinced that my Leap of Faith was unquestionably the right thing for me to have done.

Despite that Leap into the unknown, it didn’t take very long at all for what once seemed new and thrilling to become habitual and a tiny bit dull, and for me then to fall back into some of my old patterns and ways of behaving. That’s why I’ve recently been seeking out other challenges in an attempt to shock me out of my comfort zone.

(This is where I invite you to make a donation to Mind, the Mental Health Charity, by way of sponsoring me for my parachute jump on July 9th, by the way. All you need to do is click on the link over on the right…)

Susanna Liller, the Heroines’ Coach, spotted what I was up to and asked to interview me for her newsletter as she saw me as “an expert Comfort Zone escaper”.

I was honoured to be asked to contribute, and fascinated when I saw that Susanna was setting her readers a “Comfort Zone Challenge”. So fascinated, in fact, that after a short chat we decided to do it together and create “The Transatlantic Comfort Zone Challenge”!

And so, Dear Reader, here is how YOU can make your own Leap of Faith and challenge yourself out of YOUR Comfort Zone:

  • You do the first part, reminding yourself of the times you already left your comfort zone so that you’ll see that you can do this as you’ve done it before!
  • Then, you’ll fill out the second part—3 things you’ll do by April 30 that are out of your comfort zone (and what fears it brings up—might as well just acknowledge them right up front), then you’ll send it to me by March 24th cathy@colourinyourthinking.co.uk (Susanna will be doing this at her end.)
  • We’ll let people know what you’ve signed up to do in our respective April Newletters. Yes, it will be public…a motivator—on both sides of the Atlantic!
  • Next, by April 30 you’ll re-port out on how you did with your challenge via an email to me.
  • We’ll report to everyone in our May newsletters and we’ll celebrate!

Susanna and I are really excited about this joint venture, and we hope that as many of you as possible will be tempted to join in.

You never know what you can do until you try it so go on – take your Leap of Faith and see what you can accomplish…

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What to do when it’s all Too Much

Everyone gets days when it feels like everything you do is doomed to failure and there’s no point in going on.

Anyone who tells you they don’t is telling porkies. Trust me on this.

When you’re feeling that way it can also feel like life is going AMAZINGLY well for the entire rest of the world and that no-one has ever been such a useless heap as you are. It’s a bit like being zoomed straight back into the teenage version of yourself, where everything was sooooooo unfair and no-one had ever suffered like you suffered, and no-one would ever love you and see you for the, like, really amazing person you were….

When that mood strikes there are all sorts of things you can do. You’ll find lots of advice from people telling you to meditate, or go out for a run or buy yourself some flowers or tap or do any number of other worthy things.

But what if you’re having the type of day where you can barely get yourself out of bed? If you’re in that sort of state, all you’re likely to do is to start beating yourself up for not feeling able to motivate yourself to meditate or go out for a run or even get dressed – and that just makes you feel even worse about yourself.

So if your down days really really get you down, here are my top tips for how to cope.

  • Instead of fighting the negative feelings, go with them. Try to trace them back to their source. You don’t have to get out of bed to do this (which is a good start) and the simple process of pinpointing what’s happened to put you in this state can have an immediate galvanising effect.
  • Allow yourself to wallow. I find that if I allow myself time to wallow there comes a point where I get sick of feeling sorry for myself and I am able to kick start myself. Refusing to wallow and trying to plug on regardless tends to backfire and makes things worse for me in the long run.
  • Tell people you trust how you’re feeling. Sometimes all you need is to verbalise the feelings for them to go away. If you’re as lucky as I am you will have people around you who will reassure you of how much you are loved and valued, and that will help enormously.
  • Give yourself a treat – whether it’s time to indulge in your favourite weepy movie, a luxurious bath with lots of candles and bubbles, a box of chocolates when you don’t usually indulge or even a day in bed with a pile of undemanding books, do something to show yourself that “you’re worth it”.
  • Remind yourself that this feeling is temporary, it will pass and you will rise above it when the time is right for you to move on.

A New Approach

OK peeps, listen up.

I have some fabulous new workshops on offer. I know they’re fabulous because they are distilled from coaching sessions I’ve had with clients, and everything that’s gone into one of these workshops has made a real difference to someone.

The thing is, they’re not selling and that’s a real shame because I know that there are people out there (maybe you) that could really benefit from them.

There could be any number of reasons why they’re not selling –

  • I haven’t done enough marketing
  • I haven’t done the right sort of marketing
  • the timing’s wrong
  • they’re too expensive
  • I’m still an unknown quantity
  • it feels too risky
  • other things I haven’t thought of

So I’m going to try a new strategy.

