Posted on June 22nd, 2010 by Colin and is posted in Videos
Getting Unstuck is a video series on how to overcome the fears that are holding you back from being the person you want to be and living the life want to live. Whether your fear relates to relationships or work you can learn to harness it and breakthrough it, rather than see it as a barrier to success.
Video 1 – Confront Your Fears And Grow (10 minutes)
Colin here from midlifemaverick.com and findingyoursmile.com. With what is a little video series entitled “Getting Unstuck, How To Overcome The Fears That Are Holding You Back.”
Now I coach a lot of people and one of the common threads, if you like, that runs through many of the coaching conversations, is that people are stuck, they feel stuck. They may be stuck generally in their lives, they may be stuck in a relationship or they may be stuck in their careers, but they feel stuck.
And the purpose of this video series is to look at what’s causing them to feel stuck and more often than not, not always, but more often than not, there’s a fear or fears that are lurking in the background.
And it’s true to say that fear is causing havoc in many, many people’s lives and preventing them from living the life that they really want to live. There’s often a big difference between who they believe they are, and the life that they’re living.
And the purpose of this video series is to give you the information that you need to clear up some of the misunderstandings around fear and its purpose. And how to control fear, rather than be controlled by it.
So at the end of the video series you’ll have some tools and techniques and ideas that you’ll be able to use in order to move yourself from a feeling of being stuck, to mobility and moving forward.
Confront Your Fears And Grow
Okay, so let’s jump straight in with this session that’s called ‘Confront Your Fears and Grow’. And in this session I really want to tackle the big ‘why’ too. Why it’s important to understand fears and more importantly the effect of not confronting your fears and the effect that they have on your life.
Now there’s a saying and that is, “80% why, to 20% how to.”
When we have a big enough reason, we find the how.
So this particular video is to really educate you into the big why it’s important to understand fears and how to control fears rather than having fears controlling you.
Why confront Your Fears?
The moment you allow your fears to cause you to quit pursuing the dreams of your heart you’ll begin to feel empty and this is something you may be able to identify with yourself, this feeling of emptiness, this inner void inside.
And it’s an experience that many, many people – especially mid-lifers – experience and there’s a reason for that. So let me explain the reason that we get lost on the way to happiness.
Getting Lost On The Way To Happiness
Basically, there are one of two paths we are all on. The first path is the authentic path, the heart’s desire and this is the path that we’re meant to be on. It’s our true path if you like and it’s a life that we build around our loves.
The second path is the current path and this is society’s expectations, this is society’s definition of success. Our heart’s path, our authentic path is our definition of success. The media do us a fantastic job of telling us what success is and what we ‘should have’ to have success. But that’s the media’s or society’s view of success and sometimes it’s a long way from our definition of success.
You know, when I’m working with audiences I ask the question, “How many of you want to be successful? Hands up.” Most hands go up in the room, as most people want to be successful. My second question is “What’s your definition of success?” And usually with that I get the rabbit caught in the headlights syndrome, you know people just stare at me.
In other words, they don’t really know what their definition of success is as they’ve never really defined it. They’ve not thought about their core values, and if they were living their core values what would that look like. They’ve not thought about what are some of the loves that you have? And as a result they’re on this current path, society’s expectations.
Now as you can see over a period of time there’s a gap that begins to appear and this gap is called the void. And depending on the size of the void, it’s going to affect the amount of inner tension and stress that someone experiences.
You know there’s stress that’s caused by the external world and stressful events, but I’m talking more about this inner tension, this inner stress that’s created as a result of not living our authentic or being on our authentic path. So not “I know who I am and what I’m about.” But “My life is not representing that.” And this gap causes this inner tension and this inner stress.
Now because this is over a period of time and it can gradually, gradually, gradually increase in size this gap, what we start to create are emotional coping strategies. And we use these strategies to cope if you like with this inner tension, this inner stress.
