Everyday I deal with fear, it used to be my own and now it's from my environment. As a coach, I ask, would you pay interest on a loan you have not taken? And the answer is always no. It's pretty much the same with fear, isn't it? You are living something that has not happened. Worse still you are focusing on something that has not happened. Imagine you are driving a car and you lose control of the wheel and the car is going towards a wall. Now, if you focus on the wall, the chances of hitting that wall are pretty much 100%, isn't it? What if you focused on getting back on the road instead? The probability of you missing that wall would begin to increase. That's right. In the same way instead of focusing on what we fear if we focus on what we want instead, the chances of getting there are higher. Pretty simple when you look at it that way. And God forbid if what we don't want does happen, at least we are living in it only once and not twice!!!
Have you noticed that when we want something, a car or a bag and suddenly everywhere you go you see the same car or bag. It's what we call the Reticular Activating System in the brain or RAS that causes that to happen. Your RAS is the automatic mechanism inside your brain that brings relevant information to your attention. It is like a filter between your conscious mind and your unconscious mind. It takes instructions from your conscious mind and passes them on to your unconscious. So you can deliberately program the RAS choosing the exact messages you send from your conscious mind. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich said, that we can achieve any realistic goal if we keep on thinking of that goal, and stop thinking any negative thoughts about it.
We all have the potential for genius and everyday I hear talented, smart, gifted clients, friends and family tell me that they get paralyzed by fear. They are either perfectionist or worried about how the world will view them. As Anthony Robbins says, “Good is the enemy of great and Perfect is the enemy of everything”. What is success? What does it mean to you? To me success is a very personal thing. If I do more today than what I was doing yesterday, I think I am successful. If I have stretched my boundaries and I have grown, it does not matter if others cannot see it, although a bit of support is always welcome. If I take one step everyday, in a year I would have taken 365 steps!!! Now isn't that an achievement?
I struggled with fears too. Fears of reinventing myself and choosing a new career path, fear of geckos, fear of putting on the weight I had worked 2 years to lose.... I could go on. What made me stop? The day I learnt fear can be contagious too!!!
When I started studying NLP, I mentioned to my trainer that my daughter had a problem with her ear canal, which caused great distress on flights especially at landing. She listened patiently, I was waiting for her to give me some tools or processes to deal with this symptom. I wanted to get rid of the torture for my little girl and myself. My trainer then turned around and said, "I think you are causing the reaction".
I was in shock, how could she say that. I had already explained to her it was a medical condition. She nodded calmly and agreed that might have been true but thereafter I had probably made it worse. She asked me to recall my behavior before a flight. I realized then that as family we kept talking about her "condition", reminding each other to carry the medicines, administer the medicines an hour before the flight, making sure we had sweets she could suck on to deal with the pain. I was confused, was my trainer suggesting that I stop doing that. No, she wanted me to carry on doing what needed to be done without constantly bringing attention to it... without constantly reminding her of the pain that was to come. She had me practice visualization and relaxing techniques to focus on what I wanted, instead of what I was fearing. Visualizing having a pleasant flight and touching down relaxed with my little girl asleep next to me.
The following week we were on a flight to Bali. Time to test NLP out. I told my husband what I was doing and we were not to mention the ear problem at all. We still had the medicines. I kept practicing the NLP techniques and for the first time she slept during landing. No crying, no screaming, nothing. That's when I was truly sold on the power of the mind. Everything I had learned was playing out in front of me. Thoughts become reality. Energy flows where attention goes. Intention + Attention/ Focus = Desired outcome. That's right! We no longer give her any medicines for take off or landing. She sometimes still complains about her ear at landing but it's no longer a big deal.
So the next time you are gripped by fear, you may want to try focusing on what you wantinstead and let your mind take you there. Are you willing to give it a go? You could gain what you want and all you lose is the fear.
Title quote by Les Brown, a motivational speaker and author.