Instead of asking for a fixed fee, I’m going to try another way.

If you want to come along to one of my workshops, I’ll ask you for a nominal fee to reserve your spot. The fee will be just enough so that, when all the places are booked, I will have covered the costs of hiring the venue.

Once you’ve reserved your seat, you come along to the workshop and at the end of the day

  • you pay me what you think the day was worth

I’ll give you an envelope and a piece of paper for you to anonymously tell me what you thought of the workshop and why you’ve decided to pay me what you did.

You put whatever you like into the envelope, seal it and off you go.

You’re under no obligation whatsoever to put any money in, and your comments will help me to keep on improving what I offer.

How does that sound?

Personal development and coaching at a price that really IS right for you – because you set it!

You can see all the workshops I currently have on offer here.  Ticket prices for most workshops are now just £10 and places are strictly limited.

And For My Next Challenge…

…I’m going to jump put of an aeroplane!

On July 9th, at Cirencester airfield.

In doing so, I shall be not only facing my fears, but also raising money for Mind, the Mental Health Charity. If you’d like to encourage me, you can make a donation by clicking here – and BLIMEY! In the two minutes since I started typing this I’ve already started receiving donations!!

How exciting 🙂

There is another challenge inherent in this, because I currently weigh more than the upper limit allowed for this airfield.  Since my diet is already very good, I’m going to have to get off my backside and start exercising regularly other wise they’ll turn me away at the airfield.

So. As one who has spent a lifetime shunning exercise in any way, shape or form, this is going to be another form of challenge – not facing my fears, but getting in touch with my inner Gym Bunny.

Any suggestions?!

 

I Could Never Do That!!

I’ve been hearing that a lot lately, as you might imagine. Whether it’s taking my clothes off, jumping out of an aeroplane, blogging about my deepest darkest feelings or wearing lots of bright colours all at once, I seem to be doing a lot of things that a lot of people think they could never do.

I had an interesting conversation the other day with someone who wondered what the point was – her view was that each of these things might make a difference to me on the day I do them, but that it wouldn’t really change anything in the long run.

I beg to differ.

The reasons I’m taking on these challenges are as follows:

1. To challenge myself out of constantly thinking “I could never do that!”

I’m as prone to thinking like that as anyone else and the older I get the more frustrating I find it because it gets in the way of my doing all sorts of perfectly reasonable things.

So I figured that, the more REALLY challenging things I’ve done, the less I’ll believe myself when I tell myself “I can’t do that” about apparently simple things like asking for what I want, or challenging something that I’m not happy with.

2. To keep myself alert and interested.

I thrive on intellectual challenges. I am a creature of the mind rather than the body, but there have been some significant occasions when I have learnt really profound things about how my mind works from challenging my body.

So I want to see what more can I learn about myself and how I operate – and it seems to me the way to do that is by challenging myself physically as well as mentally.

3. To give myself choices and opportunities.

The more we stay in our comfort zone, the less choice and opportunity we give ourselves. It’s like choosing to wear blinkers, and only ever changing them for bigger blinkers. We all have comfort zones but for many of us they are misnamed – they’re more like Familiarity Zones – and even though they’ve long ceased to be comfortable we cling to them because familiarity feels safe.

But sometimes we need to take a good hard look at our Familiarity Zone and recognise that actually it’s a wasteland, or a swamp, or a desert and it’s time to leave.

Only when we do that, can we begin to look around and see the amazing choices and opportunities that are available to us.

4. To encourage you to challenge yourself.

I’m no different to anyone else. I have my fears and hangups, my good days and my not so good days. But I see my purpose in life as being to help as many people as possible to get to know what they are really, truly capable of and to experience the joy and fulfillment that comes from doing so.

My hope is that, by seeing me challenging myself, you will feel inspired to challenge yourself to do something that you’ve previously thought “I could never do that!” about.

It doesn’t matter what it is – it could be jumping out of a plane or standing up to a bully or tackling your credit card debt full on or coming out about your sexuality or admitting that you’re finding something really difficult – everyone has their own fears to face and challenges to overcome.  What I want to do is to encourage you to think differently about yourself.

So, the next time you find yourself thinking

“I could never do that” ask yourself

“Why not? What’s the worst that could happen?”

I’d LOVE to know whether you’ve been inspired to set yourself your own challenge – do comment here and let me know!

 

 

Confronting My Fears

Well, I asked for challenges and you sent them my way, didn’t you!