So any time we feel empty, sad, lonely, anxious – or any emotion like that – we want to do something about it. And that something is to generally do something that makes us feel better in the moment. If you like, to give us a pleasure hit in the moment. And this is what’s called self-medication.
Self Medication Techniques
Now almost all of us use some form of self-medication techniques, especially when life gets overly stressful. The purpose or function of self-medication is to put a buffer between ourselves and the experience of our emotions. So if we’re experiencing something that’s uncomfortable, or not very pleasurable it becomes like a comfort blanket if you like.
Self-medication serves to numb us so that we’re out of touch with what we know and what we feel. Now some call this being in denial. Although we know something we deny it. Even though I know I’m uncomfortable I deny it, the Pollyanna effect, you know like “Eric how’s it going?” “Oh it’s going great, it’s going fantastic.” When that person’s life is in absolute shambles.
The Dark Side Of Medication
Eventually this numb buffer zone becomes a habitual coping mechanism and this is where it becomes very dangerous. Dangerous to our health and dangerous to those that were around the moment it becomes a habitual coping mechanism. So there is the dark side, if you like. There’s a light side of self-medication, which is to give us a pleasure hit, and there’s a dark side. And it becomes the dark side as soon as we become addicted or obsessed with the self-medication technique.
Here’s a couple of examples. A workaholic and a shopaholic. So here’s Isla Fisher in ‘Shopaholic’ where she played a character who was obsessed by shopping. And as we know, she got herself into all kinds of challenges and that’s what the film’s all about.
A workaholic, indeed any ~aholic, is someone that is addicted or obsessed and at that point, that’s the dark side. So here’s some examples; gossiping, gambling, TV, smoking, drinking, relationships, surfing on the net, work, exercise, food, drugs, shopping just some examples of how we might be feeling this inner void, okay? Which causes that, “I don’t want to either, confront my fears or control this uncomfortable feeling, so what I do is I quickly hop into something that feels more pleasurable. “
Now there’s nothing wrong with any of these per se, you know in the right amount they’re fine, but if we overdo any one of these, if it becomes the emotional crux that we need to see us through, then we can get ourselves into all kinds of trouble.
And then it’s true to say that the short term results of any one of these is, you know, sometimes effective but the medium to long term results are often ineffective and not to mention can be quite dangerous to our health.
I mean if you take food for instance, you know to reach for something that’s nice because I’m physically hungry is perfect but if I’m really not physically hungry but I’m emotional hungry and I’m trying to fill that emotional hunger with food, then I’m going to put weight, which it turn will cause me all kinds of challenges.
Shopping, now what is that called? Retail therapy. Nothing wrong with that, to go out and buy ourselves something, why not? If it’s something you really want and you’ve got the money for it it’s fine. But when it’s something that you need to self-medicate and you don’t have the money for it, so that you put yourself in debt, then it can then cause you a tremendous amount of pain. You get the short term hit of buying those shoes or buying that suit or buying that new TV but then you get the long term pain of being further and further in debt.
Taking Back Control
None of the self-medication strategies, especially the dark side, will rid you of your fears or uncomfortable feelings. All they’re going to do is keep you wrapped up in a comfort blanket and as we’ve talked about, get you into all kinds of challenges.
And if it’s drugs, you know the health challenges around that can be enormous. The power to overcome your fears can only be found within yourself, they can’t be found outside. You already possess it as you’re listening to this video right now, and you must exhibit the necessary courage to access this special power.
So, as the first step, I have two questions for you in this video. Here’s question number one, are your forms of self-medication healthy or unhealthy? So you know, write down what – how do you self-medicate right now and you know are they healthy or unhealthy?
And question two is; what uncomfortable feelings or fears are you running from if they’re unhealthy? What’s the fear or fears that are lurking there in the shadows that you do not want to confront?
Now I invite you to be honest, be brutally honest with yourself.
See you on the next video. Thanks for listening.
Leave me a comment. Let me know what you think. Helpful, not helpful?