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Posts Tagged ‘brave heart’

Sometimes fear is not at an awareness level. It’s like those dust mites floating in the air. We don’t notice they are there until the light exposes them. You’re put in an unexpected position that makes you tremble, shake and panic: an intruder, a disaster or a loss. You manage to survive, and sometimes, looking back, you don’t even know how.

But there are also those fears that we are well aware of, so we avoid those situations: rock climbing, flying or public speaking. That fear can define us and we let it.

How we deal with fear can be transformational. Because it’s not what’s happening to you or what you’re experiencing that matters. It’s how you relate to it. In fearful situations, if you shift your focus to what you do have control over, you can reduce fear’s influence.

This is how I diminished fear’s impact in one area of my life – public speaking.

Shift perspective

For years I let my fear of public speaking influence and shape many of my actions and decisions.  Early on, I had decided that public speaking was not something that was possible – at least not for me.  So, the first step was to simply entertain the idea that it might be possible. To consider, ‘What if?’

By spending some time entertaining possibility, instead of being completely opposed to the idea, I could expand rather than contract. I could imagine “worst case scenarios” and better prepare and accept those “what ifs.”

Acknowledge fear

I want to grow and evolve and the fear of making a mistake or looking like a fool in front of people had such control over my life, it was standing in the way of my evolution. So I allowed it to show up every time I just thought about speaking to a group. I accepted it and became the observer. Acceptance and not judging fear as good or bad reduced its power.

Slowly the desire to expand and grow became more powerful than my usual response of avoidance. When faced with the choice to be conquered by fear, or to keep walking, fear can become a comrade of sorts. Almost like a friend who keeps me on my toes.

Get Help

This is an important part of the process. For every public speaker, there is a fan club behind the scenes. I had the help of fellow Toastmasters and actively enlisted friends and family members; people who were open to listening to my message, who gave me feedback and most importantly – who believed in, and celebrated me. They are all there with me, every time I speak.

Own your message

Believing in and committing to my message wholeheartedly, significantly increased my bravery. And accepting that there is no guarantee that I will not make a mistake or say something foolish because I am, after all, imperfect in a perfect way.

Knowing, deep in my bones that my message is an important one….that it has the power to inspire, motivate and induce positive change – if only in one other person – that’s where I tapped into a whole new source of power.

And may it be so for you!

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Creativity is a way of thinking about your world and it can take many forms.  Don’t limit your thinking about creativity to only artistic endeavors like painting or writing.  We need creativity to design our best lives.  Creativity can open the doors of your mind and allow you to discover your true potential.  Want to get your creative wheels turning and unearth your talents?  Here are some ways to do just that.

Say Yes!  Be open to invitations and experiences that you may normally decline.  This lays the groundwork for forward momentum and expands the realm of possibility in your thinking. 

Be Afraid!  When you do something that scares you a little, you expand your risk taking potential.  The goal is to define yourself, not by your successes, but by your willingness to try something you fear.  Each time you do, your heart gets a little braver.

Find Inspiration!  Take advantage of the variety of resources we all have to be inspired.  Read something motivational before you get out of bed and before you go to sleep.  Hang out with people who inspire you and avoid “nay sayers.”    Keep a journal of all your inspirations.

Get Support!  Create your community of at least one person, or ideally five or six people, you can use as a sounding board for ideas.  Make sure your community is made up of people who hold you accountable and tell you the truth.  Vary the background and areas of expertise of this group for maximum creative spirit.

 Discover your true potential and let me know how it’s working out!

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‘Tis the season to feel empty . . . fa, la, la, la, la. 

What?  No Linda, it’s “to be jolly.” 

Christmas music and decorations start appearing in October.  Everyone is talking about their shopping lists.  We are invited to participate in cookie exchanges, parties and holiday shows and concerts.  So why are so many of us not just unhappy but dreading the holiday season?

There are a variety of reasons for not feeling jolly.  I believe that one of them is something Brené Brown talks about in her book Daring Greatly.  It is Scarcity, the “never enough” problem.

Ms Brown:  Scarcity thrives in a culture where everyone is hyperaware of lack. . .We spend inordinate amounts of time calculating how much we have, want and don’t have, and how much everyone else has, needs, and wants.

This time of year, more than ever, we are bombarded with advertising and social media telling us just what we need to make us feel good.  And we look around and think that most other people have more money to spend and time to plan then we do.

If you generally operate from a position of “not enough,”  you are already positioned to “opt out” or just plain feel miserable during the holidays. 

In recent blog posts, I offered advice on developing a Brave Heart.  And it takes one to make significant change in your life and how you think and therefore feel.  Developing a Brave Heart is done over time and in increments.  Why not start now?

I suggest adding another action for the letter V in Brave.

Volunteer!!

The benefits of volunteering are bountiful, both for you and the recipient.  Get out of your head and into your heart and you may experience a shift from “not enough” to “I’m really okay” or even “my cup overflows.”  Learn to give what you need and you may find you have more than enough.

 

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