As I type, I am facing the following LIVE challenges:

  • find an accompanist and sing at an open mic night
  • do a parachute jump
  • make my book the “must read” for anyone about to go to uni
  • work as a life model (ie take all my clothes off and pose naked for artists)

I also have some ideas incubating for later, including

  • coaching somewhere really challenging, like inside a prison
  • rebuilding a very broken relationship

At the moment, the parachute jump feels like the real biggie. I signed up to do it in a rush, knowing full well that if I didn’t do it there and then I’d find all sorts of excuses reasons not to do it.

Then I felt sick and spent the rest of that evening shaking, literally shaking.

And then I decided that, rather than letting the insane spiral of panic keep going round in my head, I’d have a conversation with it. And so I sat down and had a chat with one of my Gremlins, Little Miss Itstoo Scary.

Here’s how it went.

Me: Er, hello? Who’s there?

Little Miss Itstoo Scary: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: Ah, hello, I thought you might be here. Could you just stop running around in circles screaming for a minute so we can talk?

LMIS: No-but-how-could-you-do-this-you-can’t-jump-out-of-a-plane-you’ll-die-and-it’s-far-too-dangerous-and-scary-and …………………………….. well- noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!

Me: OK, look, I understand you’re frightened and you’re concerned for my safety, I am too. VERY. But can you tell me EXACTLY what it is about this that frightens you?

LMIS: YOU’RE GOING TO DIE!!!!!

Me: What makes you think that?

LMIS: Because you’re going to JUMP OUT OF AN AEROPLANE!!!!! That’s NOT SAFE!!

Me: Well no, it wouldn’t be safe if that was all I was going to do, jump out of an aeroplane. But I’m jumping WITH a parachute and strapped to an experienced sky-diver, so it’s not like I haven’t mitigated some of the risks involved.

LMIS: Oh. Well, OK, but it’s still a MASSIVE RISK! People die in parachuting accidents every day!

Me: Do they? Every day?

LMIS: Well, maybe not every day…but it does happen.

Me: Yes it does. And people get killed everyday crossing the road or driving their cars but you don’t worry about me doing those things, do you?

LMIS: Er, well…no, I suppose not…

Me: Why is that?

LMIS: Well, because I’m used to you doing them. They’re normal things

Me: Just because I do something regularly doesn’t necessarily make them any less risky – it might even make them riskier because of complacency.

LMIS: Mmmm…I hadn’t thought of it like that. So – you’ll be strapped to an expert and they’ll make sure you’re as safe as you can be?

Me: Yes.

LMIS: OK then. I’m happy.

Me: Sorry?

LMIS: I said, I’m happy. You go off and enjoy yourself. Oh, and you’re doing it for charity, aren’t you? Well done, I hope you get lots of sponsors. Oh, and enjoy the singing and the modelling too. I’ll see you around.

Me: Er..right. So – we’re cool now?

LMIS: Yup, I just wanted to be sure you’d thought about the risks and you clearly have, so that’s fine. Bye!

And that’s REALLY how it was. Once I’d stepped aside from the primal fear mode and thought about relative risks I suddenly stopped being frightened and started to become excited.

And I still am.

Let’s see how long it lasts…

More Fear Needed…

I’ve been ruminating on why The Saboteurs and the Resistance have been so active of late and I realised that some of it’s because I’m bored. Not just bored as in “everything’s in other people’s hands now” bored , but bored as in “where’s my next big challenge?” bored.

I’m doing something that stretches me every day, but the stretches are starting to feel too easy and I can feel myself becoming a bit complacent.

So yesterday I decided to follow up on my naked photo shoot experience from last year. That was a REAL challenge and was amazingly empowering. My relationship with my body and how I feel about myself generally has completely changed since then, and I’ve decided to capitalise on that – so next Tuesday evening I’m going to a local art school to pose – in the nude – as a Life Model.

Today it feels exciting but not quite challenging enough – I’ll let you know next week how it feels on the night!!

So I’ve pondering on what other challenges to give myself – and then I thought I’d ask YOU what challenges YOU’D  like me to undertake and then write about…that’s right, from now on, My Fear is in Your Hands!

Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • challenges that will test and stretch me
  • challenges that will allow me to write about my experiences in a way that will be helpful for you to read about
  • challenges that will inspire you to challenge yourself and face some of your fears and gremlins

Here’s what I don’t want:

  • suggestions for things that are going to cost lots of money

Please give me your challenges here – I’ll rate them out of 5 for how much of a challenge they feel to me (where 1 is “I do that sort of thing every day” and 5 is “Holy Shit I could NEVER do THAT!!! Oh…OK then…if I must…”) and then take them one at a time…

Gulp…

I can already feel the adrenaline starting to flow and I haven’t even published this yet – what on EARTH have I let myself in for?!